Clotrimazole is a drug used to treat localized fungal-related infections. It may be best known under the brand names of Lotrimin or Mycelex.
Fungal infections can include skin infections like athlete’s foot, ringworm, and tinea versicolor or other infections such as nail fugus, oral thrush and certain vaginal yeast infections.
Clotrimazole comes in different forms. These include lozenges, pills, vaginal suppositories and creams (standard and vaginal).
For skin infections clotrimazole, in cream form, is applied to clean, dry skin directly on the affected area. Application is usually recommended twice a day until all of the cream has been used.
Continued application, at approximately the same time each day, is necessary in order for the drug to work. Using the entire tube is also required in order to ensure a cure. Stopping the use of the cream ahead of time could result in reinfection of the area or spread to other areas of the body.
Vaginal creams are recommended only for vaginal insertion and are not to be used topically. Vaginal cream is inserted with the use of a special applicator that comes along with the medication. Written instructions are included for safe application.
Vaginal creams are only used once a day, at bedtime. Their use usually does not extend beyond one full week.
Vaginal suppositories are also inserted with a similar applicator to that used for vaginal creams. Like the cream, suppositors are used only at bedtime, once a day, for seven days.
Pills are generally prescribed once a day for no longer than 90 days. It is important not to skip any doses. A repeat prescription is usually not advised within a 24-month period.
Lozenges are dissolved in the mouth up to five times daily. These are usually used for no longer than 14 days.
As with the creams and suppositories, all lozenges and pills should be taken as prescribed. Stopping the drug’s use before the full treatment course is completed could result in a return of the infection.
If a dose of clotrimazole is missed, it should be administered as quickly as possible unless the time to the next dose is shorter than the time from the missed dose. Never double dose. Just skip the missed dose and continue with the medication as prescribed.
Typical side effects associated with clotrimazole include blistering, burning or stinging, bumps, flaking, general irritation, hives, nausea, peeling, redness, swelling, tenderness and vomiting. Some people will exhibit serious allergic reactions that may include dizziness, itching, rash, swelling and trouble breathing. Such individuals should immediately report to their physician or an ER facility.
Certain people may not be good candidates for this drug protocol. This includes people taking another antifungal medication; anyone with liver problems; women or are in the first or second trimester of pregnancy or women or are breast-feeding.
Always inform your physician of any and all medications you are taking before accepting a clotrimazole prescription.
Store creams at room temperatures between 65 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Vaginal suppositories should be stored between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Store lonzenges and pills between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Non oral forms of clotrimazole may be harmful if swallowed. If this happen inadvertently contact your local poison control center right away or report to an ER facility.
This medication, when prescribed, is meant only for the physical condition for which it was offered. It should not; therefore, be used for any other medical problem. Never share this drug with others since side effects could be devastating.
You should use all of the medication as prescribed. However, if you do not, dispose of the drug according to the instructions of your local pharmacist. Never flush the medication down the toilet or pour down the drain since this could cause the drug to enter into the local water system without proper filtration.