Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antifungal
Uses For clioquinol
Clioquinol belongs to the family of medicines called anti-infectives. Clioquinol topical preparations are used to treat skin infections.
Clioquinol is available without a prescription.
Before Using clioquinol
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 clioquinol, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to clioquinol 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.
Clioquinol is not recommended in children younger than 2 years of age. Although there is no specific information comparing use of clioquinol in children 2 years of age and older with use in other age groups, clioquinol is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.
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 clioquinol in the elderly with use in other age groups, clioquinol is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
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. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
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.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of clioquinol. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Kidney disease or
- Liver disease—Caution is advised with clioquinol use in patients with liver or kidney disease
Proper Use of clioquinol
Before applying clioquinol, wash the affected area with soap and water, and dry thoroughly.
Do not use clioquinol in or around the eyes. If accidental contact occurs, flush eyes with water.
Do not bandage or apply an occlusive dressing (airtight covering, such as kitchen plastic wrap) over clioquinol, since it may increase the infection and may cause unwanted drug absorption into the body. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
To use the ointment form of clioquinol:
- Apply a thin layer of ointment to the affected area and rub in gently. The ointment is recommended for use on dry, crusted lesions.
To help clear up your infection completely, keep using clioquinol for the full time of treatment, even if your symptoms have disappeared. Do not miss any doses.
The dose of clioquinol 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 clioquinol. 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 form (ointment):
- For bacterial or fungus infections:
- Adults and children 2 years of age and older—Apply to the affected area(s) of the skin two or three times a day.
- Children younger than 2 years of age—Use is not recommended.
- For bacterial or fungus infections:
If you miss a dose of clioquinol, 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.
Precautions While Using clioquinol
Clioquinol should not be used for more than 1 week. If your skin problem does not improve in 1 week, or if it becomes worse, check with your doctor.
Clioquinol should not be used to treat large areas of the skin or large open skin lesions. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
Clioquinol may turn yellow in color when exposed to air. It may stain clothing, skin, hair, and nails yellow. Avoid getting clioquinol on your clothing since bleaching may not remove the stain.
Before you have any medical tests, tell the doctor in charge that you are using clioquinol. The results of some tests may be affected by clioquinol.
Clioquinol 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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Burning, itching, rash, redness, swelling, or other sign of skin irritation not present before use of clioquinol or becoming worse during treatment
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)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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