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Miconazole

Fungal infections may be caused by a number of agents, but those that affect only the outer layers of skin are usually not considered dangerous to humans, though they are not always simple to cure. Some fungal infections, however, such as sporotrichosis and cryptococcosis may attack deeper layers of the integument, as well as internal organs, often resulting in fatal consequences.

Though a certain amount of specific types of fungi, such as Candida albicans, normally inhabit the mouth and other parts of the body, populations of these organisms can quickly grow out of control if the bacteria that typically limit their numbers are in some way disturbed. For instance, increased levels of fungi often follow use of antibiotics, which kill both pathogenic and nonpathogenic bacteria. Fungal infections also opportunistically plague those suffering from AIDS and others whose immune systems are in a weakened, vulnerable state.

A variety of treatments for fungal infections have been developed over the years, some of which are systemic and others that are normally utilized topically. One of the most popular topical antifungal agents is miconazole, which is available in both over-the-counter and prescription strengths under a variety of trade names, including Micatin and Monistat. Among the conditions that are commonly treated with miconazole are ringworm, athlete’s foot, tinea versicolor, jock itch, and yeast infections. Though generally considered a safe and effective treatment, burning, itching, irritation, and other mild side effects sometimes accompany miconazole use. Also, recent evidence indicates that some miconazole-containing products react adversely with the blood thinning drug warfarin, leading to more serious side effects, including nosebleeds, bleeding of the gums, and bruising.


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