How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Miconazole belongs to the class of medications called antifungals. It is used to treat various skin infections caused by fungus or yeast. Miconazole 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), and tinea versicolor (patches of skin that are a different colour than the rest of the skin). Miconazole works by killing the overgrowth of yeast and fungus that are causing the infection.
Miconazole usually starts to work within a few days of starting treatment. Treatment may be needed for up 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the infection being treated.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. 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 cream contains miconazole nitrate 2% in a water miscible, white-to-off-white cream base. Nonmedicinal ingredients: benzoic acid, butylated hydroxyanisole, mineral oil, peglicol 5 oleate, pegoxol 7 stearate, and purified water.
Each can contains miconazole nitrate 2% (as a percent of non-volatile ingredients). Nonmedicinal ingredients: alcohol, hydrocarbon propellant, stearalkonium hectorite, sorbitan sesquioleate, and talc.
How should I use this medication?
Before using miconazole topical, cleanse the affected skin with soap and water and dry thoroughly. Apply (or spray) a thin layer over the affected area twice daily (morning and night). If using the cream, gently massage the affected area until the cream disappears.
Avoid contact with the eyes. If this happens, rinse thoroughly with water.
If your symptoms have not disappeared or improved within 2 weeks of treatment (up to 4 weeks for athlete's foot), or if your symptoms worsen, contact your doctor. Otherwise, continue treatment for 1 to 2 weeks after symptoms have disappeared, up to a maximum of 4 weeks. Jock itch and ringworm usually require 2 weeks to resolve, while athlete's foot may require 4 weeks.
When treating athlete's foot, make sure you dry your feet thoroughly, paying special attention to the spaces between toes. Wear well-fitting, ventilated shoes and cotton socks.
Many things can affect the dose of a 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 or recommended by your pharmacist. If you miss a dose, use 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 (or spray) 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 freezing, and keep it out of the reach of children.
This medication is 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 listed here. The forms available for the specific brand you have searched are listed under "What form(s) does this medication come in?"
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?
Miconazole should not be used by anyone who is allergic to miconazole or to any of the ingredients of the medication.
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, itching, irritation
Although most of the 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:
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.
Birth control: Miconazole topical reduces the effectiveness of latex condoms and diaphragms. Use of alternative forms of birth control while using this medication is recommended.
For external use only: Miconazole topical is for external use only and should not be taken by mouth.
Nail infection: Miconazole topical 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 immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if miconazole topical passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother, do not use miconazole topical unless recommended by your doctor.
Children: Do not use this medication for children under 2 years of age unless recommended by a doctor.
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.