Monistat vs Diflucan – Which Is The Most Effective Yeast Infection Medicine?

Monistat, also referred to as miconazole nitrate, is an OTC antifungal medication used to treat vaginal yeast infections.

Monistat 1, 3, 7 are actually the same products, however, they contain different doses. It belongs to a group of medicines called antifungals, that work by stopping the growth of yeast which causes the infection.


It is typically used to relieve external irritation and itching due to a vaginal yeast infection as well as to treat vaginal yeast infections.

Most women experience occasional bouts of vaginal thrush. According to statistics, this type of infection occurs in about 75 percent of women during their reproductive years. It is caused by the fungus Candida albicans.

Note – vaginal thrush is more common in women with type 2 diabetes mellitus as high blood sugar levels lead to better conditions for the yeast to grow.


It is generally used once per day, before going to bed. The 1200 mg formulation is applied once for one night. The 100 mg intravaginal cream and suppositories are inserted once nightly for 7 nights. The 200 mg suppositories are inserted once nightly for 3 nights.

The symptoms should ease in 3 to 7 days after using the medicine. If you see no improvement, contact your healthcare provider.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • mild vaginal burning, irritation, or itching;
  • vaginal redness;
  • pimple-like bumps;
  • mild stomach pain;
  • runny or stuffy nose;
  • headache;
  • burning when you urinate;
  • lower abdominal cramps;
  • an increased need to urinate;
  • flaking of the treated skin.

Before using this medicine, tell your healthcare professional if you have:

  • HIV or AIDS;
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus;
  • foul-smelling discharge;
  • abdominal pain;
  • a fever.

Drug Interaction

It may interact with the following drugs:

  • warfarin;
  • anisindione (a synthetic anticoagulant and an indanedione derivative);
  • dicumarol (a naturally occurring anticoagulant).

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

There are no conclusive clinical studies on the use of this medicine during pregnancy. Therefore, your healthcare provider must weigh the unknown risks to the fetus against the potential benefits. In addition, there are no studies regarding its use by breastfeeding women.


It is the brand name of a drug called fluconazole, which belongs to a group of medicines known as antifungals.

It is typically used to treat fungal infections of the esophagus (the tube which takes food from the throat to the stomach), mouth, urinary tract (UTIs), lungs, and vagina.

This drug kills the Candida fungi causing the infection by interfering with the cell membranes of the fungi and stopping it from producing ergosterol, a substance that is an important component of fungal cell membranes.


It is commonly used to prevent fungal infection in individuals who have a weak immune system caused by bone marrow transplant (a complicated medical procedure), cancer treatment, or AIDS.

This medicine is also used to treat infections caused by a fungus, that can invade any part of the human body, like – the throat, mouth, lungs, esophagus, genital area, bladder, and blood.


It is essential to follow the orders given by your healthcare provider regarding how to use this medicine. This will vary depending on the type of infection being treated or prevented.

However, the recommended dose typically ranges from 50 mg to 400 mg once per day. For the treatment of vaginal yeast infection, the daily dosage is 150 mg.

As a preventive measure for fungal infections, individuals who are going through the recovery process from chemotherapy or a bone marrow transplantation should take about 400 mg a day.

In order to treat the oral thrush (candidiasis which occurs in the mouth), the recommended dose is 200 mg orally on the first day of therapy. Then, the daily dosage is 100 mg per day for about 20 days.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • dizziness;
  • nausea;
  • diarrhea;
  • headache.

Rare side effects may include:

  • dark urine;
  • stomach pain;
  • fast heartbeat;
  • chills;
  • swelling of the face, throat, eyelids, lips, tongue, hands, feet, legs, or sex organs;
  • skin rash;
  • unusual weakness;
  • problems swallowing;
  • diarrhea;
  • fever;
  • cough;
  • clay-colored stools.

Before you start using this drug, it is essential that your healthcare professional knows:

  • if you ever had an allergic reaction to any type of medication;
  • if you are taking any other drugs. This includes any herbal and complementary medicines as well as drugs which you are taking that are available to buy without or with a prescription;
  • if you have porphyria, a rare inherited blood condition;
  • if you have liver or kidneys problems;
  • if you have a heart rhythm problem;
  • if you are breastfeeding or pregnant.

Liver Failure

This medicine may cause you to develop liver failure. If you develop liver failure from taking this medicine, it is generally reversible once you stop using it. Also, it is recommended that this medication should be used with caution in individuals with pre-existing liver conditions.

There are a few clinical studies that concluded that this drug may cause birth defects in infants whose mothers were using high doses (400-800 mg per day).


There are no known interactions between alcohol and this antifungal.

Monistat vs Diflucan – Which Is The Most Effective Yeast Infection Medicine?

Candidosis is a frequent problem worldwide that affects all strata of society. It is an infection caused by a yeast called Candida that usually lives inside the human body (like – the throat, mouth, vagina, and gut). When someone experiences an overgrowth of Candida, symptoms occur.

According to a 1990 study conducted at Maria and St Elisabeth Hospital, The Netherland, for the treatment of acute vulvovaginal candidosis a single dose of Diflucan is as effective and safe as a single dose of Monistat.

Images credit – @Getty & Shutterstock

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