Why is this medication prescribed?
Topical clotrimazole is used to treat tinea corporis (ringworm; fungal skin infection that causes a red scaly rash on different parts of the body), tinea cruris (jock itch; fungal infection of the skin in the groin or buttocks), and tinea pedis (athlete's foot; fungal infection of the skin on the feet and between the toes). Clotrimazole is in a class of antifungal medications called imidazoles. It works by stopping the growth of fungi that cause infection.
How should this medicine be used?
Topical clotrimazole comes as a cream and liquid to apply to the skin. It is usually applied twice a day (morning and night). Follow the directions on the package label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use clotrimazole exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than directed on the package or as directed by your doctor.
Topical clotrimazole is only for use on the skin. Do not let clotrimazole get into your eyes and do not swallow the medication. Clotrimazole does not work on the scalp or nails.
If you are using clotrimazole to treat jock itch, your symptoms should improve over 2 weeks of treatment. If you are using clotrimazole to treat athlete's foot or ringworm, your symptoms should improve over 4 weeks of treatment. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve during this time or if your symptoms get worse at any time during your treatment.
To use topical clotrimazole, wash the affected area and dry thoroughly. Then apply a small amount of cream or liquid to cover the affected area of skin with a thin layer.
If you are treating athlete's foot, pay special attention to the spaces between the toes when applying clotrimazole. Also, be sure to wear well-fitting shoes that allow for air circulation, and change shoes and socks at least once a day.
If you are using the liquid, do not apply it to any severely cracked or irritated areas.
Other uses for this medicine
Topical clotrimazole may be used to treat tinea versicolor (fungal infection of the skin that causes brown or light colored spots on the chest, back, arms, legs, or neck) or yeast infections of the skin. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using topical clotrimazole,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to clotrimazole, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in clotrimazole cream or liquid. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using clotrimazole, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double amount to make up for a missed dose.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Clotrimazole may cause side effects. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop using clotrimazole and call your doctor:
- blistering, redness, swelling, itching, burning, stinging, peeling, hives, or skin cracks
Clotrimazole may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
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).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
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.
In case of emergency/overdose
If someone swallows clotrimazole topical, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about clotrimazole.
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.
- Lotrimin® AF Athlete's Foot Cream
- Lotrimin® AF Jock Itch Cream
- Lotrimin® AF Ringworm Cream
- Lotrimin® Solution¶
Brand names of combination products
- Lotrisone® Cream (containing Betamethasone, Clotrimazole)
- Lotrisone® Lotion (containing Betamethasone, Clotrimazole)
¶ This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.