Generic Drug Name: Fluconazole
Other Common Names: Diflucan
Fluconazole is used to treat fungal infections, primarily those involving the central nervous system, as well as ringworm and some yeast infections. Fluconazole is most commonly used in dogs and cats, but has been reported as being successful in horses as well. This drug should not be used in budgerigars, the common pet parakeet, as it is reportedly toxic.
Fluconazole may also be beneficial in treating systemic mycoses, such as cryptococcal meningitis, blastomycosis, and histoplasmosis. Research has also shown that it can be helpful in treating superficial candidiasis or dermatophytosis.
Fluconazole often causes a loss of appetite. Rarer side effects include vomiting, liver toxicity, jaundice (yellowing of eyes, skin, and gums), skin rash, tiredness, depression, and anemia (mucous membranes and pale gums).
Signs of an allergic reaction to fluconazole include sudden diarrhea, vomiting, facial swelling, hives, scratching, seizures, shock, pale gums, cold limbs, and coma. If these symptoms are observed, a veterinarian should be contacted immediately. If a patient suffers from renal impairment, dose amount and dosing intervals may need to be adjusted.
Fluconazole should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. Emergency veterinary care should be sought if an animal displays any unusual symptoms after administration of the drug.
Fluconazole must be stored at a temperature below 86 degrees Fahrenheit in a light-resistant, childproof container, and should be immediately thrown away after the expiration date. If in injection form, it should be stored at a temperature between 41-86 degrees Fahrenheit, and freezing should be avoided.
Fluconazole is typically administered orally, as it most commonly comes in tablet form. It can also be administered via oral suspension. The standard dose is 5 mg/kg once or twice daily. Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.
If a dose is missed, it should be given as soon as remembered. Should it almost be time for the next scheduled dose, the missed dose should be skipped in favor of the scheduled dose. At this point, the user should continue with the normal schedule. Two doses should never be given at the same time.