Miconazole for oral thrush

  • Continue to use miconazole for as long as you have been told to, otherwise your symptoms may come back.
  • If your symptoms do not improve after using miconazole, speak with your doctor.
Type of medicine Antifungal
Used for Treatment or prevention of fungal infections particularly in the mouth and throat
Also called Daktarin®
Loramyc®
Available as Oral gel and buccal tablets

Thrush is an infection caused by the Candida yeast fungus. Fungal infections in the mouth are called oral thrush. In oral thrush the mouth becomes sore and red, and white spots sometimes develop. Certain situations or conditions may cause an overgrowth of Candida in the mouth which can lead to a bout of oral thrush. These include wearing dentures, after a course of antibiotics, using corticosteroid inhalers, having diabetes or anaemia, being in poor health, and smoking. Miconazole works by killing the Candida fungus.

Miconazole oral gel and buccal tablets are available on prescription, or you can buy the oral gel at pharmacies, without a prescription.

To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start taking miconazole for oral thrush make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • If you have liver problems.
  • If it is for a baby under 6 months of age.
  • If you have porphyria (a rare blood disorder).
  • If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines. This is important because miconazole can interfere with many other medicines and cause problems.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
  • Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about how to use the miconazole preparation you have been given. If you have been given any additional information by your doctor, read this also.
  • Use miconazole exactly as you have been told. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you what to do. Your dose will also be on the label of the pack.
  • If you are giving miconazole to a child, check the label carefully to make sure you are giving the correct dose for the age of your child. It is important that you keep a check on infants and young children using miconazole oral gel. This is to make sure the gel doesn't lodge at the back of their throats and cause choking.
  • Miconazole gel is usually applied directly to the affected areas of the mouth. If, however, the infection has spread down your throat, you may be asked to swallow it like a medicine (in which case your doctor will tell you how much to take). Smear a small amount of the gel on to the affected areas of your mouth with a clean finger and try to keep it on the affected areas for as long as possible before you swallow. Ideally, you should not eat or drink for about 30 minutes after using the gel. This helps to prevent the drug from being washed out of your mouth too soon. Use the gel four times a day and space the doses evenly throughout the day. Keep using this medicine for as long as you have been directed unless you are told to stop. To help make sure your infection does not return, it is usual to continue to use the gel for two days after your symptoms disappear.
  • If you forget to apply a dose of the gel, don't worry, just apply the next dose as usual. Do not 'double up' to make up for a missed dose.
  • If you are using Loramyc® buccal tablets: use one tablet each day for seven days, preferably in the mornings after brushing your teeth. Place the rounded side of the tablet in your mouth between your upper gum and cheek just above a front tooth. Hold it in place until it sticks by applying slight pressure over your gum, using your finger. Place the tablets on opposite sides of your mouth on alternate days. Do not suck, chew or swallow the tablet, or touch it once it is in your mouth. If you do accidentally swallow the tablet, don't worry, just drink a glass of water to rinse it down. If you swallow it within the first six hours, or if the tablet falls off within six hours of being applied, replace it with a fresh tablet. Do not chew gum as it will dislodge the tablets.
  • If your symptoms do not improve within 1-2 weeks of using miconazole, speak with your doctor.
  • If you wear dentures, make sure you clean and disinfect your dentures each day. Remove them at bedtime, as not taking them out at night is thought to be one of the most common causes of oral thrush.
  • If you have diabetes, test for sugar in your blood or urine regularly to check that your diabetes is being controlled. Good control of your blood sugar level reduces the risk of thrush and other infections.
  • If you use steroid inhalers, check that you have a good inhaler technique. Using a spacer device may help to reduce the risk of thrush. Also, rinse your mouth after using your inhaler, to help remove any drug particles left in your mouth.
  • If you are a smoker, stopping smoking may help to prevent further bouts of oral thrush.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.

Common miconazole side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine What can I do if I experience this?
Feeling or being sick, abdominal discomfort Stick to bland foods - avoid rich or spicy foods
Unusual taste, dry mouth Have plenty to drink. If this becomes troublesome, speak with your doctor
With the buccal tablets: irritation or discomfort where tablets have been Make sure you place the tablets on opposite sides of your mouth on alternate days. If this becomes troublesome, speak with your doctor

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
  • If you buy any medicines check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
  • Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that someone has taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital at once. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
  • If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
  • This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
  • Never keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
  • If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

  • British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
  • Manufacturer's PIL, Daktarin® Oral Gel,; Manufacturer's PIL, Daktarin® Oral Gel, Janssen-Cilag Ltd, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated March 2011.
  • Manufacturer's PIL, Loramyc®,; Manufacturer's PIL, Loramyc®, Therabel Pharma UK Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated March 2010.

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Adrian Bonsall
Last Checked:
20/02/2012
Document ID:
3859 (v24)
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