backup og meta
Health Screening
Ask Doctor

Monistat (miconazole, antifungal agent)

Written by Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD · Pharmacology

Updated Jun 13, 2021

Monistat is the brand name of various preparations that contain miconazole. Miconazole is an antifungal agent which is useful to treat vaginal infections (e.g. candidiasis, yeast infection)



What is Monistat used for?

Monistat is commonly used to treat vaginal yeast infections. Miconazole ointment reduces vaginal burning, itching, and discharge that may occur with this condition. This medication is an azole antifungal. It works by stopping the growth of yeast (fungus) that causes the infection.

Miconazole is also found in other brands and dosage forms and may be used to treat fungal infections of the mouth, throat, and areas of the gastrointestinal tract.

One preparation of Monistat contains tioconazole instead of miconazole. It is used as an alternative if a woman is sensitive to miconazole.

How should I take Monistat?

If you are using the over-the-counter product, read all directions on the product package before using this medication. If you have any questions, consult your pharmacist or physician.

This product is for vaginal use only. Do not apply the cream to your face or mouth and do not take suppositories via the mouth.

Wash your hands thoroughly before and after use. Avoid contact with this ointment with your eyes. If it gets into your eyes, wash them right away with plenty of water. Call your doctor if eye irritation persists.

Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

This product is usually given as a single dose at bedtime or as directed by your doctor. Learn all preparation and usage instructions in the product package. Lie on your back with your knees toward your chest. Insert the applicator filled with medication into the vagina as far as it will comfortably go. Slowly press the plunger of the applicator in to apply the full dose of the ointment. If you have itching/burning around the outside of the vagina (vulva), you may also apply some ointment to that area.

Do not use tampons, douches, spermicides, or other vaginal products while using this medication. Unscented sanitary napkins may be used for your menstrual period or to protect your clothing from leakage of the medication.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve after 3 days or lasts more than 7 days. Tell your doctor if your infection returns within 2 months. You may need different or additional medication to treat your condition.

How do I store Monistat?

This product is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer. 

There may be different brands of this drug that may have different storage needs. So, it is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, it is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Monistat?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Taking any other medicines. This includes any prescription, OTC, and herbal remedies.
  • An allergy to any of the ingredients of this product.
  • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions, especially:
    • Diabetes
    • Compromised immunity (e.g. HIV/AIDS)
    • Frequent vaginal yeast infections (more than 3 in 6 months or 4 in 1 year)

In addition, this product may reduce the effectiveness of contraceptives like latex condoms. Therefore, if you are sexually active while using this product, it is recommended to have another form of contraception (e.g. oral contraceptive pills, IUD).

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

The vaginal cream form of Monistat is recommended for treating yeast infections during pregnancy. Other forms of this medication may not be safe for pregnant or lactating women. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Monistat.

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Monistat?

Headache or vaginal/urethral burning/itching/pain may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • rash
  • itching
  • swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • dizziness
  • difficulty breathing

However, not everyone experiences these side effects. In addition, some people may experience other side effects. So, if you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Monistat?

Monistat may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects.

To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Monistat?

This drug may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Monistat?

This drug may interact with underlying conditions. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. Therefore, it is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

What is the dose for an adult?

Depending on the variation of the product you are prescribed, Monistat can be administered as an vaginal suppository or vaginal cream.

Treatment duration ranges from 1, 3, or 7 days.

For pregnant women with vaginal yeast infections, the 7-day treatment option is recommended.

What is the dose for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Monistat available?

Monistat is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • 1-Day Treatment 6.5% tioconazole ointment
  • 1-Day Combination Pack 1200 mg miconazole vaginal suppository + 2% miconazole vaginal cream
  • 3-Day Combination Pack 200 mg miconazole vaginal suppositories + 2% miconazole vaginal cream
  • 7-Day Combination Pack 2% miconazole vaginal cream + external cream for itch relief
  • 7-Day Treatment Cream 2% miconazole vaginal cream

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

Overdose is not likely to occur with topical applications. Ingesting the cream or suppository may cause toxicity. In case of accidental ingestion call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

If you miss several consecutive doses, your doctor may require you to restart your treatment from the first day.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Written by

Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD


Updated Jun 13, 2021

ad iconadvertisement

Was this article helpful?

ad iconadvertisement
ad iconadvertisement