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clotrimazole (Topical route)

Pronunciation

kloe-TRIM-a-zole

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Clotrim Antifungal
  • Cruex Prescription Strength
  • Lotrimin
  • Lotrimin AF
  • Mycelex

In Canada

  • Canesten
  • Clotrimaderm
  • Desenex
  • Myclo-Derm
  • Neo-Zol

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Lotion
  • Solution
  • Cream

Therapeutic Class: Antifungal

Chemical Class: Imidazole

Uses For clotrimazole

Clotrimazole topical preparations are used to treat fungus infections on the skin.

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clotrimazole is available both over-the-counter (OTC) and with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using clotrimazole

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 clotrimazole, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to clotrimazole 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.

Pediatric

clotrimazole has been tested in children and, in effective doses, has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems than it does in adults.

Geriatric

Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of topical clotrimazole in the elderly with use in other age groups, clotrimazole is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters C Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast Feeding

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.

Interactions with Medicines

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. When you are taking clotrimazole, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using clotrimazole with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Fentanyl
  • Tacrolimus
  • Trimetrexate

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

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 clotrimazole

Apply enough clotrimazole to cover the affected and surrounding skin areas, and rub in gently.

Keep clotrimazole away from the eyes.

When clotrimazole is used to treat certain types of fungus infections of the skin, an occlusive dressing (airtight covering, such as kitchen plastic wrap) should not be applied over the medicine. To do so may cause irritation of the skin. Do not apply an occlusive dressing over clotrimazole unless you have been directed to do so by your doctor.

To help clear up your infection completely, it is very important that you keep using clotrimazole for the full time of treatment , even if your symptoms begin to clear up after a few days. Since fungus infections may be very slow to clear up, you may have to continue using clotrimazole every day for several weeks or more. If you stop using clotrimazole too soon, your symptoms may return. Do not miss any doses .

Dosing

The dose of clotrimazole 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 clotrimazole. 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.

  • For topical dosage forms (cream, lotion, and solution):
    • Fungal infections (treatment):
      • Adults and children—Use two times a day, morning and evening.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of clotrimazole, 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.

Storage

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.

Precautions While Using clotrimazole

If your skin problem does not improve within 4 weeks, or if it becomes worse, check with your doctor.

clotrimazole Side Effects

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 as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • Skin rash, hives, blistering, burning, itching, peeling, redness, stinging, swelling, or other sign of skin irritation not present before use of clotrimazole

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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