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Canesten (Clotrimazole) 500mg Pessary

Canesten Pessaries

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Order before 3pm for delivery from Tue. 22 Jun and Wed. 23 Jun.

Buy Canesten Pessaries online

Canesten pessaries are a highly effective, fast-acting anti-fungal treatment that works on the internal causes of vaginal thrush (candidiasis). Canesten pessaries are inserted internally into the vagina allowing the medication to work at the site of the infection and quickly relieving that irritating itch. 

Canesten pessaries can be purchased online, without a prescription, at The Independent Pharmacy in either 100mg, 200mg or 500mg strength and each pack comes with an applicator. All you need to do is complete a short consultation to ensure Canesten pessaries are the best treatment for you.

Canesten Pessaries Information

  • Age: N/A

    Maximum per order: N/A

  • Pregnancy: N/A

    Breastfeeding: N/A

What are Canesten Pessaries?

Canesten pessaries are a proven treatment option for mild to moderate vaginal thrush in those between 16-60 years old. A pessary is a tablet that is inserted into the vagina using a plastic applicator, which is provided in each pack.

Canesten pessaries contain the active ingredient, clotrimazole. Clotrimazole is an anti-fungal medication that when inserted high up into the vagina contained within a pessary kills the fungi or yeast infection that causes the irritation, discomfort and discharge associated with vaginal thrush. 

To get the best results from using your pessary it is recommended that they are inserted before you go to sleep. Using the pessary overnight means it has more time to dissolve in the moisture of the vagina while you are lying down. 

For the most effective relief from the symptoms of vaginal thrush, you may also want to use an external cream, which when applied to the outside of the vagina works quickly to ease soreness and itching. For more information about external creams, visit our Thrush Symptoms & Treatments page. 

Thrush treatments are available without a prescription, however, you must have previously received a diagnosis of vaginal thrush from a doctor before using this product.


What is Canesten Pessary used for?

Canesten pessaries are used to treat the cause of vaginal thrush (candidiasis) by destroying the fungi or yeast that results in the soreness, itching and discharge associated with thrush. 

Canesten pessaries are only suitable to treat vaginal thrush as they require inserting high up inside the vagina using an applicator to work on the source of infection. 

Some people do not want to use pessaries, in which case oral tablets are also available that target the internal cause of thrush. The use of oral tablets is also recommended to treat thrush (candida balanitis) in males. Fluconazole thrush capsules can be viewed and purchased online too.


What is vaginal thrush?

Vaginal thrush is a common fungal infection that is caused by an increase in fungi called Candida. The vagina naturally contains both fungus and bacteria but it is when the Candida is overproduced that you may notice symptoms of vaginal thrush developing. 

Some of the most common symptoms of vaginal thrush are:

  • Itching of the vagina and vulva 
  • Redness and swelling of the vulva and vaginal lips (labia)
  • Cottage-cheese like white discharge

Many women will become infected with vaginal thrush at some point in their lifetime and although it can cause irritation, thrush is not harmful and is easily treatable. For more information about causes, symptoms and treatment options for thrush please see our Thrush Advice page. 

You should speak to your doctor or a pharmacist if the following apply to you:

  • You are not sure whether you are experiencing thrush
  • You think your symptoms may be severe
  • You have experienced more than 2 episodes in 6 months


How do Canesten Pessaries work?

Canesten pessaries contain either 100mg, 200mg or 500mg of the active ingredient Clotrimazole. Canesten pessaries are highly effective at treating vaginal thrush as by using an applicator to insert the pessary high into the vagina it allows the Clotrimazole to begin targeting the source of the infection rapidly. 

Clotrimazole is an antifungal agent which works by targeting the overgrowth of Candida fungi, which causes vaginal thrush. Clotrimazole interferes with the enzymes that help the fungus create strong outer membranes, resulting in the fungal cells becoming leaky. Without an intact membrane, the fungi themselves are unable to survive and the infection is cleared.


