Ketoconazole Related

Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read labels and use as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.

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Ketoconazole is an antifungal medication effective at killing certain types of fungus found on the body, including the scalp. It is more commonly known by brand names Nizoral, Ketodan, Kuric, or Xolegel.

Originally available in tablets, oral suspensions and other formulations designed to be ingested, the medication is now almost exclusively used topically. With respect to oral administration, newer antifungals are generally more effective and less likely to produce serious side effects. In fact it is currently difficult to buy Ketoconazole for oral administration in most areas, though is is still occasionally used, in combination with other drugs, to treat prostate cancer and Cushing's syndrome.

Topical use of Ketoconazole is still common, and the product is widely available as a cream and a shampoo. It is considered a safe and effective treatment for:

  • Athlete's foot
  • Jock itch
  • Ringworm
  • Dandruff
  • Tinea versicolor
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Certain yeast infections

Both creams and shampoos typically come in a 2% solution. Some areas require a prescription to buy Ketoconazole, others do not. Shampoos in particular are often available over-the-counter, though they may not be as potent as the prescription variety.

Treating Fungal Skin Infections

Ketoconazole cream may be applied to any external fungal infection. It should not be applied to mucous membranes, such as the mouth or vagina, without explicit doctor instruction, as the risk of side effects is much greater. Likewise, it should never be applied to open wounds.

The 2% cream is typically applied twice per day to the affected area, extending a short way onto surrounding healthy tissue. Improvements are usually noticed within a day or two of starting treatment. Treatment should continue for a minimum of two weeks even if symptoms disappear. In cases of seborrheic dermatitis, treatment should continue for a minimum of four weeks.

Treatment may continue longer if the condition has not cleared up entirely, but if no significant improvements are noticed after a week of treatment, or if the condition worsens during treatment, alternative therapies should be considered.

Treating Scalp Infections

Shampoos containing Ketoconazole are used similarly to regular shampoo; the product is applied to damp hair, lathered, and rinsed off.

If using a 2% shampoo it should be allowed to sit on the scalp for 5 minutes after lathering, before rinsing it off. One application is often enough; it may be applied again as-needed if the condition resurfaces in the future.

Shampoos with a dosage lower than 2% will need several applications; once daily for four days is typical. Again treatment may be extended or repeated as-needed.

Adverse Effects

A big reason so many patients buy Ketoconazole topical applications, or any topical antifungal, is because the risk of serious side effects is very small compared to taking oral counterparts. What side effects are associated with the drug involve skin irritation at the application site:

  • Burning, stinging, or tingling sensation
  • Mild rash or itching
  • Dry skin or scalp
  • Other mild irritation

Very rarely some individuals do experience more serious adverse reactions. Stop use until speaking with a doctor if the following symptoms occur at the application site:

  • Blistering or bleeding
  • Redness, swelling or pain
  • Severe rash, itching or hives

The medication does not cross the skin and enter the bloodstream, so it cannot produce side effects elsewhere in the body.

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**Important note for patrons: The information on this page is not official label or safety information as written by the manufacturer or reviewed by the FDA. We only list for sale and refer orders to our affiliates for medications approved in the country where they are licensed, and any product requiring a prescription must be sold under the direction of a licensed physician.
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