This medication is used to treat a certain skin condition (seborrheic dermatitis). In this condition, it is believed that a fungus (Malassezia furfur) infects the skin, resulting in dry, flaky skin (scaling) on the scalp, face, ears, chest, or upper back. Ketoconazole is an azole antifungal drug that works by stopping the growth of fungus.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using ketoconazole and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
If the can is warm or the foam is runny, place the can under cool running water for a few minutes before using.
Use this medication on the skin only. Clean and thoroughly dry the area to be treated. To keep the medication from melting on your fingers, wash your hands with cold water and dry thoroughly before applying. Hold the can upright. Do not spray the medication directly on the affected area or on your hands. Instead, spray the medication into the cap of the can or some other cool, clean surface. Using your fingertips, pick up the medication and gently and thoroughly rub into the affected areas, usually 2 times daily for 4 weeks or as directed by your doctor. If treating the scalp, part your hair 1 section at a time, and apply the medication directly to the affected scalp area, not the hair.
Wash your hands after applying the medication.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.
Tell your doctor if your condition worsens or does not improve after 4 weeks of treatment.
Burning or irritation at the application site may occur. If either of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using ketoconazole, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other azole antifungals (e.g., clotrimazole, miconazole); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history.
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use.
Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If swallowing or overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another skin condition unless told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in that case.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and heat. Do not store in the refrigerator or freezer. This product is flammable. Do not store or use near an open flame. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet