Clotrimazole is a medicine that treats fungal infections.
It’s used to treat skin infections caused by a fungus (yeast).
The common types of infections it treats are:
- athlete’s foot
- fungal nail infection
- infected nappy rash
- rash in folds of skin (intertrigo)
2. Key facts
It usually takes 7 days for fungal infections to improve.
Apply clotrimazole to the infected region 2 or 3 times a day for as a minimum of 2 weeks.
The most common side effect of clotrimazole is irritation inside the area where you apply the treatment.
Clotrimazole is also known through the brand name Canesten.
3. Who can and cannot use clotrimazole
Clotrimazole can be used by most adults and children however it isn’t always appropriate for everyone. To make sure that it is safe for you, inform a doctor if you have ever had a hypersensitivity to clotrimazole or any other medicine within the past.
4. How and when to use clotrimazole
The length of time you would need to use this medicine depends on the type of infection you have.
To ensure that your symptoms don’t return, it is advised that you use it for at least 2 weeks. You may also use it for up to 4 weeks.
You may apply clotrimazole 2-3 times daily. It will be optimum if you use it 3 times daily.
If you need to use clotrimazole in your feet, ensure you wash and carefully dry your feet, particularly among your toes, before applying clotrimazole.
How to use clotrimazole cream
Apply clotrimazole cream to the affected area.
You should make sure only to apply the cream to the affected area and use it on the skin only. A strip of cream (0.5cm long) is sufficient to treat an area the size of your hand. You must ensure to avoid putting it near your mouth, lips and eyes.
What if I forget to use it?
It is not a problem if you miss your treatment. You can apply it as soon as you remember and then follow the normal routine.
What if I use too much?
If this happens, use less the next time. Your skin may become irritated if you use too much of the clotrimazole cream. In this case, use a lesser quantity the next time.
5. Side effects
The side effects caused by clotrimazole cream are uncommon. But if you do experience side-effects, these should normally go away as after you stop using the clotrimazole cream.
Common side effects
You should speak to a pharmacist or doctor if these side effects bother you or do not go away:
- red, irritated skin
- pain or a burning or stinging sensation
If the side effects do not go away, try using a smaller amount of the treatment or stop using it completely.
Serious allergic reaction
In rare cases, it’s possible to have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to clotrimazole.
Immediate action required: Call 999 or go to A&E now if:
- you get a skin rash that may include itchy, red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
- you’re wheezing
- you get tightness in the chest or throat
- you have trouble breathing or talking
- your mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat start swelling
You could be having a serious allergic reaction and may need immediate treatment in hospital.
6. Pregnancy and breastfeeding
It is usually deemed safe to use clotrimazole during pregnancy or when breastfeeding.
You must ensure to inform a pharmacist or ell a pharmacist or doctor if you’re trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant or if you’re breastfeeding.
7. Caution with other medicines
Some medicines can affect the way clotrimazole works. They can also make you more likely to get side effects.
Tell a doctor before using clotrimazole if you are using Sofradex ear drops. Do not use these in your ear at the same time as clotrimazole.
Mixing clotrimazole with herbal remedies and supplements
There’s very little information about taking herbal remedies and supplements while using clotrimazole.
For safety, make sure to tell a pharmacist or doctor if you’re taking any other medicines, including herbal remedies, vitamins or supplements.