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Clotrimazole - Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Warnings, and Precautions.

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Vaginal and topical Clotrimazole applications treat fungal infections in the mouth and vagina. Learn about its uses, dosage, drug warnings, side effects, precautions, drug interactions, and more.

Written by

Dr. Preetha. J

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sugreev Singh

Published At February 28, 2022
Reviewed AtNovember 28, 2022

What Is Clotrimazole?

Clotrimazole is an antifungal drug used to treat fungal skin infections such as burning, itching, cracking, and discharge. It kills fungi by destroying the fungal cell membrane.

Topical Clotrimazole is described as pregnancy category B, and Clotrimazole vaginal is intended to be used in the vagina to treat vaginal yeast or candida infections. Clotrimazole vagina may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. Usually, small amounts of Clotrimazole can be absorbed systemically following topical and vaginal administration. But still, topical Clotrimazole is considered a safe treatment for yeast infections in pregnant women and is a safer alternative to other antifungals.

Overview:

Clotrimazole is an antifungal medication sold under the brand name Lotrimin. It can treat vaginal yeast infections, diaper rash, oral thrush, pityriasis versicolor, and types of ringworm, including athlete's foot and jock itch. It can be taken by oral route or applied as a cream. This medication is an azole antifungal. It works by inhibiting the growth of the yeast that causes the infection. The vaginal product comes in two forms: a vaginal cream or a tablet. Some products come in a skin cream form to be applied around the outside of the vagina. Consult your doctor before using this medication in case of self-treatment if this is your first vaginal infection. This medication will work only for vaginal fungal infections. For a different type of infection like bacterial vaginosis, you may need another medication. Do not use this medicine if there is fever, chills, flu-like symptoms, stomach or abdominal pain, or a bad-smelling vaginal discharge. Contact your doctor right away because these may be signs of a more severe infection.

What Are the Uses of Clotrimazole?

This medication helps treat the below-provided problems:

  • Vaginal candidiasis.

  • Fungal infections.

  • Oropharyngeal candidiasis.

How Does This Work?

Clotrimazole has both fungistatic and fungicidal actions. Fungistatic action is when the organism's growth is inhibited, and in fungicidal action, the fungi are killed. This drug carries out its activity by binding with the phospholipid in the fungal cell membrane and altering its permeability.

How to Use?

Topical:

  • This topical Clotrimazole should be used only on the skin.

  • Clean and dry the area thoroughly to be treated. It should be applied twice a day or as directed by your physician.

  • The dosage and length of the treatment usually depend on the type of infection.

  • When applied more often than prescribed, the condition will not clear faster, but there may be an increase in the side effects.

  • Cover the infected area and some of the surrounding skin with the medication.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly after the application of the medication.

  • Do not cover or bandage the area unless instructed by the doctor.

  • Do not apply this medication to the eyes, nose, mouth, or vagina.

  • Use this medication regularly.

  • Try to use the drug at the same time every day.

  • Continue to use Clotrimazole medication until the total prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after starting.

  • Stopping the medication too early will allow the fungus to grow again and relapse the infection. Inform your doctor if your condition persists even after four weeks of treatment.

Vaginal:

  • Use as directed by your physician or as directed on the label.

  • Do not use longer than recommended.

  • Wash your hands before and after the usage of the drug.

  • The tablet, suppository, or cream is inserted into the vagina with the help of an applicator as directed.

  • Use this medication even during your menstrual period.

  • If the condition does not clear up, or if it appears to get worse, within four weeks, inform your doctor.

  • Inform your doctor immediately if you have any skin rashes or hives, fever, chills, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or foul-smelling vaginal discharge.

  • Use a sanitary napkin to prevent staining of the medication on your clothing but do not use a tampon.

What Should Be Avoided Before Taking Clotrimazole Vaginal?

  • Do not have sexual intercourse while using Clotrimazole vaginal medication.

  • Vaginal Clotrimazole will not prevent the spread of infection to your partner.

  • Topical Clotrimazole can additionally cause damage to the condom.

  • These drugs can reduce the effect of birth control drugs.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth after using the drug.

  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting or synthetic clothing that prevents air circulation. Instead, wear loose cotton and other natural fiber clothing until the infection subsides.

What Are the Side Effects of Clotrimazole?

The side effects of Clotrimazole can be burning, swelling, redness, stinging, irritation, pimple-like bumps, tenderness, or flaking of the skin. When these effects persist or worsen, inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately. And if your doctor has instructed you to use this medication, understand that the benefit is greater than the risk of side effects of this drug. Many people do not have serious side effects after using this medicine but tell your doctor right away if there are any symptoms. Even though severe side effects like blistering, oozing, and open sores are unlikely, seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. The oil in the Clotrimazole creams and suppositories can weaken the latex condoms and diaphragms. The topical formulations used externally should be discontinued if irritation or sensitivity develops at the administration site. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can be:

  • Rash.

  • Itching or swelling (face, tongue, and throat).

  • Trouble breathing.

  • Severe dizziness.

Even if you notice other effects not listed above, you can contact your doctor or pharmacist.

What Are the Warnings and Precautions of Clotrimazole?

  • Follow all instructions given on the medicine label and package.

  • Inform your doctor about your medical conditions, allergies, and all the medicines you use.

  • Before using it, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or other azole antifungals like Econazole, Ketoconazole, or Miconazole.

  • The inactive ingredients in this product can cause some allergic reactions or other problems. Therefore, tell your medical history before using this medication with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • This medication should be used only if needed during pregnancy.

  • Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

  • Do not use Clotrimazole vaginal if allergic to it.

  • Consult your doctor before using Clotrimazole vaginal if this is the first time you have ever had vaginal yeast infection symptoms.

  • Inform your doctor if you have had more than three vaginal infections within six months.

  • Recurrent vaginal yeast infections that do not cure with treatment may signify a more severe condition.

  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist whether it is safe for you to use Clotrimazole vaginal in case of other medical conditions, like:

  • Vaginal Clotrimazole belongs to FDA pregnancy category B and does not cause any harm to an unborn baby. But, still, inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant during treatment.

  • Avoid Clotrimazole vaginal without medical advice if you are a breastfeeding mother.

  • Avoid giving this medicine to a child less than 12 years of age without medical advice.

What Are the Interactions of Clotrimazole?

There are no known drug interactions with the topical Clotrimazole, but there are multiple interactions with oral Clotrimazole as the medication is a CYP450 enzyme inhibitor, primarily CYP3A4. Thus, any drug metabolized by the CYP3A4 enzyme will potentially be elevated when oral Clotrimazole is used. Therefore, the physician should be aware of the drugs the patient is taking before starting oral Clotrimazole. Certain medications should not be taken along with oral Clotrimazole.

Alcohol:

Alcohol’s interaction with Clotrimazole remains unknown. Consult with your physician to know whether you can drink alcohol while on medication.

Lab Test:

Information not available.

Medicine:

Amphotericin B is the only drug known to interact with topical or vaginal Clotrimazole. Avoid Clotrimazole if you are already consuming Amphotericin B.

Food:

There is no information available regarding the interaction of this drug with any foods. Consult your physician to know more.

Disease:

This medicine should be used with caution in people suffering from immunodeficiency syndromes like HIV and AIDS. This is because there is no adequate research on the drug's efficacy on these people.

What Are the Dosage Forms of Clotrimazole Vaginal?

The following are a few dosage forms of Clotrimazole vaginal:

osage forms of Clotrimazole vaginal

What Are the Dosage Guide for Clotrimazole Topical?

Dosage Guide for Clotrimazole Topical

Overdose:

  • Clotrimazole vaginal medicine may be harmful if swallowed.

  • If there is overdosage that has resulted in severe symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing or an individual has accidentally consumed the topical form of the medicine, call the emergency room or seek medical help immediately.

Missed Dose:

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. However, skip the missed dose if it is near the time for the next dose. Instead, use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the amount to catch up for the missed dose.

Storage:

  • Different brands and strengths of this medication may require different storage requirements.

