Why is this medication prescribed?
Miconazole, an antifungal agent, is used for skin infections such as athlete's foot and jock itch and for vaginal yeast infections.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Miconazole comes as a cream, lotion, powder, spray liquid, and spray powder to be applied to the skin. It also comes as a cream and suppository to be inserted into the vagina. Miconazole is usually used once or twice a day for 1 month for athlete's foot or 2 weeks for other skin infections. For vaginal infections, it is used once a day at bedtime for 3 (Monistat-3) or 7 (Monistat-7) days. Follow the directions on the package or on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use miconazole exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than directed by your doctor.
It probably will take several days for improvement to be seen in skin infections.
Apply the topical forms of miconazole sparingly to the infected area after washing and drying the skin thoroughly. The cream and lotion should be rubbed gently into the skin. Wash your hands promptly.
If you are using miconazole vaginal cream or suppositories, read the instructions provided with the medication and follow these steps:
- Fill the special applicator that comes with the cream to the level indicated, or unwrap a suppository and place it on the applicator as shown in the instructions.
- Lie on your back with your knees drawn upward and spread apart.
- Gently insert the applicator into the vagina, and push the plunger to release the medication.
- Withdraw the applicator.
- Discard the applicator if it is disposable. If the applicator is reusable, pull it apart and clean it with soap and warm water after each use.
- Wash your hands promptly to avoid spreading the infection.
The dose should be applied when you lie down to go to bed. It works best if you do not get up after applying it except to wash your hands. You may wish to wear a sanitary napkin while using the suppositories or vaginal cream to protect your clothing against stains. Do not use a tampon because it will absorb the drug. Do not douche unless your doctor tells you to do so. Continue using miconazole vaginal cream or suppositories even if you get your period during treatment.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using miconazole,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to miconazole or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, including vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking miconazole, call your doctor. Before using miconazole, tell your doctor if you are using a diaphragm or condom for birth control and are being treated for a vaginal infection. Miconazole vaginal cream and suppositories can interact with the latex in diaphragms and condoms, so use another method of birth control.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it. If you remember a missed dose at the time you are scheduled to apply the next one, omit the missed dose completely and use only the regularly scheduled dose. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Miconazole may cause side effects. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- increased burning, itching, or irritation of the skin or vagina
- stomach pain
- foul-smelling vaginal discharge
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor. Miconazole is for external use only. Do not let miconazole get into your eyes, nose, or mouth, and do not swallow it. Do not apply dressings, bandages, cosmetics, lotions, or other skin medications to the area being treated unless your doctor tells you.
If you obtained the topical form of miconazole without a prescription and your symptoms do not improve within 4 weeks (2 weeks for jock itch), stop using it and talk to a pharmacist or doctor.
If this is the first time you have had vaginal itching and discomfort, talk to a doctor before using miconazole. If a doctor has told you before that you had a yeast infection and you have the same symptoms again, use the vaginal cream or suppositories as directed on the package.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the miconazole, call your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
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