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Being Alive

MEDICAL UPDATE: Warning Labels on Over-the-Counter Drugs


Being Alive 1993 Mar 5: 4

The National Commission on AIDS has asked drug manufacturers to include warning labels on their over-the-counter products for vaginal candidiasis. Preparations such as Monistat-7, Gyne-lotrimin and FemCare have become available without prescription over the last year. Right now, the labels caution women to consult a physician upon first infection, but make no mention of the possible dangers of recurring infection. This is what the commission is asking the manufacturers to address.

In fact, we know that for many women, recurrent vaginal candidiasis is the first symptom of HIV infection. Vaginal candidiasis is often seen in HIV+ women whose T-cell count is above 500. Thus, the condition can serve as an early warning sign for women who may not know that they have been infected with HIV. The Commission wants to get the word out that recurring vaginal candidiasis may be linked to HIV and to urge women with recurring bouts to get tested. 


Information in this article was accurate in March 5, 1993. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.