The 6 Best Over-the-Counter Yeast Infection Medicines of 2022

Monistat's Yeast Infection Treatment contains 6.5% tioconazole to treat yeast

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Three out of four people with vaginas will experience yeast infections at some point in their lifetime. “People become symptomatic when an overgrowth of the organism, typically Candida, penetrates the superficial layers of the skin," says Barbara Frank, MD, an OB-GYN in Brookline, Massachusetts, and medical adviser to Attn: Grace. Because yeast infections can cause itching burning, and redness, it's important to have over-the-counter yeast infection medicines on hand.

Reviewed & Approved

Monistat's 1-Day Yeast Infection Treatment is formulated with 6.5% tioconazole ointment to treat yeast. Vagisil's Anti-Itch Creme has anti-itch ingredients and provides quick relief.

Yeast infection medications include antifungal cream. However, if the infection spreads to a larger area or you’re one of the few people who experiences them frequently, a doctor’s visit and oral prescription medication may be necessary.

We researched dozens of over-the-counter yeast infection medicines and evaluated them for price, ingredients, uses, and symptoms targeted. Each of the over-the-counter yeast infection medicines chosen in this article was determined to be the best of these factors.

What to Look for in Yeast Infection Treatments

Dosage

Dosage instructions are usually printed clearly on product boxes or packaging. However, Dr. Frank notes that you can use dosages depending on the severity of your symptoms. “The vaginal treatment can be for one, three, or seven days depending on the severity of your symptoms,” says Dr. Frank. “Most people tolerate the oral treatment much better, and it has the added benefit of being much cheaper than over-the-counter.”

However, Felice Gersh, MD, OB-GYN, founder of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, in California, and author of PCOS SOS Fertility Fast Track, notes that if you don’t see immediate relief (within one to three days), you should contact a doctor immediately. “Naturally, OTC therapies will not work when the diagnosis is incorrect. Also, OTC therapies will not work well if the yeast is a resistant strain to the medication. When that happens, it’s time to switch to an alternative therapy—whether from the OTC to the oral medication, or the other way,” she says. 

Active Ingredients

There are a variety of active ingredients found ineffective yeast infection treatments. “Effective treatment for a yeast infection is typically a type of antifungal,” says Dr. Frank. “Those usually end in -azole, such as fluconazole (for oral treatments) or miconazole (for topical treatments).” She adds that prescription topical medications may also have steroids to help ease inflammation and related discomfort.

Dr. Gersh notes, “Medications that only address the symptoms of burning and itching include the ingredients benzocaine (a numbing agent), resorcinol, and sometimes hydrocortisone (a mild steroid).” She adds, “There is an OTC local anesthetic cream containing benzocaine 5% and resorcinol 2%,” so if you’re looking for something to numb symptoms fast, look for a combination of those two ingredients. 

Additionally, “mineral oil is an ingredient that may help as a soothing ingredient,” notes Dr. Gersh. Benzocaine, resorcinol, and hydrocortisone are ingredients that soothe the symptoms. 

Form

Here’s where yeast infection medications can get confusing. There are so many different options of yeast infection treatments, including inserts, creams, and oral pills. If you’ve never had a yeast infection before or don’t have any experience taking these medications, something like an insert may be intimidating. If you’re experiencing extreme itch or burning, a cream might sound immediately soothing.

“The most popular varied treatments include vaginal creams and suppositories and oral tablets,” says Dr. Gersh. “Comparing the vaginal therapies to the oral ones, both work fairly well. Unfortunately, there are now resistant strains of yeast that no longer respond well to either therapy.”

Though uncommon, it is possible for men to get yeast infections as well. Dr. Frank says that this can happen “in the glans of the penis (more likely if uncircumcised) or in the groin folds, but it is much less common.” If this is the case, there are certain products for men to manage yeast infection symptoms. Look for products that advertise as relieving “jock itch,” or burning, itching, chafing, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does yeast infection medication delay your period?

    Not inherently, but if you get stressed out about it, the stress can delay your period, according to Sophia Yen, MD, MPH, the co-founder and CEO of Pandia Health.

  • Can you take yeast infection medication if you’re not sure you have a yeast infection?

    "I do not recommend it. Your vagina has natural yeast and bacteria that coexist in harmony. You should only use yeast infection medication when the yeast gets out of control. If you use it when the yeast is in harmony, the medication will kill the yeast, and the bacteria may take over, causing bacterial vaginosis," says Dr. Yen.

  • Can you drink alcohol while taking yeast infection medication?

    You can drink alcohol while using yeast infection medication vaginally. However, if you are using the prescription oral medication for yeast infection (metronidazole), you should not drink alcohol with it. If you do, you risk a disulfiram reaction (nausea, vomiting, etc.), according to Dr. Yen.