How do I know if Canesten Pessaries are working and how long will it take to work?

Canesten pessaries are available in different strengths. The pessaries that come in 100mg and 200mg need to be inserted into the vagina for at least 3 consecutive days whereas the 500mg dose only requires a single dose. 

Some people will notice relief from the symptoms of vaginal thrush after a single application as the pessary is able to work directly at the site of infection. After 3-7 days you should notice that your symptoms have cleared. 

If you are still experiencing thrush symptoms after 7 days or have experienced 2 or more episodes of vaginal thrush within 6 months you should speak to your doctor for further advice. 


How long do Canesten Pessaries take to dissolve?

It is recommended that Canesten Pessaries are inserted at night high up inside the vagina using the applicator, so that they can dissolve inside the vagina while you are asleep.

It is not uncommon for you to notice parts of the dissolved pessary coming out of your vagina over the next few days following commencing treatment, this is normal and does not mean the treatment is not working. You may wish to wear a panty liner during this period as this can leave a white chalky residue.


Canesten Pessary did not dissolve/Canesten Pessary is coming out?

It is normal to notice a white chalky residue coming out of the vagina during treatment using a Canesten pessary if however, you notice pieces of undissolved pessary you should speak to a doctor or pharmacist as it may be that your treatment has not worked. 

Pessaries need moisture to dissolve. It is therefore advised that using the supplied applicator you insert the pessary as high as you can into the vagina before you go to sleep. 

If you know that you have vaginal dryness you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist before using Canesten pessaries for advice.



*Prescription medicines are supplied subject to a medical consultation at the discretion of a doctor.

Canesten Pessary dosage

Canesten pessaries are to be used to treat vaginal thrush only and are to be inserted directly into the vagina. If you have swallowed a Canesten Pessary you should speak to a doctor straight away. 

Canesten pessaries are available in 3 strengths and are suitable to treat mild-moderate vaginal thrush in children and adults from 16-60 years old. 

Canesten Pessary 100mg: Insert 1 pessary at night for 6 consecutive days or insert 2 pessaries at night for 3 consecutive days.

Canesten Pessary 200mg: Insert 1 pessary at night for 3 consecutive days.

Canesten Pessary 500mg: Insert 1 tablet at night for 1 night.


Canesten Pessary instructions

Please see the Patient Information Leaflet for detailed instructions on how to use Canesten pessaries. 

Canesten Pessary should be inserted in 4 easy steps:

  1. Remove the plastic applicator and 1 pessary from the blister pack and insert the pessary into the wide end of the applicator.
  2. Squeeze the wide end of the applicator at both sides and push the pessary into the hole so that about 1cm is inside the applicator. 
  3. Lie down on your back and insert the end of the applicator with the pessary now inside as deep into the vagina as you can and then slowly push the other end to dislodge the pessary leaving it inside the vagina. 
  4. Withdraw the now empty applicator. If you are reusing the applicator ensure that you clean it thoroughly with warm, soapy water between uses.


What if I miss a dose of Canesten Pessaries?

If you forget to insert your pessary before you go to bed you can insert in the next morning but it is best to wait to use it until the following night where possible.


How often can you use Canesten Pessaries?

If you notice that your symptoms have not cleared after 7 days you may need to repeat your treatment and you should discuss this with a doctor or pharmacist. 

If you have recurring symptoms of vaginal thrush on 2 or more occurrences within 6 months you should speak to your doctor for advice.

Canesten Pessary side effects

In the same way, like other medications, there are side effects that are associated with the use of Canesten Pessary. Please be aware that not everyone will experience side effects in the same way. 

This is not a full list of reported side effects, make sure that you have read the Patient Information Leaflet thoroughly before starting treatment. 

If you think you may be experiencing an allergic reaction of severe side effects from the use of Canesten Pessary you should stop using this medication and seek advice from a doctor immediately. 

