Prescription or OTCLower-cost generic available



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Treats fungal infections.

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Prescription or OTCLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Nizoral (Ketoconazole) is a medication used on your skin to treat fungal infections; however, it takes several weeks for full recovery, and the directions are specific to each type of medication.

  • Recommended as a first choice medication to treat skin infections caused by fungi, including cradle cap, seborrheic dermatitis, and tinea versicolor.
  • Nizoral (Ketoconazole) isn't taken orally, so it doesn't cause liver issues.
  • Can be used with other medications to help control redness and swelling.
  • The 1% shampoo is available over-the-counter in the drugstore.
  • The foams (Extina and Ketodan) and gel (Xolegel) are only available as brand name and can be more expensive.
  • The 2.5% shampoo and creams are available only by prescription, but are generic.
  • The shampoo has to be left on for at least 5-10 minutes after lathering before you rinse it off.
  • It can take a few weeks for the infection to clear and a few months before the skin returns to its normal color.
  • The fungal infections can be confused for other skin infections, so if Nizoral (Ketoconazole) doesn't work, it could be caused by another skin problem.

Save on your next Nizoral (Ketoconazole) prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.

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Side effects for Nizoral (Ketoconazole)

From clinical trials of Ketoconazole / Fungal infections of the skin (2%) ( 1113)

  • Any side effectAny side effect5% for Ketoconazole vs.2% for placebo

Pharmacist tips

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  • The shampoo is meant to be used once every 3 to 4 days, while the cream, gel and foam are meant to be used one to three times a day.
  • It can take at least 2 to 6 weeks for the infection to completely clear, and it can take 3 to 6 months before the skin returns to its original color for some infections.
  • Make sure Nizoral (Ketoconazole) doesn't get into the eyes.
  • If you're using the foam, spray the foam into the cap, not your hands since it can melt before you put it on, and apply onto the skin, not the hair.
  • Can cause redness, swelling, and an irritated or burning sensation to the area where you put Nizoral (Ketoconazole) on.

Risks and Warnings for Nizoral (Ketoconazole)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Asthma

    Nizoral (Ketoconazole) can contain sodium sulfite anhydrous, a sulfite that can cause allergic-type reactions including severe asthmatic episodes in people with asthma.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Nizoral (Ketoconazole)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits