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Clotrimazole

What Is Clotrimazole Topical?

Clotrimazole is an antifungal medication that fights infections caused by fungus.

Clotrimazole vaginal (for use in the vagina) is used to treat vaginal candida (yeast) infections.

Clotrimazole vaginal may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

You should not use clotrimazole vaginal if you are allergic to it.

If this is the first time you have ever had symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection, ask your doctor before using clotrimazole vaginal.

Tell your doctor if you have had more than 3 vaginal infections within 6 months. Frequent vaginal yeast infections that do not clear up with treatment may be a sign of a more serious condition.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use this medicine if you have other medical conditions, especially:

  • fever, chills, pain in your back or shoulder;
  • stomach pain, vomiting;
  • foul-smelling vaginal discharge;
  • diabetes; or
  • HIV or AIDS.

FDA pregnancy category B. Clotrimazole vaginal is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Do not use clotrimazole vaginal without medical advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 12 years old without medical advice.

How should this medicine be used?

Clotrimazole comes as a cream, lotion, powder, and solution to apply to the skin; lozenges (called troches) to dissolve in the mouth; and vaginal tablets and vaginal cream to be inserted into the vagina. Clotrimazole is usually used five times a day for 14 days for oral thrush, twice a day (in the morning and evening) for 2 to 8 weeks for skin infections, and once a day at bedtime for 3 or 7 days for vaginal infections. Follow the directions on the package or your prescription 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 prescribed by your doctor.

To use the topical cream, lotion, or solution, thoroughly clean the infected area, allow it to dry, and then gently rub the medication in until most of it disappears. Use just enough medication to cover the affected area. You should wash your hands after applying the medication.

The lozenges should be placed in the mouth and dissolved slowly over about 15 to 30 minutes. Do not chew or swallow the lozenges whole.

Side effects

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Skin rash
  • Redness of skin
  • Vaginal infection

How does clotrimazole cream work?

Clotrimazole kills fungi and yeasts by interfering with their cell membranes. It works by stopping the fungi from producing a substance called ergosterol, which is an essential component of fungal cell membranes. The disruption in production of ergosterol causes holes to appear in the fungal cell membrane.

The cell membranes of fungi are vital for their survival. They keep unwanted substances from entering the cells and stop the contents of the cells from leaking out. As clotrimazole causes holes to appear in the cell membranes, essential constituents of the fungal cells can leak out. This kills the fungi and treats the infection.

How should I take clotrimazole?

Take clotrimazole according to your health care provider’s instructions. Your health care provider will tell you how much clotrimazole to take and when to take it. Before you start clotrimazole and each time you get a refill, read any printed information that comes with your medicine.

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