If you experience any of the following more common side effects and they do not go away after you stop treatment or you are concerned you should speak to a doctor or pharmacist:

  • Discomfort or swelling around the vaginal opening (vulva) or lips (labia)
  • Pain or a burning sensation when inserting the pessary
  • Pain in the lower stomach (pelvic area)
  • Bleeding from the vagina


Burning after using Canesten Pessaries?

One of the more common side effects of using Canesten Pessary is experiencing stinging or a burning sensation inside or around the vagina when inserting or shortly after inserting the pessary. 

If you experience stinging or burning around the vagina and it is very painful, it is causing you concern or does not go away after you stop using the pessaries you should speak to a doctor or pharmacist.

Canesten Pessary ingredients

Canesten pessaries are available in 3 strengths they either contain:

100mg, 200mg, 500g of the active ingredient Clomatrizole. 

Canesten pessaries also contain the inactive ingredients:

Calcium lactate pentahydrate, lactic acid, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate.

Please note this is not a full list of the ingredients contained in Canesten Pessary, you must ensure that you have read and familiarised yourself with the information provided in the Patient Information Leaflet before starting treatment.

Warnings for Canesten Pessaries 

For a full list of warnings and precautions please ensure that you have read the Patient Information Leaflet thoroughly before starting treatment. 

If you are taking any other medication it is advised that you speak to a doctor or pharmacist before starting any new treatments. 

Reading the following warnings carefully will help to ensure you are selecting an appropriate product. 

  • Consult your doctor if this is your first time to experience candidal vaginitis symptoms. 
  • If you or your partner has ever had a sexually transmitted disease, or if you have had more than two cases of candidal vaginitis in the last 6 months, consult your doctor before using the product. 
  • If you are aged over 60 years of age or under 16 years of age, or if you have ever had an allergic reaction to vaginal anti-fungal products including imidazoles and Canesten, consult your doctor before using the product. 
  • Consult your doctor before using Canesten Pessary if you have irregular and abnormal vaginal bleeding or foul smelling vaginal discharge or blood-stained discharge, nausea or vomiting, fever or chills, diarrhoea, vaginal or vulval ulcers, sores or blisters, dysuria, lower abdominal pain or adverse events such as irritation, redness or swelling associated with this product. 
  • Keep out of reach and sight of children.


Canesten Pessaries & pregnancy

Canesten Pessary is not recommended for use during pregnancy, if you are breastfeeding or if you are trying for a baby. If you are experiencing symptoms of thrush and are pregnant or breastfeeding you should speak to your doctor to discuss your options.


Canesten Pessaries during your period

It is recommended that you do not use Canesten Pessary during your period as it may decrease the effectiveness of the treatment. 

You should also avoid using tampons and other intravaginal products when using Canesten pessaries.


Canesten Pessaries and condoms

Canesten Pessary like other pessaries can reduce the effectiveness of rubber contraceptives such as condoms and diaphragms. It is therefore advised that you use alternative precautions during and for at least 5 days after finishing treatment.


Can I have sex when using Canesten pessaries?

Although vaginal thrush is not considered to be a sexually transmitted infection it is possible for the fungi that cause thrush to be passed to a sexual partner. It is therefore recommended that you do not have sexual intercourse until your symptoms have cleared.

Delivery & Shipping Information

Please note that due to the current situation with COVID-19, Royal Mail are experiencing some delays. This may mean that your order takes longer to arrive than you would normally expect. We are working hard to ensure that, where possible, all orders placed before 15:00 are still dispatched the same working day.


UK Orders

We offer FREE standard tracked delivery on orders over £40.

The following delivery options are available:

  • Standard Tracked Delivery - 2 - 3 day delivery - £2.95
  • Express Tracked Delivery - 1 - 2 day delivery - £4.45
  • DPD Next Day - 1 - 2 working days - £6.95
  • Special Delivery (Guaranteed before 21:00) - £8.95
  • Saturday Guaranteed before 21:00 - £10.45

Important Delivery Information

All our orders are sent out using Royal Mail (unless stated). We always aim to dispatch all Royal Mail & DPD orders received before 15:00 the same working day. Any orders received after 15:00 or over the weekend will be dispatched the next working day. Orders will not be dispatched on weekends or bank holidays.

