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Quick summary

Type of medicine

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medication



Active Ingredient


Effective within

1 to 3 Days

Works by

Targeting Fungal Infections

Side effects

Vaginal Irritation, Itching, Discomfort

Medication details


Canesten HC Cream is an OTC medication designed to treat various fungal skin infections, including thrush. It contains clotrimazole, an antifungal that targets and eradicates the fungi responsible for the infection, and hydrocortisone, which reduces inflammation and relieves itching and redness. This cream offers fast relief and promotes skin healing. Use as directed for best results.


Using Canesten Soft Gel Pessary 500mg is straightforward and can be easily incorporated into your daily routine:
Wash Hands: Before handling the pessary, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to maintain proper hygiene.
Lay Down: To facilitate the insertion of the pessary, it is recommended to lie on your back with your knees bent and legs slightly apart.
Remove the Pessary from Packaging: Carefully remove the soft gel pessary from its packaging, ensuring that it remains intact and undamaged.
Insert the Pessary: Gently insert the pessary deep into the vagina using your fingers or the applicator provided in the packaging. Follow the instructions on the packaging for guidance.
Wash Hands Again: After insertion, wash your hands thoroughly again to prevent contamination.
Use at Night: It is often recommended to use the pessary at bedtime to allow for maximum absorption and effectiveness.
Complete the Full Course: It's important to complete the full course of treatment, even if your symptoms improve before finishing the medication.


The active ingredient in Canesten Soft Gel Pessary 500mg is:
Clotrimazole: Clotrimazole is an antifungal medication that works by disrupting the cell membranes of the Candida yeast, causing it to weaken and eventually die. This effectively treats the fungal infection and relieves symptoms.
In addition to the active ingredient, Canesten Soft Gel Pessary contains other components that help form the soft gel structure and ensure the stability and effectiveness of the product.

Side Effects

Canesten Soft Gel Pessary 500mg is generally well-tolerated, and side effects are rare. However, as with any medication, individual responses may vary. The most commonly reported side effects, which are typically mild and temporary, may include:
Vaginal irritation or burning
Itching or discomfort in the treated area
Abdominal cramps or pain
These side effects are usually short-lived and should subside as the treatment progresses. If you experience severe or persistent side effects, discontinue use and consult a healthcare provider.


Before using Canesten Soft Gel Pessary 500mg, consider the following warnings and precautions:
Not Suitable for Allergies: If you are allergic to clotrimazole or any of the ingredients in the product, do not use Canesten Soft Gel Pessary.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult with a healthcare provider before using this medication.
Use as Directed: Use the pessary exactly as directed on the packaging or as advised by a healthcare provider. Do not exceed the recommended dosage or duration of treatment.
Condoms and Diaphragms: The use of Canesten Soft Gel Pessary may weaken latex condoms and diaphragms, potentially reducing their effectiveness. It is recommended to use alternative methods of contraception during treatment and for at least five days afterward.
Multiple Infections: If you have experienced multiple fungal infections within a short period, consult with a healthcare provider for further evaluation and treatment.

Medically reviewed and published

  • This page was medically reviewed by Dr Sohaib Imtiaz, Clinical Lead on Oct 5, 2023, 2:45 pm

How it works

Start a consultation for your condition, select a treatment option, and our in-house clinicians will review and prescribe if suitable. Expect your order within 1-3 working days.

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Please read our FAQs page to find out more.

Can I Use Canesten Soft Gel Pessary for Recurrent Thrush?

Yes, Canesten Soft Gel Pessary can be used to treat recurrent thrush. However, if you experience frequent recurrences, consult with a healthcare provider for a comprehensive evaluation and potential preventive measures.

How Long Does It Take for Canesten Soft Gel Pessary to Work?

Many individuals experience relief from thrush symptoms within a few days of starting treatment with Canesten Soft Gel Pessary. However, complete resolution may take the full course of treatment, which is typically one to three days.

Can I Have Intercourse While Using Canesten Soft Gel Pessary?

It is generally recommended to avoid sexual intercourse during the course of treatment with Canesten Soft Gel Pessary, as it may weaken latex condoms or diaphragms. It's advisable to wait until treatment is completed.

Can Men Use Canesten Soft Gel Pessary?

Canesten Soft Gel Pessary is specifically designed for vaginal use and is intended for women. Men with thrush symptoms should consult with a healthcare provider for appropriate treatment options.

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