Learn about many of the available medications in our database.
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Ciclopirox belongs to the group of medications known as antifungals. It works by preventing certain types of fungus from growing and reproducing. The cream and lotion form of this medication are used to treat certain types of fungal infections of the skin.
The lacquer form is used as part of a treatment plan for fungal infections of the nails. The shampoo form of this medication is used to treat and prevent dandruff or to treat seborrhoeic dermatitis (a condition of the scalp that causes itchy, scaly, flaky, and red skin) caused by specific fungus on the scalp.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are using this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each gram of clear, colourless-to-slightly-yellowish solution contains 80 mg ciclopirox. Nonmedicinal ingredients: ethyl acetate, isopropyl alcohol, and butyl monoester of poly (methylvinyl ether/maleic acid) in isopropyl alcohol.
How should I use this medication?
Nail lacquer: Ciclopirox lacquer is usually applied to the affected nails once daily at bedtime or at least 8 hours before washing the affected area. Before using this medication for the first time and once a week while using this medication, remove any loose nail or nail pieces using nail clippers or nail files. Then, using the applicator brush provided, apply lacquer evenly over the entire nail, the skin right around the nail, and on the bottom side of the nail and the skin beneath it. Let the lacquer dry (about 30 seconds) before putting socks or stockings on. Apply daily over the previous coat. Once a week, remove the lacquer with rubbing alcohol. You should file away (with an emery board) loose nail material and trim nails, as required, or as directed by your doctor. Avoid contact with the eyes and mucous membranes (e.g., mouth) and avoid contact with skin other than the skin surrounding the nail(s) being treated. Do not use nail polish on treated nails.
Ciclopirox lacquer should be stored at room temperature. Protect this medication from light by storing the bottle in its carton after each use. Keep away from heat and flame.
Cream or lotion: Gently massage the medication into the affected and surrounding skin areas twice daily, in the morning and evening, for a minimum of 4 weeks. If within 2 weeks there is no improvement in symptoms such as itching, call your doctor.
Do not use this medication in the eyes or in the vagina. Store the cream or lotion at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.
Shampoo: Ciclopirox shampoo is generally used 2 or 3 times a week, or as often as recommended by your doctor. Wet hair and apply enough shampoo to work up an abundant lather. Massage the scalp with your fingertips for 2 to 3 minutes, then rinse the hair well. Repeat lathering and rinsing.
Keep ciclopirox shampoo out of the eyes and away from the eyelids. If you get this medication in your eyes, flush well with clean water. Ciclopirox shampoo may cause discoloration of grey, white, or chemically damaged hair. Store the shampoo at room temperature and keep it out of reach of children.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, use it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to ciclopirox or any ingredients of the medication.
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who uses this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
Although most of the side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- burning, itching, redness, swelling, or other signs of irritation not present before use of this medication
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if ciclopirox passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for children. The cream and lotion may be used for children 10 years and older.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
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