Below, you'll find the best over-the-counter yeast infection medicines on the market today.

Best Overall: Monistat 1-Day Yeast Infection Treatment

Monistat
Pros
  • Gentle on the surrounding skin

  • Won’t cause additional burning

  • Quick relief

Cons
  • Only one dose

  • May cause uncomfortable itching

We selected this single-dose cream as the best overall pick because it contains 6.5% tioconazole ointment, which has been shown to be an effective ingredient in treating yeast infections and other types of bacteria. It’s tough on yeast but gentle on sensitive and irritated skin in the surrounding area, so the burning or discomfort often experienced with strong treatments is avoided. Plus, it offers quick results—within three days or less.

Active Ingredients: Tioconozole 300mg (6.5%) | Dose: One-dose treatment | Uses: To treat yeast infections

What the Experts Say

"Sometimes people think it’s yeast, but it’s not. It could be bacterial vaginosis, which requires a prescription to get rid of and is usually a runny, thin, gray, fish-smelling discharge. It does not need to be treated unless it's bothering you or you are pregnant and have a history of a premature baby. It could also be a sexually transmitted infection (chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, etc.)." — Sophia Yen, MD, MPH, the co-founder and CEO of Pandia Health, the only women-founded, women-led, doctor-led birth control delivery service

Best Suppository: NutraBlast Boric Acid Suppositories

NutraBlast Boric Acid Suppositories

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Helps balance vaginal pH

  • No-mess application

  • Natural, organic, and sustainable formula

Cons
  • Needs to be taken continuously for seven to 14 days

  • Slow acting

Each vaginal suppository contains the recommended 600 milligrams (mg) of 100% pure boric acid powder to target and eliminate excess yeast at the source. It offers immediate pain relief and works to improve overall vaginal health, balancing pH, and eliminating odors. If preferred, suppository applicators are sold separately.

Active Ingredients: Boric acid powder 600 mg | Doses: 30 | Uses: Supports healthy vaginal PH

What the Experts Say

"For over-the-counter, they are all vaginal. You can't just treat the outside; otherwise, it will not go away. There are creams vs. suppositories. I haven’t tried the suppositories personally, but I would think the creams would cover more surface area and thus might provide more topical relief if itching is a huge issue. You have to be comfortable sticking cream/suppository into your vagina. They work by killing the yeast, just like the prescription treatment does." — Dr. Sophia Yen

Best Preventative: YeastGard Advanced Yeast Gard Advanced Suppositories

YeastGard
Pros
  • Relieves burning, itching, and irritation

  • Frequent sufferers may benefit from a daily pill

Cons
  • Relieves symptoms but does not cure infection

Probiotics and calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, and stone root aids combine in this daily supplement to relieve yeast infections internally. These easy-to-swallow capsules go one step further by helping prevent future infections.

While not proven, they may relieve a range of yeast infection symptoms including itching, burning, and irritation without any mess. They may also work to prevent future yeast infections.

Because it’s a homeopathic product, it's not evaluated or regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so be sure to consult a medical professional before starting a supplement regimen.

Active Ingredients: Collinsonia Canadensis 3X* HPUS** (Stone Root), Kali Muriaticum 3X* HPUS** (Potassium Chloride), Calcarea Carbonica 6X* HPUS** (Calcium Carbonate) | Doses: 60 | Uses: Relieves yeast infection symptoms and helps prevent them

Best Cream: Vagisil Anti-Itch Creme

Vagisil Anti-Itch Creme

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Quick relief

  • Maximum strength available

Cons
  • Not easily absorbed into the skin

  • Relieves symptoms but does not cure infection

This cream comes out on top for its fast-acting symptom relief and instant soothing power. In addition to benzocaine and resorcinol, Vagisil Maximum Strength Anti-Itch also contains vitamins A, D, and E, as well as a patented odor block technology in the soothing, hypoallergenic formula.

Active Ingredients: Benzocaine (20%) | Doses: Multiple | Uses: To relieve itch symptoms due to yeast infections

What the Experts Say

"OTC creams were formerly available by prescription, and then, as is common, after the medication went generic, it went into the over-the-counter status. Nevertheless, yeast doesn’t always respond to these medications, as some varieties have developed resistance to them. There are also medications available as OTC therapies that have no therapeutic action against yeast, only containing substances that reduce itching and burning. Such products serve only to mask symptoms and not to address the agent causing the symptoms, typically Candida albicans, the most common yeast species causing vaginal yeast infections. Benzocaine, resorcinol, and hydrocortisone are ingredients that soothe the symptoms." — Felice Gersh, MD, is an award-winning OB-GYN and founder/director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, in California, and the author of PCOS SOS Fertility Fast Track

Best Budget: Clotrimazole 3 Day Vaginal Cream

Vaginal Cream
Pros
  • Kills fungus on site

  • Comes with three disposable applicators

  • Works to cure yeast infections

Cons
  • Can be messy

This box includes not one but two regimens, and it’s still easier on the wallet than a single dose of competitors’ meds. It's a budget buy, but it’s no less effective than pricier options. The thicker cream stays put and absorbs well to calm burning and itching quickly.

