ciclopirox, Penlac, Loprox

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

GENERIC NAME: ciclopirox

BRAND NAME: Penlac, Loprox

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Ciclopirox is a synthetic broad-spectrum antifungal agent that inhibits the growth of dermatophytes, a type of fungus that grows on the skin, hair, and nails. When applied to skin a very small percentage is absorbed into the body. It was approved for use in the U.S. by the FDA in December 1999.

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Solution: 8%; Cream/lotion/gel: 0.77%; Shampoo: 1%

STORAGE: Ciclopirox should be stored at room temperature, 15-30 C (59-86 F). Use or storage near heat or open flame should be avoided since the solution is flammable.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Ciclopirox is used topically (on the skin or nails) for treating mild or moderate finger or toenail fungus (onychomycosis), athlete's foot, ringworm, jock itch, tinea versicolor, and seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp.

DOSING: Ciclopirox is applied once or twice a day to affected areas depending on the condition being treated.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Use together with other medications for fungal infection is not recommended. Nail polish or other cosmetic products should not be used on the treated nails.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of ciclopirox in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: When applied to skin a very small amount of ciclopirox is absorbed into the body. It is not known whether ciclopirox is excreted in breast milk. Because of a potential for side effects in the nursing infant, the physician must weigh the potential benefits and possible risks before prescribing ciclopirox to nursing mothers.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of ciclopirox include redness around the nail bed and nail fold, itching, burning sensation of the skin and pain, dry skin, rash, acne, and hair loss.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Last Editorial Review: 7/19/2012




Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pill Finder Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.


Back to Medications Index