  • Read the package labeling or ask your pharmacist regarding the storage requirements for the product you are using.

  • Do not store it in the bathroom.

  • Keep it at room temperature and avoid moisture and heat.

  • Keep all the medicines away from children and pets.

  • Do not flush drugs into the toilet unless instructed by the doctor.

  • Discard this product properly when it is expired or no longer required.

What Are the Common Brand Names of Clotrimazole?

Clotrimazole Topical:

  • Clotrimazole-3.

  • Lotrimin AF (Athlete's Foot) cream.

  • Canesten.

  • Clotrimazole-7.

Clotrimazole Vaginal:

  • Afun VT.

  • Clotrim V.

  • Clozol VT.

  • Dermasim VT.

  • Neosten VT.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

What Is the Use of Clotrimazole?

Clotrimazole is an antifungal medication used to treat certain skin fungal or yeast infections. The drug is effective in treating oral candidiasis (fungal infection in the mouth), vaginal candidiasis, dermatomycoses (fungal infection of the skin), athlete’s foot (a fungal infection that begins between the foot), jock itch (infection in the genitals or inner thigh), and ringworm (fungal infection of the skin or scalp).

2.

Is It Safe to Use Clotrimazole on Private Parts?

Clotrimazole can be used to treat vaginal fungal infections. Vaginal suppositories can be inserted into the vagina, and the cream may be applied around the vagina to treat yeast infections.

3.

How Long Does It Take for Clotrimazole to Treat Fungal Infections?

Most people begin to feel better within a week, but the clotrimazole treatment must be taken for two weeks to eradicate the fungus-causing infection. However, infections in some body areas can take slightly longer.

4.

What Type of Medication Is Clotrimazole?

Clotrimazole is a class of antifungal antibiotics that stops the growth of fungi or yeast on the skin, scalp, mouth, genitals, and many other body parts.

5.

Is Clotrimazole Effective in Relieving Itching?

Clotrimazole tablets and creams can relieve the symptoms of itching, burning, or soreness within a few days of treatment. In addition, the antifungal medication stops yeast growth and helps reduce swelling, redness, and itching associated with fungal infections.

6.

Does Clotrimazole Cause Irritation or Pain?

Clotrimazole creams, sprays, and pessaries (inserted inside the vagina) can cause side effects, such as burning or stinging. A person may also complain of pain or irritation while inserting the pessaries. If these effects do not disappear, it is essential to talk to the doctor.

7.

What Works Best for Fungal Infections in Genital Area?

Antifungal medications, such as Clotrimazole, Nystatin, Ciclopines, and Fluconazole, effectively treat fungi (including yeast) in the genital areas. These medications are available in creams, ointments, tablets, and suppositories.

8.

Is Candid Cream Suitable for Use in Private Parts?

Yes, Clotrimazole (antifungal antibiotic) can treat fungal infections in private areas. The medication can be taken on the fingertip and applied to the affected area.

9.

When Should One Use Clotrimazole?

Clotrimazole treats fungal infections on the skin and should be used twice a day (morning and evening) for the best results. However, the medications work better when used three times a day. The cream can be applied to the vagina once a day at bedtime.

10.

Can Clotrimazole Cause Harm?

Clotrimazole creams and sprays can cause irritation or burning when applied. In addition, topical application of Clotrimazole can cause toxic effects, like hives (rash), itching, and irritation of the vulva and vagina. It is advised to talk to the doctor if these side effects do not go away.

11.

Is Clotrimazole Effective With Hyperpigmentation?

Clotrimazole is an antifungal antibiotic that may treat tinea versicolor, which causes brown spots on the chest, arms, and neck. In addition, the drug may be used to treat hyperpigmented disorders related to fungal infections.

12.

Is It Okay to Use Clotrimazole Every Day?

Clotrimazole can be applied to the affected area twice daily for two weeks. The medication should be used for up to four weeks as it can increase the side effects, like irritation and redness.
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Dr. Sugreev Singh
Dr. Sugreev Singh

Internal Medicine

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