Ketoconazole (Topical route)
Uses of This Medicine:
Ketoconazole is used to treat infections caused by a fungus or yeast. It works by killing the fungus or yeast or preventing its growth.
Ketoconazole cream is used to treat:
Ketoconazole foam or gel is used to treat seborrheic dermatitis (scaly areas on your skin or scalp).
Ketoconazole 1% shampoo is used to treat dandruff.
Ketoconazole 2% shampoo is used to treat "sun fungus" (tinea versicolor; pityriasis versicolor).
This medicine may also be used for other fungus infections of the skin as determined by your doctor.
Most forms of this medicine are available only with your doctor's prescription. Some forms are available without a prescription. However, your doctor may have special instructions on the proper use for your medical condition.
Before Using This Medicine:
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of ketoconazole topical in children younger than 12 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ketoconazole topical in the elderly. However, some elderly patients may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medicine.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Proper Use of This Medicine:
It is very important that you use this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may cause unwanted side effects or skin irritation.
This medicine is for use on the skin only. Do not get it in your eyes, nose, mouth, or vagina. Do not use it on skin areas that have cuts, scrapes, or burns. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away with water.
For patients using the cream:
For patients using the foam:
For patients using the gel:
For patients using the 1% shampoo:
For patients using the 2% shampoo:
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions While Using This Medicine:
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and check you for any problems or unwanted effects that may be caused by this medicine.
Do not use this medicine for a skin problem that has not been checked by your doctor.
If your skin problem does not improve within 2 weeks for cutaneous candidiasis, pityriasis versicolor, tinea corporis, or tinea cruris; or 4 weeks for seborrheic dermatitis; or 4 to 6 weeks for tinea pedis, or if it becomes worse, check with your doctor.
Good health habits are also required for patients using the cream form of this medicine to help clear up your infection completely and to help make sure it does not return.
For patients using the cream for athlete's foot (tinea pedis; ringworm of the foot), the following instructions will help keep the feet cool and dry:
For patients using the cream for ringworm of the groin (tinea cruris; jock itch), the following instructions will help reduce chafing and irritation and will also help keep the groin area cool and dry:
The foam form of this medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash; itching; hoarseness; trouble breathing; trouble swallowing; or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using this medicine.
Tell your doctor if you have the following symptoms while using the ketoconazole 2% shampoo: hair discoloration, abnormal hair texture, removal of the curl from permanently waved hair, hair loss, itching, burning sensation of the skin, or blistering, peeling, or redness of the skin.
Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you or your child have a skin rash, burning, stinging, swelling, or irritation on the skin.
Side Effects of This Medicine:
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Last Updated: 4/4/2014
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