Generic Name: calamine (topical) (KAL a mine)
Brand Name: Calamine Plain
Medically reviewed on July 10, 2017
What is calamine?
Calamine is an anti-itch medicine that works by causing a cooling sensation as it evaporates on your skin. Calamine also dries oozing or weeping from minor skin irritation.
Calamine topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use calamine topical if you are allergic to it.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use this medicine if you have other medical conditions, especially any allergies.
It is not known whether calamine topical will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor's advice if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether calamine topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor's advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I use calamine?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Before you apply calamine topical, wash the skin with soap and water. Allow the skin to dry completely.
Shake the calamine lotion well just before each use.
Apply calamine topical directly to the skin and rub in gently, allowing it to dry on your skin. You may also use a cotton ball to smooth the medicine onto your skin.
Wash your hands with soap and water after applying the medicine.
Calamine lotion may leave a thin film on the skin as it dries. You may cover the treated area with loose clothing, but calamine can stain fabrics it comes in contact with.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, or if your symptoms clear up and then come back.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze or refrigerate.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since calamine is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are on a schedule, apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
An overdose of calamine is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.
What should I avoid while using calamine?
Do not take by mouth. Calamine topical is for use only on the skin. If this medicine gets in your eyes, nose, mouth, rectum, or vagina, rinse with water.
Avoid using other medications on the areas you treat with calamine unless your doctor tells you to.
Calamine side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
redness, rash, pus, or other signs of infection.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect calamine?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied calamine. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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