A Canesten pessary contains clotrimazole, a treatment for thrush, which is a yeast infection that can occur inside the vagina. The pessary is inserted into the vagina in order to soothe the symptoms and treat the thrush infection. The pessary tablet is placed into an applicator shaped like a long plastic stick. This is then inserted into the vagina, pushing up to release the tablet the same way you would with a tampon applicator.
Thrush is caused by the Candida fungus. This is produced naturally in the vagina but it causes symptomatic thrush to occur when the numbers of the fungus increase, or if your immune system is lower than usual, producing less good bacteria to keep it under control. The clotrimazole contained in Canesten kills the fungus to clear up the infection.
The Canesten pessary is a one-off treatment that usually begins to work overnight. You can expect your symptoms to be gone after a week. In addition to the pessary, you may also need to use a Canesten cream to treat any external itching and irritation.
One pessary, inserted into the vagina, once per treatment
|Type of Medicine||Imidazole antifungal|
Affects the permeability of fungal cells walls, preventing proper formation of new fungal cells.
From £1.67 per pessary
Can include swelling, itching, rash, redness, discomfort, pain, nausea, vaginal peeling, vaginal discharge or bleeding
Clotrimazole is the active ingredient within the Canesten pessary.
The inactive ingredients in the Canesten pessary are lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, lactic acid, maize starch, crospovidone, calcium lactate pentahydrate, magnesium stearate, colloidal anhydrous silica and hypromellose.
Take your time to read through the instructions carefully before use. Wash your hands before you begin and carefully take the pessary out of the packet. Place the tablet in the holder, which is the wider end of the plastic applicator. When you’re ready, get into a comfortable position where you can easily slide the applicator into your vagina. Place it inside just like you would with a tampon, getting it as high up into the vagina as you can. Slide the plastic end upwards in a similar way to using a tampon applicator to release the tablet and then gently remove the empty applicator. It’s recommended to use the pessary at nighttime to allow it to work overnight. You may get a white, chalk-like discharge from the tablet but this is completely normal.
The Canesten pessary contains a 500mg dose of clotrimazole which is for single use only.
The Canesten pessary is for one use only. If you are also using Canesten cream for external symptoms, the cream can be used until your symptoms have disappeared.
It’s unusual for the Canesten pessary to cause side effects but it can happen, as with any other type of medicine.
Possible side effects include:
If you experience any of the above side effects, you should check in with your doctor.
Canesten should be avoided if you have an allergy to clotrimazole or any of the other ingredients.
Before using Canesten pessary, you should speak with your doctor if any of the following apply:
You should also speak to your doctor before using Canesten pessary if you have any of the following symptoms:
These could be signs of a different type of infection and should be assessed and treated accordingly.
The Canesten pessary may be less effective if you use it during a menstrual period.
Do not use other vaginal products such as tampons, intravaginal douches or spermicides while using Canesten pessary.
Be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, particularly tacrolimus or sirolimus.
There is no need to avoid alcohol while using Canesten.
It’s recommended to seek advice from your midwife or doctor before using Canesten to treat your thrush to make sure that it is safe.
Your fertility will not be affected by Canesten.
Canesten is likely to damage the latex in condoms and diaphragms so you should use alternative precautions or abstain from sex for at least five days after using this product. Canesten pessary won’t have any effect on hormonal forms of contraception such as the pill, implant, injection or coil.
It’s advised that you do not have sex while you are being treated for thrush. While it’s not a sexually transmitted infection, it can be passed on during sex so you risk reinfecting yourself or exacerbating your symptoms.
Vaginal thrush can be treated with either a vaginal pessary, intravaginal cream, or with an oral fluconazole tablet. Thrush typically also infects the external vulval area, causing itching and discomfort. To treat the external infection, an antifungal cream is recommended alongside the Canesten pessary.
Canesten pessary is for the treatment of vaginal thrush only.
Canesten is an anti-fungal medicine, it’s not an antibiotic. Antibiotics are designed to fight bacterial infection, not fungal infections such as thrush.
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