Ketoconazole cream is an imidazole antifungal. It works by killing sensitive fungi by interfering with the formation of the fungal cell membrane and weakening it. The weakened cell membrane allows the cell contents to leak out and results in the death of the fungus.
Dosage and direction
Use ketoconazole cream as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
Clean the affected area with soap and water and dry thoroughly. Apply enough medicine to cover the affected area. Rub in gently. Do not cover unless directed otherwise by your doctor. Wash your hands immediately after using ketoconazole cream, unless your hands are part of the treated area.
Keep ketoconazole cream out of your eyes, nose, and mouth. If this occurs, wash with water and contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
To clear up your infection completely, use ketoconazole cream for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
If you miss a dose of ketoconazole cream, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use ketoconazole cream.
Be sure to use ketoconazole cream for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
If you use topical products too often, your condition may become worse.
If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
Some of these products contain sulfites. Sulfites may cause an allergic reaction in some patients (eg, asthma patients). If you have ever had an allergic reaction to sulfites, ask your pharmacist if your product has sulfites in it.
Talk to your doctor before you take ketoconazole cream if you drink more than 3 drinks with alcohol per day.
Ketoconazole cream should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using ketoconazole cream while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using ketoconazole cream.
Do NOT use ketoconazole cream if: you are allergic to any ingredient in ketoconazole cream
Possible side effects
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Itching; mild irritation or stinging.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); reddening, blistering, peeling, itching, or burning of your skin.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
Some medical conditions may interact with ketoconazole cream. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
if you have low blood sugar levels, liver disease, or porphyria (a blood disease), sulfite sensitivity, or you drink more than 3 alcohol-containing drinks a day
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with ketoconazole cream. Because little, if any, of ketoconazole cream is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.
Ask your health care provider if ketoconazole cream may interact with other medicines that you take.
Store ketoconazole cream between 59 and 77 degrees F (15 and 25 degrees C). Store in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep ketoconazole cream out of the reach of children and away from pets.