Antibiotics and antifungals don't mix

Sheila Rogers is editor of the excellent on-line magazine, Latitudes produced by the Association for Comprehensive Neurotherapy –
This is her rather alarming experience with mixing the two medications.


There’s nothing like a little first-hand experience to turn awareness into conviction. Research tells us that yeast or candida-type fungal infections can impact the central nervous system. We often hear from families and doctors about fungal overgrowth causing or aggravating tics, depression, autism, attention disorders, and/or obsessive compulsive disorder.

For a couple of years I have been dealing with a systemic fungal infection as identified by my gastroenterologist. It’s nothing major but enough to periodically fog my thinking, affect my digestion, and make me feel a little funky and tired now and then. Except for taking probiotics regularly, I’ve been too busy to pay much attention to it. I adopted a hit and miss approach, moderately adjusting my diet and taking some antifungals once in a rare while. But an episode last month sure got my attention.

First, I was given an antibiotic for a dental problem. As many readers know, antibiotics can make a fungal infection flare up – so after the antibiotic I needed an antifungal, and Diflucan was prescribed. I was still taking the Diflucan when I saw a dental surgeon for the tooth, and I discussed this with him. He gave me a prescription for a steroid to be taken before and for several days after the surgery. Trusting his advice I took the medication as directed. This time the fungal infection didn’t just flare up – it exploded. At the time I didn’t realise the source of the problem.

For the first few days I was exhausted and spent half my time in bed. My tongue felt thick and coated, and my mind was so affected that I was zoned out. No wonder I didn’t realise what had caused this – I couldn’t even think straight! I actually had trouble keeping track of what day it was.

To my shock, in the midst of this, one side of my face started twitching repeatedly. I have never had tics or twitches – nothing of the sort! It was then that I rallied my foggy mind to look up details on the steroid I was given. (I know, I should have done that before even filling the Rx.) I learned that the first contraindication – when NOT to prescribe that particular steroid – is in the presence of a systemic fungal infection. Boy, they aren’t kidding.

I stopped the drug immediately. I also adopted a strict yeast free-diet, and for the past couple of weeks I have been doing much better – and thank goodness, no more tics! I’m also starting a different antifungal (nystatin).

I have vowed to take an aggressive approach to restoring my health and eradicating this problem. I was recently in Dallas for a television interview with Doug Kaufmann, host of Know the Cause. He’s renowned for his knowledge of the widespread damage fungal infections can cause. It was perfect timing.


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First published in Febuary 2009

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