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What is ketoconazole? What are the uses for ketoconazole?
Ketoconazole is an azole antifungal medication used to treat certain serious fungal infections. Ketoconazole is in the same family of drugs as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), and miconazole (Micatin, Monistat). It prevents growth of several types of fungi by preventing production of the membranes that surround fungal cells. The FDA approved ketoconazole in June 1981.
What brand names are available for ketoconazole?
Nizoral, Nizoral A-D, Ketodan, Extina, Xolegel, Kuric
Is ketoconazole available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for ketoconazole?
What are the side effects of ketoconazole?
Ketoconazole generally is well tolerated. Commonly reported side effects of ketoconazole are:
- abdominal pain,
- impotence, and
- blood count abnormalities.
Other important side effects of ketoconazole are rare; they include:
Liver dysfunction also has been reported. Signs of liver problems include unusual fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, yellowing of the skin (jaundice), dark urine, and pale stools. Development of these symptoms while taking ketoconazole should be reported to a physician.
What is the dosage for ketoconazole?
Ketoconazole may be taken with or without food. The oral dose range is 200-400 mg daily. Recurrent tinea versicolor is treated with 400 mg monthly. Topical formulations are administered to affected areas once or twice daily.
Which drugs or supplements interact with ketoconazole?
If your doctor has prescribed this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already know of any possible drug interactions and may be watching out for them. Check with your doctor, health care professional or pharmacist before starting, stoping, or changing the dosage of any medicine.
- severe interactions with at least 33 different drugs
- serious interactions with at least 202 different drugs
- moderate interactions with at least 241 different drugs
- mild interactions with at least 105 different drugs
This information does not contain all possible drug interactions or adverse effects. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the medications and supplements you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Contact your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns or for more information about this medicine.
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Is ketoconazole safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
What else should I know about ketoconazole?
What preparations of ketoconazole are available?
Tablets: 200 mg; Shampoo: 1% and 2%; Cream: 2%, Gel: 2%, Foam: 2%
How should I keep ketoconazole stored?
- Store tablets at room temperature, 15 C to 25 C (59 F to 77 F) and protected from moisture.
- Store shampoo 1% between 2 C to 30 C (35 F to 86 F) and protected from light and freezing.
- Store shampoo 2% at or below 25 C (77 F) and protected from light.
- Store cream and foam at room temperature, 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F).
- Store gel between 15C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
Ketoconazole (Nizoral, Extina, Xolegel, Kuric) is an anti-fungal medication prescribed to treat fungal infections such as thrush, ringworm, jock itch, athlete's foot, dandruff, tinea versicolor, blastomycosis, histoplasmosis, and coccidiomycosis. Side effects and drug interactions should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Picture of Dandruff
A mild skin condition that produces white flakes that may be shed and fall from the hair. See a picture of Dandruff and learn...
Picture of Ringworm Tinea Pedis
Superficial fungal infection of the feet is somewhat unique because of the location. See a picture of Ringworm Tinea Pedis and...
Picture of Ringworm of the Hand
Ringworm may involve the hands, particularly the palms and the spaces between the fingers. See a picture of Ringworm of the Hand...
Picture of Athlete's Foot 2
Athlete's foot is a fungus that causes itching, redness, and cracking. See a picture of Athlete's Foot and learn more about the...
Picture of Types of Ringworm
Ringworm is a common skin disorder otherwise known as tinea. See a picture of Types of Ringworm and learn more about the health...
Picture of Ringworm Illustration
Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin previously thought to be due to a parasite (worm). See a picture of Ringworm and learn...
Picture of Fixed Drug Eruption
A large red-violet plaque on the arm of a child. See a picture of Fixed Drug Eruption and learn more about the health topic.
Picture of Ringworm
This superficial skin infection, also known as tinea, is caused by fungi called dermatophytes. See a picture of Ringworm and...
Picture of Athlete's Foot 1
Athlete's foot is caused by a fungus that grows on or in the top layer of skin. See a picture of Athlete's Foot and learn more...
Related Disease Conditions
Cushing's syndrome, sometimes referred to as hypercortisolism, is a hormonal disorder caused by prolonged exposure to high levels of the hormone cortisol. Symptoms may include obesity, thinning arms and legs, a rounded face, and increased fat around the neck. Some causes of Cushing's syndrome is from taking glucocorticoid hormones such as prednisone for inflammatory diseases. Treatment for Cushing's syndrome depends on the cause.