Most customers reported the product worked better than other antifungals they’ve previously tried and calmed itching instantly. The active ingredient is clotrimazole, which research shows is effective at fighting infections caused by yeast and certain bacteria.

Active Ingredients: Clotrimazole (2%) | Doses: 3 | Uses: To cure existing yeast infection

What the Experts Say

"Generally, you want something ending in '-azole'—specifically clotrimazole or miconazole. Potential side effects could include irritation and local burning." — Dr. Sophia Yen

Best for Men: Lotrimin AF Jock Itch Antifungal Cream

Lotrimin AF Jock Itch Antifungal Cream

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Kills fungus on site

  • Easy to use

  • Relieves burning, itching, and irritation

Cons
  • Price

For men dealing with yeast infections, a cream tends to be easy to apply exactly where it’s needed. “Men can also get yeast infections in the glans of the penis (more likely if uncircumcised) or in the groin folds, but it is much less common,” says Dr. Frank. “Topical treatment is similar. However, it is usually for a longer period of time.”

This antifungal cream is marketed for a general jock itch, but reviewers say it relieves itching, burning, and other symptoms of yeast infections. It’s tough on yeast and other fungi, yet gentle enough for use around the groin. The active ingredient is 1% clotrimazole, which is a strong antifungal. Reviewers also note it worked quickly to cure symptoms and wasn’t bothersome at all.

Active Ingredients: Clomitrazole (1%) | Doses: Multiple | Uses: Relieves itching and burning

Final Verdict

Because relief doesn’t require a long wait with the fast-acting Monistat 1-Day Vaginal Antifungal (view at Amazon), we chose it as our top pick. Alternatively, NutraBlast Boric Acid Vaginal Suppositories (view at Amazon) get rave reviews from customers who say it does the trick when other medications fall short.

If you suspect your condition is not being treated, you may be immune to the antifungal or it’s another issue that’s not a yeast infection. These can include a sexually transmitted infection (previously commonly called a "sexually transmitted disease," or STD, although referring to infections is a more general term that also covers asymptomatic cases), bacterial vaginosis, or something else. “Self-diagnosis of yeast infections is not great,” says Dr. Frank. “Your yeast infection should start to improve after a few days of treatment. If you complete treatment and you are still uncomfortable or if your symptoms worsen significantly, you should call your doctor. The good news is if it is a yeast infection, the cure rates exceed 90%.”

If symptoms persist, see a medical professional for diagnosis and prescription treatment.

What Experts Say

“Yeast infection treatments can be taken either orally or vaginally, and they tend to have the same success rate. The vaginal treatment can be for one, three, or seven days depending on the severity of your symptoms. Most people tolerate the oral treatment much better, and it has the added benefit of being much cheaper than over-the-counter.” Barbara Frank, OB-GYN and medical adviser to Attn: Grace

"Serious allergic reactions aren’t common, but if you do experience symptoms, make sure to get medical help right away. These types of symptoms include severe dizziness, trouble breathing, rash, and itching/swelling (specifically in the throat, tongue, or face)." — Sophia Yen, MD, MPH, the co-founder and CEO of Pandia Health, the only women-founded, women-led, doctor-led birth control delivery service

Why Trust Verywell Health

As a seasoned health writer, Jennifer Nied understands how vital quality product recommendations are for treating symptoms safely and effectively at home. For over 10 years, she has reviewed products, interviewed experts, scrutinized ingredients, and pored over research studies and claims, to help readers like you understand what works for your specific conditions. Every product in this piece was selected taking into account recommendations from doctors, published research, and real customer reviews.

Additional reporting to this story by Brittany Leitner 

As a health writer with over eight years of experience, Brittany Leitner understands how important access to information is when it comes to making educated health decisions. She has interviewed dozens of medical experts, tested out hundreds of products, and aims to provide quality recommendations that won't break the bank.

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3 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Paladine HL, Desai UA. Vaginitis: Diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2018;97(5):321-329.

  3. Crowley PD, Gallagher HC. Clotrimazole as a pharmaceutical: past, present and futureJ Appl Microbiol. 2014;117(3):611-617. doi:10.1111/jam.12554