Consultation with your qualified healthcare practitioner about possible side effects or contraindications is always a good idea before introducing new natural products. However, consultation about the risks or side effects or contraindications of drug therapies is at least as important.
Just because a medication is recognized with a drug identification number and sold by a pharmacist does not mean it is safe or even necessarily the most effective option. Many natural medicines work more gently with the body but can, in some cases be equally, if not more beneficial.
Though some natural medicines can be inappropriate in some cases and are not entirely without risk of side effects, in general they are much more likely to offer added benefits rather than added risks. It is not uncommon to choose a herb for a specific therapeutic effect and then find that it is having other, positive, but unintended effects. In the case of drug therapies, this is less likely. The list below includes a few of the known side effects of some drug anti-fungals.
Conventional/Prescription Medicines Used to Treat Candida
Conventional medicines can be prescribed by doctors to treat an inflammation of Candida. These medicines may cause side effects and depletion of certain nutrients. The following is a list of common conventional medicines that may be used for Candida:
• Amphotericin B – Used to treat systemic fungal infections. Usually injected but is also available as a powder. Side effects may include fever, chills, headache, irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps, nausea, pain at the place of injection, vomiting, diarrhea, indigestion, dizziness, and loss of appetite. Amphotericin B depletes calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium.1
• Diflucan® – An antifungal which can be taken parenterally or by mouth. Strong allergic reactions, although rare, have been reported. These can include: hives, itching, swelling, sudden drop in blood pressure, difficulty breathing or swallowing, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. Side effects include: nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, changes in taste, dizziness and indigestion 2. While expensive, it is considered by many doctors as the best overall antifungal medication. A compounding pharmacist can make a dye-free Diflucan that is generally much less expensive than the normal prescription pill form of Diflucan. It is not known to deplete any nutrients.1
• Lamisil® – An antifungal agent which can be used orally or topically. “Lamisil side effects are very dangerous and deadly. The FDA found the Lamisil side effects to be so dangerous that a public health advisory warning was issued, in addition to Lamisil labeling changes. The FDA had received reports of liver failure in Lamisil patients, often leading to death.
There were 16 Lamisil side effects liver failure reports as of April 2001. When the Lamisil side effects warning was issued, healthcare professionals were sent letters alerting them of the reports of Lamisil liver failure, transplantation, and death. Physicians were recommended to take nail specimens for lab testing in potential Lamisil patients to reduce unnecessary risk of Lamisil side effects 3. “
It is not known to deplete any nutrients.1
• Nizoral® – An antifungal agent which can be administered orally or topically. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, itching 2. It is not known to deplete any nutrients.11 Nizoral interferes with the adrenal hormones cortisol and DHEA. This hormonal interference may produce feelings of weakness and fatigue.
• Nystatin® – A drug used to treat fungal infections of the intestinal tract. It is taken orally, and rare side effects include diarrhea, upset stomach, stomach pain, and skin rash. It is not known to deplete any nutrients.1
• Sporanox® – An oral antifungal. Common side effects may include diarrhea, fatigue, fever, headache, high blood pressure, nausea, rash, vomiting, water retention 2. It is not known to deplete any nutrients.1
1) Drug Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook, 2nd Edition
Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN, James B. LaValle, RPh, DHM, NMD, CCN, Ernest B. Hawkins, RPh, MS, Daniel L. Krinsky, RPh, MS
2)The PDR Pocket Guide to Prescription , Family Guides Pocket Books, Simon & Shuster Inc.
The Whole Approach candida protocol does not have known risks or side effects.