Ketoconazole is classified in a family of medicines known as imidazoles. It is a custom pharmacy drug that is widely prescribed for the treatment of fungal infections. Ketoconazole is sometimes used to treat tinea cruris (jock itch), tinea corporis (ringworm), tinea versicolor (an infection that produces discoloration of the skin), and tinea pedis (athlete's foot). Additionally it is used as an ingredient in some dandruff shampoos to control the itching, flaking, and irritation that typically come with the condition, and for treatment of seborrheic dermatitis as well. As ketoconazole can cause liver damage in some patients, it is only to be used when other antifungal medications are not an option. Ask your physician about the risks of using ketoconazole.
As a topical cream, ketoconazole is usually applied once daily for up to six weeks, or as directed by your physician. Prescription grade shampoo is used once for treatment only. Over-the-counter shampoos are used regularly, approximately every three days, for up to eight weeks, then only as needed, as per your physician's recommendations. Use extreme caution to not allow any ketoconazole into your eyes or mouth.
Your physician may prescribe an oral tablet for some fungal infections. Follow your physician's directions carefully regarding dosage.
Side effects may present while using this drug. If you encounter any side effects that are lingering or getting worse, contact your doctor right away. Lists of some common and severe side effects seen with ketoconazole are provided below. If you experience any severe side effects, get medical treatment immediately.
Do not use ketoconazole unless you have consulted with your physician and he or she has cleared you for use of this drug.
Ask your doctor about contraindications, as there are possibly many.
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