Ketoconazole may be prescribed to treat persistent fungal infections of the mouth, throat, intestines, vagina, etc.

Generic Nizoral


Nizral, Ketofly, Ketocip, Kevon, Fung, Nizol.


Glowderma Labs, Medirose drug & pharma, Cipla, Intas Pharma, Leeford Healthcare


200 mg



I. Introduction

What is Ketoconazole?

Ketoconazole is a man-made drug that is well-regarded for treating a wide range of fungal infections. It was initially. Introduced in the 1980s and falls under the category of imidazole antifungal medications. It effectively combats types of skin fungi and yeasts.

Historical Background and Development

The introduction of ketoconazole was a breakthrough in combating fungal infections. Created in the 1970s, it emerged as a groundbreaking solution because of its wide-ranging effectiveness against fungi surpassing previous less comprehensive antifungal choices.

Categories and Forms Available (Oral, Topical, Shampoo)

Ketoconazole can be found in forms, including oral tablets that are mainly used for treating infections throughout the body, creams, and gels for skin infections, and shampoo formulations specifically designed to address scalp conditions like dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.

II. Uses of Ketoconazole

Treating Fungal Infections

Ketoconazole is highly effective in treating fungal infections like candidiasis, histoplasmosis, and aspergillosis. Its strength lies in its capability to interfere with the cell membranes of fungi123.

1Ketoconazole for Fungal Infections- Step To Health 2Ketoconazole - Wikipedia 3Ketoconazole | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More - Healthline

Managing Seborrheic Dermatitis

This condition, defined by red and scaly skin, typically shows a response to ketoconazole. This medication can effectively alleviate symptoms. Help manage flare-ups123.

1Ketoconazole Shampoo: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and More - Healthline 2Ketoconazole topical Uses, Side Effects & Warnings - 3Ketoconazole Topical: MedlinePlus Drug Information

Control of Dandruff

Ketoconazole shampoos are now widely used as an option for treating dandruff because of their antifungal solid properties and ability to alleviate inflammation, on the scalp123.

1Ketoconazole Shampoo: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and More - Healthline 2Ketoconazole shampoo: Benefits, side effects, and more - Medical News Today 3Ketoconazole Shampoo: Uses, Types, Benefits, and Risks - Verywell Health

Other FDA-Approved Indications

Moreover, ketoconazole has received approval for the treatment of conditions including tinea infections (commonly known as ringworm) athlete's foot, and jock itch123.

1Ketoconazole Cream - Uses, Side Effects, and More - WebMD 2Ketoconazole Topical: MedlinePlus Drug Information 3Ketoconazole: an antifungal medicine used to treat skin infections - NHS

III. Off-Label Use of Ketoconazole

Prostate Cancer Treatment Adjunct

Some doctors use ketoconazole alongside treatments for prostate cancer because it can help reduce androgen levels, which may slow down the progression of cancer123.

1Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer | American Cancer Society 2The role of ketoconazole in current prostate cancer care - Nature 3Ketoconazole - Wikipedia

Managing Cushing’s Syndrome

Ketoconazole has the potential to lower the production of cortisol, which makes it a valuable tool in managing Cushing's syndrome. This condition is known for causing high levels of cortisol in the body123.

1Ketoconazole in Cushing’s syndrome: a profile of its use 2Ketoconazole Safe in Cushing’s Patients; Monitoring Advised, Study… 3Ketoconazole - Wikipedia

Treatment of Advanced Prostate Cancer

In some scenarios, ketoconazole can be employed as a treatment choice for advanced prostate cancer unresponsive to hormone therapy. This is because ketoconazole possesses properties that counteract androgens123.

1Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer | American Cancer Society 2The Treatment of Advanced Prostate Cancer with Ketoconazole 3The role of ketoconazole in current prostate cancer care - Nature

IV. How Ketoconazole Works

Mechanism of Action

Ketoconazole works by blocking the activity of an enzyme called cytochrome P450 14α demethylase, which disrupts the production of ergosterol. Ergosterol is a building block for fungal cell membranes. As a result of this disruption, the fungus becomes more vulnerable. Eventually dies due to the increased permeability of its cells.

Target Organisms and Spectrum of Activity

It is highly efficient in combating a range of fungi, such as Dermatophytes (for example, Trichophyton species), Yeasts (such as Candida species and Malassezia species), and Dimorphic fungi (like Histoplasma species).

Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

Ketoconazole is easily absorbed in the stomach and intestines in acidic conditions. It binds strongly to proteins. It can be found throughout the body. The liver helps break it down. It is eliminated through bile and feces.

