How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Clotrimazole belongs to the class of medications called antifungals. It is used to treat various skin infections caused by fungus or yeast. Clotrimazole works by killing the overgrowth of yeast or fungus that causes the infection.

Clotrimazole can be used to treat tinea pedis (athlete's foot), tinea cruris (jock itch), tinea corporis (ringworm), candidiasis (various yeast infections of the skin and mucous membranes), infected diaper rash, and tinea versicolor (patches of skin that are a different colour than the rest of the skin).

Clotrimazole usually starts to work within a few days of starting treatment. Treatment may be needed for up to 4 weeks, depending on the infection being treated.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

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What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each gram contains clotrimazole 10 mg in a vanishing cream base. Nonmedicinal ingredients: cetostearyl alcohol, cetyl esters wax, 2-octyldodecanol, polysorbate 60, purified water, sorbitan monostearate, and benzyl alcohol (1%) as preservative.

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How should I use this medication?

To treat diaper rash for children, apply a thin layer and gently massage enough cream onto the affected and surrounding skin area twice daily at a diaper change, in the morning and evening. If symptoms worsen or if there is no improvement after 2 weeks, contact your doctor. Do not use for longer than 14 days.

To treat jock itch, athlete's foot, and ringworm for adults, apply a thin layer of cream and gently massage it into the affected and surrounding skin area twice daily, in the morning and evening. Improvement in the itching should be seen within the first week. For jock itch and ringworm, treatment should be continued for 2 to 4 weeks. For athlete's foot, treatment may be needed for at least 4 weeks.

For foot infections, make sure you dry your feet thoroughly (especially between the toes) and wear well-fitted, ventilated shoes and cotton or wool socks to improve treatment results and prevent repeat infections. Treatment with clotrimazole topical cream should continue for about 2 weeks after your symptoms have disappeared. This will help to prevent relapses.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.

Avoid contact with the eyes. If this happens, rinse thoroughly with water.

If your symptoms have not disappeared or improved after 2 weeks of treatment (up to 4 weeks for athlete's foot), or if your symptoms worsen, contact your doctor.

It is important to apply this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor or recommended by your pharmacist. If you miss a dose, apply it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature between 15°C and 30°C, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to clotrimazole topical cream or any ingredients of the medication.

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What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • burning, irritation, itching, redness, rash, stinging, swelling of the skin where the cream was applied

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • blistering
  • hives
  • peeling

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

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Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Dressings: Do not use dressings or bandages over clotrimazole cream unless recommended by your doctor. Diapers are not considered dressings because they are breathable and are frequently changed.

For external use only: Clotrimazole cream is for external use only and should not be taken by mouth.

Nail infection: Clotrimazole is not to be used for infection of the nails. Contact your doctor if you have a fungal nail infection.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while using this medication, contact your doctor.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if clotrimazole passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother, and are using this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. In many cases, interactions are intended or are managed by close monitoring. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.