Candidiasis, a side effect of a well-known drug

This is a fungal infection that can appear in the mouth, vagina, or skin, causing white or red patches and itching, irritation, or both.

You are surely familiar with Omeprazole, a medicine used in adults to combat gastroesophageal reflux, ulcers in the upper part of the intestine (duodenal ulcer) or stomach (gastric ulcer), ulcers infected with a bacterium called “Helicobacter pylori”, those caused by drugs called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)… Most of them, to end heartburn. But did you know that one of the side effects of this drug is candidiasis?

‘Rare’ side effects (those which may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people) include:

Blood problems, such as a low number of white blood cells or platelets. This can cause weakness or bruising and increase the risk of infection.

Allergic reactions, sometimes very serious, including swelling of the lips, tongue and throat, fever and wheezing.

Low concentration of sodium in the blood. It can cause weakness, vomiting and cramps.

Agitation, confusion or depression.

· Taste alterations.

Visual problems, such as blurred vision.

Sudden feeling of shortness of breath (bronchospasm).

· Dry mouth.

· Inflammation inside the mouth.

· An infection called ‘candidiasis’ which can affect the intestine and is caused by a fungus.

Liver problems, such as jaundice, which can cause yellowing of the skin, dark urine and fatigue.

Hair loss (alopecia).

Skin rash with sun exposure.

Joint pain (arthralgia) or muscle pain (myalgia).

severe kidney problems (interstitial nephritis).

· Increased sweating.

The most common, however, are headaches, effects on the stomach or intestine: diarrhea, stomach aches, constipation and gas (flatulence), nausea or vomiting and even benign polyps in the stomach.

It can also cause, although less commonly, swelling of the feet and ankles, insomnia, dizziness, tingling sensations, drowsiness, vertigo, skin rashes and itching, as well as a sensation general malaise accompanied by a lack of energy.

What is candidiasis

It is a fungal infection caused by various species of Candida yeast, especially Candida albicans. The most common type of yeast infection is a superficial infection of the mouth, vagina, or skin, causing white or red patches and itching, irritation, or both.

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