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Antifungal drugs

Fungal infections can have effects ranging from an irritating patch of itchy skin to a life threatening condition.

Some of the most common infections are vaginal and oral thrush, balanitis (infection of the penis), fungal nail infections, ringworm, and athlete’s foot. Rarer conditions include aspergillosis (a serious lung infection) and cryptococcal meningitis (infection causing swelling in the brain, which can be life threatening).

Antifungal drugs fight these infections by killing the fungi. They are available in different formats, such as creams, tablets, shampoos and pessaries (small tablets inserted into the vagina), so that the active ingredients can be targeted at the right part of the body.

Sometimes antifungal drugs are combined with other medicines, in order to heal an infection. For example, antifungal creams are often combined with steroid creams to treat particular rashes. The steroid cream helps to reduce the inflammation caused by the infection.