All orders are subject to approval by our team of doctors and pharmacists. Your delivery date in the checkout is subject to your consultation being approved by our healthcare team.

All orders can be fully tracked from your dispatch email, in your online account and from any notifications from your courier.

We ensure all parcels are in plain packaging for discreet delivery of your medicines and pharmacy goods. Where possible, we will attempt to size all parcels to fit through your letterbox in tamper-proof packaging. By placing an order on our website, you confirm that it is safe and appropriate for a package containing medicines to be posted through your letterbox, if the carrier is able to do so. You should notify our customer support team if it is not safe for the package to be posted through the letterbox, for example due to animals or small children.

Deliveries containing pharmacy-only or prescription medicines may require a signature on receipt. 

Delivery is free for all NHS prescriptions.


Royal Mail


  • Fully tracked delivery
  • SMS & email notifications
  • Four-hour delivery window
  • Change delivery date directly with Royal Mail
  • Update delivery location - add a Safeplace, preferred neighbour, or update your delivery location to a local Post Office or Royal Mail Customer Service Point.

Royal Mail are the most widely recognised mail delivery company in the UK. Being on the UK’s 29 million doorsteps six days a week means they offer unparalleled price and convenience. The Independent Pharmacy uses Royal Mail’s Tracked 48, Tracked 24, and Special Delivery Guaranteed parcel services to offer reliable, fully-tracked delivery at very competitive prices. Your Royal Mail parcel will arrive with your normal daily delivery of post.

Please note: Royal Mail do not deliver on Sundays or Bank Holidays - this should be taken into account when ordering. 

If you are not home to accept your delivery, a card should be left by the Royal Mail representative. This card will provide details of where you can collect the order or how to arrange re-delivery.

Should you be unable to collect your missed delivery or arrange for your medication to be redelivered by Royal Mail, the pharmacy can resend your medication to the same, or a different address provided it has been returned to us and this happens within a 30 day window.

Once a package has been shipped with Royal Mail we advise that you are bound to the terms and conditions of their use together with the terms and conditions contained herein.

You have the right to cancel your order up to the point when your treatment is dispatched. The pharmacist must destroy any medication within 30 days of it being returned, even un-opened boxes, so we are not able to offer refunds once your treatment has been dispatched.




  • Fully tracked delivery
  • SMS & email notifications
  • One-hour delivery window
  • Change delivery date directly with DPD
  • Update delivery location - add a Safeplace, preferred neighbour, or update your delivery location to a local collection point.

DPD Local is the most innovative parcel carrier around. Thanks to their industry-leading Predict service, they provide parcel recipients with a one hour delivery window, notified by email, so you don't have to wait in all day. What's more, it enables receivers to watch the progress of their delivery on a real-time map, all the way down to a final 15 minute time-slot. 

As well as keeping customers informed at every stage of the journey, DPD believe in maximising choice and convenience. That's why DPD provide access to a suite of options both on the day of delivery and the night before, allowing customers to take delivery of their goods in a way that suits. If you wish to reschedule, you can:

  • Select an alternative delivery date
  • Opt for delivery to a nominated neighbour
  • Have the parcel left in a specified safe place
  • Collect the parcel from your local DPD Pickup Shop
  • Upgrade delivery to By 12

Please note: DPD do not deliver on Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays - this should be taken into account when ordering. 

Once a package has been shipped with DPD we advise that you are bound to the terms and conditions of their use together with the terms and conditions contained herein.

You have the right to cancel your order up to the point when your treatment is dispatched. The pharmacist must destroy any medication within 30 days of it being returned, even un-opened boxes, so we are not able to offer refunds once your treatment has been dispatched.


Forwarding houses

We are unable to ship orders to mailing or forwarding houses for onwards shipping to locations outside of the UK.