Athlete's foot (tinea pedis) is a skin infection caused by the ringworm fungus. Symptoms include itching, burning, cracking, peeling, and bleeding feet. Treatment involves keeping the feet dry and clean, wearing shoes that can breathe, and using medicated powders to keep your feet dry.
Thrush and Other Yeast Infections in Children
Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of a type of fungus called Candida. Oral thrush is a yeast infection of the mouth and throat. Oral thrush and yeast infections are treated orally or topically with an antifungal antibiotic called nystatin.
Dandruff (seborrhea) is a skin disorder that results from neither too much moisture nor too much oil. Dandruff can be treated with shampoos that contain tar, salicylic acid, zinc, selenium sulfide, or ketoconazole.
Tinea versicolor is a fungus infection that mainly affects the skin of young people. Recognized by light or reddish brown spots, and areas lighter than the surrounding skin. Tinea versicolor is caused by yeast actually found in our skin. Factors like heat, humidity, and sweat help it proliferate in people, resulting in a rash that is not contagious to others.
The term "ringworm" or "ringworms" refers to fungal infections that are on the surface of the skin. A physical examination of the affected skin, evaluation of skin scrapings under the microscope, and culture tests can help doctors make the appropriate distinctions. A proper diagnosis is essential to successful treatment. Among the different types of ringworm are the following: tinea barbae, tinea capitis, tinea corporis, tinea cruris, tinea faciei, tinea manus, tinea pedis, and tinea unguium.
Thrush (Oral Candidiasis)
Thrush is an infection of the mouth caused by the Candida fungus. Symptoms of thrush include pain or difficulty swallowing, a feeling that food gets stuck in the throat, and fever.
Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by the bite of an infected sand fly. The most common types of leishmania infection are cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis. Leishmaniasis is found mainly in the subtropics and tropics. Symptoms and signs of cutaneous leishmaniasis include skin sores with a raised edge and central crater, while those with visceral leishmaniasis usually have fever, weight loss, and an enlarged liver and spleen.
Folliculitis (Symptoms, Causes, Transmission, Home Treatment, and Cure)
Folliculitis is a skin condition that causes small red bumps to form around the hair follicles. Skin bacteria such as Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas may infect the follicles. Treatment involves over-the-counter bacterial washes, topical antibiotics, and/or topical steroids.
Jock itch is an itchy red rash that appears in the groin area. The rash may be caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. People with diabetes and those who are obese are more susceptible to developing jock itch. Antifungal shampoos, creams, and pills may be needed to treat fungal jock itch. Bacterial jock itch may be treated with antibacterial soaps and topical and oral antibiotics.
Histoplasmosis (Cave Disease)
Histoplasmosis (cave disease) is a disease caused by a fungus called Histoplasma capsulatum. The symptoms are similar to those of pneumonia and include chest pain, fever, and sweats. Antifungal medications are used in treatment.
Valley fever (coccidioidomycosis) is a disease caused by the inhalation of the Coccidioides immitis or C. posadasii fungus. Symptoms are flu-like and resolve over two to six weeks. Infection typically requires no treatment, though there are many antifungal drugs to treat valley fever.
Is Dandruff (Seborrhea) Contagious?
Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff) is a chronic condition in which skin on the scalp flakes and sheds. Dandruff is not contagious. Sunlight exposure and stress reduction can improve the symptoms and signs of dandruff.
Dandruff vs. Dry Scalp
Dandruff is a condition characterized by small white flakes that shed from the scalp. Dry scalp is simply dry skin on one's head. Dry scalp is uncommon, and dandruff is very common. Dandruff treatment and prevention incorporates the regular use of an anti-dandruff shampoo.
Ringworm vs. Eczema
While ringworm is a fungal infection, and eczema is a skin condition, both are characterized by itchiness. Eczema patches are leathery while ringworm involves ring formation on the skin. Over-the-counter antifungals treat ringworm. Topical creams and ointments treat eczema.
Treatment & Diagnosis
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Medications & Supplements
- Diflucan (fluconazole)
- itraconazole, Sporanox
- Lotrisone (clotrimazole and betamethasone topical cream and lotion)
- terconazole (Terazol, Zazole)
- miconazole, Monistat, M-Zole, Micatin
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- Drug Interactions
- Diflucan vs. Ketoconazole
- Ketoconazole Cream vs. Lamisil (terbinafine)
- Ketoconazole Cream (Nizoral) vs. Miconazole (Monistat)
- Metronidazole vs. Ketoconazole
- Side Effects of Nizoral (ketoconazole)
Prevention & Wellness
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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.