Antifungal Resistance Is Getting Worse—And It Could Make Treating Yeast Infections Even More Hellish!
Antifungal drugs treat fungal infections by killing or stopping the growth of yeast or fungi in the body. Fungi, like bacteria, can develop resistance, when fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. Antifungal resistance occurs when fungi no longer respond to antifungal drugs.
More precisely, resistant infection is when non susceptible Candida organisms that are resistant to antifungal agents persist and cause infection. Although Candida albicans is the most common cause of vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), non-albicans species of Candida, such as Candida glabrata, have increasingly been identified as a cause of VVC.
Antifungal resistance happens in the exact same manner as antibiotic resistance. Using antifungal drugs too often or incorrectly kills off the good yeast present and encourages the growth of harmful and resistant yeast, so if or when you do get an infection, it’s more difficult to treat.
This antifungal resistance also means that there are some women whose yeast infections just can’t be treated effectively at all and many of these women are forced to live with a constant, low-level yeast infection—something that’s totally life-disrupting, to say the least.
A species of yeast that’s able to resist common medications may be behind your chronic yeast infection.
Most yeast infections are caused by a type of fungus (candida) called Candida albicans. Other kinds of fungus can cause yeast infections, too, but antifungal treatments (azoles class) usually only target the most common one (Candida albicans). If your infection is caused by something different than Candida albicans, the antifungals azole class of medications traditionally found over the counter in pharmacies and used to treat yeast infections may not be effective for you.
Did you know?
• Candida albicans is responsible for approximately 70 % of episodes of vulvovaginal candidiasis¹ and C. glabrata accounts for almost all of the remainder².
• At least 50% of women positive for non-albicans Candida may be minimally symptomatic or asymptomatic as non-albicans species have no hyphae and do not cause itching.
Recent studies have demonstrated an increasing frequency of non-albicans species, particularly C. glabrata³⁻⁴, possibly due to widespread use of over-the-counter drugs, long-term use of suppressive azoles, and the use of short courses of antifungal drugs. Because C glabrata is known to be resistant to fluconazole in 15%-25% of cases and has decreased susceptibility to most antifungals, C glabrata infections require a change in conventional antifungal therapy.
If you have chronic or recurrent yeast infections — four or more within a year — you may need a NEW treatment that is not an imidazole antifungal agent
- Odds, FC. Candidosis of the genitalia. In: Odds, FC. Candida and candidosis: A review and bibliography, 2nd ed, Bailliére Tindall, London 1988, p. 124.
- Sobel JD. Vulvovaginal candidosis. Lancet 2007; 369:1961.
- Horowitz BJ, Giaquinta D, Ito S. Evolving pathogens in vulvovaginal candidiasis: implications for patient care. J Clin Pharmacol 1992; 32:248.
- Vermitsky JP, Self MJ, Chadwick SG, et al. Survey of vaginal-flora Candida species isolates from women of different age groups by use of species-specific PCR detection. J Clin Microbiol 2008; 46:1501.
Yeast Infections: A vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection that causes irritation, discharge and intense itchiness of the vagina and the vulva. Click here to learn more about yeast infections.
Recurrent Yeast Infections: Recurrent yeast infections, also called Recurrent Vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC), can be super frustrating. Click to learn more about recurrent yeast infections and what you can do about them.
Causes of Chronic Yeast Infections: Recurrent yeast infections can be caused by many things. Learn more about common risk factors related to yeast infections so you can avoid them!
Antifungal Resistance: The growing concern over the risk of resistance is the primary reasons most healthcare practitioners are now turning towards new approaches to prevent recurrent yeast infections. Learn more about using antibiotics wisely!
Gynacan: Are you sick and tired of struggling with odors, burning, itchy associated with chronic recurring vaginal yeast infections? Click here to learn if GYNACAN may be right for you.
Directions For Use: Click here to learn more on how to appropriately use GYNACAN and get rid of yeast infections once and for all.
FAQs: Click here to find the answers to commonly asked questions on GYNACAN and yeast infections.