BFPO Postcodes

Unfortunately we are unable to deliver medicines to BFPO postcodes.


Remote Areas

Please be aware that Royal Mail Guaranteed services are not available to all customers in the UK, especially those that live in remote postcodes. Royal Mail advise customers of the following:

We deliver by 17:30 the next working day in the following postcode areas:
AB30 - 39, 41 - 45, 51 - 56
GY9 Alderney (Channel Islands)
HS1, 3 - 9
IV21 - 28, 40 - 49, 51 - 56
KA27, 28
KW1 - 3, 5 - 15
KW16 Stromness Town only
PA20 (0&9)
PA28 - 38, 41 - 49, 76, 77
PH15, 17 - 26, 31 - 40, 49, 50


We deliver within two working days by 17:30 to the following postcodes areas:
GY1 Herm (Channel Islands)
GY9 Sark (Channel Islands)
PA60 - 75, 78
ZE2, 3


We deliver within three working days by 17:30 to the following postcode areas:
KW16 - non-Town
PH30, 41 - 44


Please note: This applies to our 'Special Delivery' and 'Saturday Guaranteed' services.


International Orders

We are currently unable to ship orders outside of the UK.

We are unable to ship orders to mailing or forwarding houses for onwards shipping to locations outside of the UK.

Need to know more about Thrush?

Visit our advice area or contact our support team

Canesten Pessaries Reviews

Unsure about a treatment?
Ask our medical team for impartial information and advice about any treatment we provide or medical condition that we treat before you buy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I use Canesten 500mg pessary?

    Using the provided applicator, insert the pessary high into the vagina as a single dose at bedtime. Follow the instructions provided in the pack. If you have your period you should wait until it’s finished before using the pessary.
    Consult your doctor if your symptoms have not improved within a week of using the pessary.

  • Can I take other medications while using Canesten Pessary?

    In general, you may take Canesten pessary with other medications by mouth, inhaler, injection etc. However, don’t use other vaginal medicines, spermicides, vaginal douches or tampons while using this medication. If you are not sure, consult your pharmacist.

  • Tips for avoiding thrush

    Avoid using deodorants and perfumed products in and around your intimate area.
    Maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid stress to keep your immune system strong.
    Avoid high-sugar foods.
    If you take antibiotics, consult your doctor before using thrush treatments.
    Change your tampons or pads frequently.
    Wipe from front to back after going to the toilet.
    Change your underwear after swimming and working out.
    Do not take very hot baths

  • Are there any side effects associated with Canesten Pessaries?

    Canesten shouldn’t cause any serious side-effects. It occasionally causes some irritation when it is first used. If you experience any other symptoms, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • How to store Canesten Pessaries

    Keep out of the reach of children.

    Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

  • Special precautions for Canesten Pessaries

    Like other pessaries, Canesten Pessary may reduce the effectiveness of condoms or diaphragms.

    You should use alternative contraception for at least five days after using this product, or abstain from sex.

    Do not use intravaginal douches, tampons, spermicides or other vaginal products while using Canessten Pessary.

    When you have thrush, avoid vaginal intercourse because you may infect your partner.

  • Using other medication with Canesten

    Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you take or have recently taken any prescribed or over-the-counter medications.
    Tell your doctor if you take tacrolimus or sirolimus (to prevent organ rejection after a transplant).
    Please read all packaging and the Product Information Leaflet before taking any new medicine and inform your doctor of medicines you are taking or intend to take.

Authored By:

A photo of Dr Donald Grant

Dr Donald Grant

MB ChB DRCOG MRCGP Dip.orth.med

Published on: 10-01-2017

Last modified on: 02-11-2020

Dr Don Grant is a GP with over 30 years experience and is the Clinical Advisor at The Independent Pharmacy

Reviewed By:

A photo of  Leanne Sinclair

Leanne Sinclair


Reviewed on: 02-11-2020

Next review date: 02-11-2022

Leanne is a clinical pharmacist with years of experience working in pharmacy.

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