Oral thrush is a fungal infection caused by accumulation of Candida albicans on the mucus membrane of the mouth. Candida albicans infects men and women of all age groups. It is the normal inhabitant of oral microbiota in about 50% of the population globally. Candida albicans is normally present in the mouth, but sometimes it can overgrow and become pathogenic to the host’s tissue. Oral thrush usually causes the development of a creamy white lesion on the tongue or inner cheeks. Sometimes it may spread to the gums, tonsils, and/or roof of the oral cavity. In severe cases such as cancer or HIV/AIDS, lesions get worse and spread downward into the esophagus. Several factors such as weakened immunity, diabetes, vaginal yeast infections, and medications may increase the risk of oral thrush infections. Diagnosis of oral thrush depends on the location. If the thrush is limited to the mouth then it can be diagnosed by microscopic examination and blood tests. If oral thrush has spread into the esophagus, then it can be diagnosed with the help of biopsy, endoscopic examination, and/or physical examination. Moreover, oral thrush can be treated with topical anti-infectives such as gentian violet and antifungals such as fluconazole, clotrimazole, etc.
Increasing incidence of candidiasis infections and rising awareness about fungal infections are expected to drive the global oral thrush treatment market during the forecast period. In addition, increasing hygiene awareness in developing countries and popularity of over-the-counter antifungal drugs are also expected to drive the oral thrush treatment market in the near future. However, availability of alternative treatments such digestive health probiotics and occurrence of severe adverse drug reactions may restrain the oral thrush treatment market to some extent. For instance, in August 2013, the U.S. FDA announced that medical professionals should not prescribe ketoconazole tablet as a first line therapy for any fungal infection because of the risk of severe liver injury, adverse drug reactions, and adrenal insufficiency. In July 2013, the European Union withdrew the ketoconazole tablet from the market.
The global oral thrush treatment market can be segmented based on drug class, route of administration, distribution channel, and region. Based on drugs class, the global oral thrush treatment market can be categorized into anti-infective drugs, anti-fungal drugs, and mouth and throat OTC products. In terms of route of administration, the oral thrush treatment market can be classified into topical, oral, and injectables. Based on distribution channel, the global oral thrush treatment market can be segmented into online pharmacies, retail pharmacies, and hospital pharmacies.
In terms of region, the global oral thrush treatment market can be divided into North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. North America is expected to hold a prominent share of the global market due to heavy usage of these medications and high health care expenditure. In addition, rapid uptake of new products and concentration of major players in the U.S. coupled with larger use oral hygiene products are projected to further drive market expansion. The U.S. spent 17.9% of its total GDP on health care in 2016. Europe is expected to be a significant region of the oral thrush treatment market during the forecast period, due to the increasing prevalence of fungal infections and rising awareness about new treatment options in the region. The oral thrush treatment market in Asia Pacific is expected to expand rapidly during the forecast period. Expansion of the market in the region can be attributed to rise in awareness about personal hygiene and access to better health care facilities.
Key players operating in the global oral thrush treatment market include Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited, Bayer AG, Apothecon, Inc. (division of BMS), Leadiant Biosciences, Inc. Pfizer Inc., Sebela Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Johnson & Johnson.
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