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

This is a cream that contains two medications: clioquinol and hydrocortisone. Clioquinol belongs to the class of medications known as anti-infectives and hydrocortisone belongs to the class of medications known as corticosteroids. Clioquinol helps stop certain bacteria and fungi from growing and hydrocortisone helps to reduce skin inflammation and itching.

This medication is used to relieve inflammation and itching in skin conditions where both inflammation and infection are caused by bacteria or fungi. These conditions include contact or allergic dermatitis (eczema), seborrhea dermatitis, psoriasis, and skin irritations caused by insect bites or poison ivy.

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.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each tube of off-white water soluble cream contains clioquinol 3% and hydrocortisone 1%. Nonmedicinal ingredients: cetyl alcohol, cetyl palmitate, glycerin, petrolatum, phenoxyethanol, sodium lauryl sulfate, stearyl alcohol, and water. Bisulfite- and tartrazine-free.

How should I use this medication?

The recommended dose of clioquinol - hydrocortisone cream is one application of a thin layer, 2 or 3 times daily to the affected area.

Do not apply this medication near the eyes or to ulcerated areas. Do not allow the medication to enter your nose or mouth. Do not use this cream under dressings that don't breathe unless instructed to do so by your doctor.

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.

It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. 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, protect it from light and moisture, 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 clioquinol – hydrocortisone if you:

  • are allergic to clioquinol, hydrocortisone, or to any of the ingredients of the cream
  • are allergic to hydroxyquinolines, quinoline derivatives, or iodine are under 2 years of age
  • have a preexisting infection of the skin, including tuberculosis, fungal, and viral infections (e.g., herpes, chicken pox, skin reaction after a vaccination)

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.

  • yellow staining of the skin, nails, hair, or fabrics

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

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

  • new burning, redness, itching, or irritation of the skin
  • skin rash

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.

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.

Absorption: If this medication is used for prolonged periods over large areas of the body or applied under dressings that don't breathe, it may be absorbed through the skin. Only use this medication as directed by your doctor.

Application: Do not allow this medication to get into the eyes and do not apply it to ulcerated skin.

Kidney or liver disease: People with kidney of liver disease should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect their medical condition, how their medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Response: If you do not experience any improvement within a week of using this medication, contact your doctor.

Staining: This medication may turn yellow when exposed to air. It may also stain skin, nails, hair, or fabrics.

Tests: This medication may interfere with the results of certain thyroid function tests.

Pregnancy: The safety of using this medication during pregnancy has not been established. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if clioquinol - hydrocortisone 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.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children under 2 years of age.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

If you are applying additional medications to the area of skin being treated, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. 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. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications 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.