- Widely used to effectively treat Thrush and other infections
- Generally clears the signs and symptoms of Thrush within 1 week
- Works by killing the yeast which causes fungal infections
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What is Canesten Cream?
Canesten is the brand name for clotrimazole, which is an antifungal medicine. It is used to treat conditions like athlete's foot and thrush.
You are able to buy Canesten over the counter, although some stronger doses are only available when you have a prescription.
What is Canesten Cream used to treat?
You can buy Canesten to treat infections like penile and vaginal thrush.
Thrush is caused by a yeast (fungus) infection. It can affect the vagina and areas around it, the penis, breasts and nipples. It may also affect areas like armpits, in between your fingers and the top of your inner thighs.
Why is Canesten Cream recommended for thrush?
Clotrimazole has been used in the treatment of fungal infections since 1969 and is on the World Health Organisation's List of Essential Medicine.
The active ingredient, clotrimazole, works by killing the yeast which causes fungal infections; it is an effective treatment for thrush, generally getting rid of it within one week. However, to safeguard against the infection coming back, your doctor will normally advise you to use this thrush treatment for at least two weeks.
How does Canesten work?
Canesten contains the active ingredient clotrimazole, which works by killing the yeast that causes fungal infections. It is an effective treatment for the external symptoms of thrush, generally showing significant results within one week.
However, to safeguard against the infection coming back, your doctor will normally advise you to use this thrush treatment for at least two weeks.
Who can use Canesten Cream?
This medication can be used by most adults and children, but some people will need to check with their doctor before using it for the first time.
Speak to your doctor before using Canesten if any of the below apply to you:
- You are a man who has thrush, but your sexual partner does not
- You have sores, ulcers or blisters on or around your vagina
- You have had thrush more than twice in the past 6 months
- This is the first time you have had thrush
- You have abnormal discharge from your penis
- You have ulcers, sores, or blisters on your penis
- You have bloody discharge, or irregular bleeding/discharge from your vagina
- You or your partner have ever had a sexually transmitted disease
- You are under 16 years of age or over 60 years of age
- You are using any other medication
- You are allergic to any other medicines
Do not use this treatment if:
- You are on your period
- You are allergic to clotrimazole or any other ingredient used in this thrush treatment
- You have an intolerance to certain sugars
Can you buy Canesten Cream over the counter?
Yes, Canesten Cream is available to buy over the counter. You can buy Canesten from local pharmacies or supermarkets.
Can you buy Canesten Cream online in the UK?
You can buy Canesten from Medicine Direct's online pharmacy, and if you order before 2pm we can offer you next day delivery on your medicine.
We sell the 2% dosage in a 20g tube.
However, you will first need to answer a confidential online questionnaire, so that one of our registered prescribers can be sure this treatment is safe for you to use. Never buy any medicine online unless it is from a pharmacy that is regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council, like Medicine Direct.
Canesten Thrush Combi can be ordered from Medicine Direct by women who are experiencing thrush. This pack contains a pessary, which you insert into the vagina to treat the cause of vaginal thrush. Also included is a tube of cream, which is used to soothe the affected area and relieve itching.
Fluconazole capsules are a single-dose treatment for penile and vaginal thrush. You will need a prescription to buy this medicine, but it is also available from Medicine Direct after completing an online consultation form. Fluconazole works by killing the bacteria that causes thrush; it makes holes in the bacteria’s cell membranes and should have cleared your symptoms after just a few days.
Clotrimazole cream is also available to buy from Medicine Direct. This is a generic version of Canesten and also works to kill the bacteria that causes thrush. Additionally, it can be used to treat other fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.
Canesten Cream Dosage
Our pharmacists and prescribers follow NICE guidelines when prescribing Canesten Cream.
Always apply Canesten cream exactly as instructed by your doctor. Read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before you use it; speak to your doctor if you are unsure of anything.
How to use Canesten thrush cream
Wash your hands thoroughly. Apply a thin layer of the cream to the affected area(s) 2 or 3 times a day, gently rub it in. Wash your hands once this is complete.
Treatment will need to be continued for 1 to 2 weeks after treating the internal infection.
Speak to your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after this time.
Canesten Cream Side Effects
As with all medicines, Canesten cream comes with a risk of adverse effects, although not everyone gets them.
Speak to your doctor if any of these symptoms concern you or don't go away:
- Red, irritated skin
- Pain, burning or stinging sensation
Try to complete your course of treatment by using less of the cream if any of these reactions affect you. However, your doctor may tell you to stop using the cream before treatment is complete if your symptoms persist.
Always read the patient information leaflet thoroughly, for a comprehensive list of adverse reactions you may experience.
Canesten Cream Warnings and Drug Interactions
As with most medications Canesten may interact with other medicines.
You should inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are currently using any other medications. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medications, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.
Do not stop using the cream until your course of treatment is complete.
Read the patient information leaflet for a full list of warnings before you start using Canesten Cream.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Using Canesten cream during pregnancy is generally considered to be safe.
It is also considered safe to use if you are breastfeeding, although you should wash the cream off your breasts before breastfeeding if you are applying it to your breasts.
If you want to know more about using Canesten during pregnancy and breastfeeding, we recommend BUMPS.
Canesten Cream Ingredients
The main active ingredient within this medicine is: Clotrimazole
For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics.
Will Canesten Cream stop itching?
Yes, Canesten Cream will stop the itching and discomfort that is associated with thrush.
Can I apply Canesten Cream internally?
Canesten Cream is for external use only. If you have internal thrush, Canesten Thrush Combi may be a more suitable combined treatment for you.
Can Canesten Cream be used on children?
Yes, Canesten can be used on both adults and children. If the child is under the age of 16, it should only be used if a doctor advises it.
How long does Canesten Cream take to work?
Canesten Cream gets to work very quickly and your symptoms should have improved significantly within a few days. If you have not seen any improvement at all after one week, tell your doctor.
Can I use Canesten Cream without a fungal infection?
Using an antifungal treatment when you do not have a fungal infection will not treat your problem. In some cases, it may irritate the problem and make it even worse. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any kind of skin condition.
Is thrush an STD?
Sex can trigger thrush, but the infection itself is not classed as a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Thrush is a fungal infection.
What should I do if I don’t get better?
If you have used Canesten Cream for one week and not seen any improvement in your thrush symptoms at all, you should speak to your doctor. They may advise you to use an alternative medication.
Does thrush go away on its own?
In milder cases, thrush can go away on its own. However, if left untreated it can get worse and spread to other parts of the body. It is always advisable to talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you notice thrush symptoms developing.
Does stress cause thrush?
Stress is not a trigger for thrush. It is caused by a fungal infection that thrives in warm and moist parts of the body, such as the groin.
Can I drink alcohol while I’m using Canesten Cream?
Yes, it is safe to drink alcohol while using Canesten Cream.
Updated on: 04/06/2021
This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan
How it works - get your medicine in 3 simple steps
- 1 Choose your treatment Select the treatment or medication you need and answer a few questions online regarding your condition.
- 2 Online consultation Our Independent Prescribers will review your questions and assess your suitability for the medication.
- 3 Receive your delivery Your medication is dispensed and delivered directly to you from our UK based Pharmacy.