What is topical calamine lotion, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Calamine is a mixture of zinc oxide and other components. Calamine and zinc oxide are topical anti-itch lotions. Although the exact mechanism of how calamine and zinc oxide work is not known, they have skin protecting and astringent properties that relieve itching. They also seem to slow down bacterial growth, preventing infections from worsening.

What brand names are available for calamine lotion-topical?

Calamine Lotion

Is calamine lotion-topical available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for calamine lotion-topical?


What are the side effects of topical calamine lotion?

Side effects of calamine and zinc oxide are itching, redness, and irritation.

What is the dosage for topical calamine lotion?

The recommended dose for calamine and zinc oxide is: Apply to affected areas every 6 to 8 hours as needed.

Which drugs or supplements interact with topical calamine lotion?

No drug interactions have been established with calamine and zinc oxide lotion.


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Is topical calamine lotion safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies done on calamine and zinc oxide to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women.

It is not known whether calamine and zinc oxide enters breast milk.

What else should I know about topical calamine lotion?

What preparations of calamine lotion-topical are available?

  • Calamine and zinc oxide lotion is available in topical, liquid form.
  • Calamine and zinc oxide is pink-colored suspension, supplied in 4 fluid ounces (118 ml) plastic bottles.

How should I keep calamine lotion-topical stored?

Store calamine and zinc oxide lotion between temperatures 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).


Calamine and zinc oxide (Calamine Lotion) is a mixture of components used to relieve the itching and pain from poison oak, poison ivy, poison sumac, sunburns, and insect and bug bites. Review side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and storage prior to using this medication.

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Medically Reviewed on 6/27/2019