Oral thrush is a common mouth infection. Though it may look extremely unpleasant, it’s really easy to treat, once it’s diagnosed correctly.
One of the most common treatments is using lozenges, and we’re going to go through the basics of how to use this type of treatment. But first, a bit about the symptoms of oral thrush.
Oral thrush, also known as pseudomembranous candidiasis, is the most common form of oral candidiasis (fungal infection caused by a fungus called candida albicans), accounting for 35% of all cases.
Regardless of the cause, this mycosis usually shows the same common symptoms: creamy white patches in the mouth, gums, tonsils and throat, swelling of the oral tissue and sometimes lesions of the mouth.
While most of the times these ugly patches are the only symptoms, occasionally more severe signs might appear, depending on how bad the infection is. A blistering sensation in the mouth, loss of taste, difficulty swallowing (if the infection is localized in the throat) and hoarseness (if the trachea and the larynx are infected) are all possible signs of oral thrush. Left untreated, the candida in the mouth may move to other regions of the body, leading to even worse conditions such as infections of the lungs or the intestines. However, such cases are rare and usually happen to those whose immune systems are weakened and who neglect the initial symptoms.
Lozenges for oral thrush
Using lozenges or pastilles for oral thrush is an easy way to treat the symptoms, though they may not deal with the cause itself. If you experience repeated bouts of thrush, contact your doctor – you may need a more potent treatment, and you may want to consider changing your diet.
There are different types of lozenges based on a variety of components – amphotericin B (Fungilin), clotrimazole (Mycelex), or nystatin (Mycostatin).
Before you take it
You shouldn’t take lozenges if you’re allergic to any of the ingredients mentioned in the leaflet.
If you’re pregnant or plan to become, you should talk with your doctor about the possible risks for your baby.
Since there are quite a few drugs that interact with key ingredients such as amphotericin or nystatin, you should consult your doctor if you’re on treatment for another condition.
How to take it
The lozenges should be sucked slowly, until they dissolve. You should take them after meals, so as not to wash them off with food or drinks.
The dosage depends on the severity of the condition, but it’s typically one or two lozenges, 3-5 times a day, for up to a couple of months.
Though not common, there are some possible side effects.
The most severe are allergic reactions to the main compound, which lead to swelling of the face, tongue and throat, and difficulty breathing. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these.
Milder side effects include diarrhea, stomach aches, and vomiting. These will usually go away. If they don’t, contact your doctor and stop using the lozenges.
Lozenges are a good way to treat oral thrush, provided that you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients. Take them as indicated, and contact your doctor if your symptoms don’t improve after a few days, or if you experience any severe side effects.