V. Dosage and Administration

The dosage schedules can differ, usually within the range of 200 to 400 mg daily for medications. The specific dosage depends on the type and seriousness of the infection. As for treatments, they are typically applied once a day.

Route of Administration

Consuming tablets and a meal is recommended while applying topical formulations on clean and dry skin. Shampoo forms should be used according to the provided instructions 2 3 times per week initially.

Adjustments for Special Populations

Patients with liver problems, older patients, and those with infections may require changes in their medication doses. It is essential to monitor them during treatment.

VI. Composition of Ketoconazole

Active Ingredient

All the formulations contain ketoconazole as the ingredient, a synthetic antifungal agent in the imidazole class.

Inactive Ingredients

Some common ingredients found in formulations include microcrystalline cellulose, colloidal silicon dioxide, and lactose.

Available Formulations

You can find this product in forms, including tablets (200mg, 400mg), cream (2%), gel (2%), and shampoo (1%, 2%).

VII. Common Side Effects of Ketoconazole

Mild to Moderate Side Effects

Some possible symptoms are feeling sick, throwing up, having stomach aches, and developing a skin rash.

Frequency and Duration of Side Effects

Although rare side effects do occur in several patients, however, these effects are usually temporary. Go away once the medication is stopped.

VIII. Serious Side Effects and Warnings

Severe Reactions and Risks

Serious responses, such as anaphylaxis and severe skin reactions (, like Stevens-Johnson syndrome), are uncommon. It can be life-threatening.

Liver Toxicity Warning

A warning regarding liver damage accompanies Ketoconazole. It is crucial to monitor liver function while undergoing treatment.

Endocrine Function Disruption

Since ketoconazole hampers the production of steroids, it can impact the production of gonadal hormones, which may potentially cause disruptions in the endocrine system.

IX. Contraindications for Ketoconazole Use

Absolute Contraindications

Patients with a known allergy or sensitivity to ketoconazole or its ingredients should refrain from using this medication. Using this medication with specific drugs, like terfenadine, cisapride, and pimozide, is not recommended, as it can potentially cause serious heart problems.

Relative Contraindications

Individuals with liver problems might be recommended not to use ketoconazole because it could harm their liver. Patients with insufficiency or electrolyte imbalances must be cautious when taking this medication.

Conditions Requiring Caution

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • History of QT prolongation
  • Concomitant use of drugs with similar side effect profiles

X. Drug Interactions with Ketoconazole

Commonly Interacting Drugs

Ketoconazole can potentially affect how certain medications work in our bodies. This includes anticoagulants, antidiabetics, and immunosuppressants. If you are taking any of these drugs along with ketoconazole, it may be necessary to adjust your dosage. Additionally, it's worth noting that ketoconazole can interact with antacids, which may reduce its effectiveness when absorbed by the body.

Potential for QT Interval Prolongation

When ketoconazole is taken together with medications known to prolong the QT interval, like certain antipsychotics and antibiotics, it may potentially raise the chance of experiencing severe heart rhythm disturbances.

XI. Administration to Special Populations

Administration to Elderly

When dealing with patients, it is advisable, to begin with lower doses considering the possibility of the impaired liver, kidney, or heart function along with any existing medical conditions or concurrent medication.

Administration to Pregnant Women and Nursing Mothers

Ketoconazole should only be used during pregnancy if the benefits outweigh the risks to the child. Nursing mothers are generally recommended to avoid ketoconazole since it is unclear whether the medication is passed into breast milk.

Administration to Children

The use of ketoconazole in patients has not been thoroughly studied for its safety and effectiveness. Therefore it is essential to consider and closely monitor its usage in this population.

XII. Overdosage of Ketoconazole

Signs and Symptoms of Overdosage

Taking much of this medication can lead to symptoms such as feeling sick, throwing up, feeling dizzy, and in rare cases liver damage. In some situations, an overdose may have similar effects as acute adrenal insufficiency.

Immediate Management and Treatment Options

If someone takes much of this medication, it's essential to take immediate steps to help them. This may include washing their stomach with activated charcoal and treating their symptoms. It's also crucial to monitor how well their liver is functioning.

XIII. Careful Administration of Ketoconazole

Monitoring Liver Function

It's an idea to regularly check your liver function because there's a risk of liver damage. If your liver enzymes are high it's crucial to monitor and consider stopping the medication if necessary.

Assessing Response to Treatment

Regular checkups, by professionals are essential to determine how well the treatment is working and if the fungal infection is clearing up.

Adjusting Dose Responsively

If there are any effects it might be necessary to lower the dosage or stop the treatment altogether. Likewise, if there is no improvement after an amount of time, it may be worth considering stopping the medicine or changing the prescribed plan.

XIV. Important Precautions when Using Ketoconazole

Avoidance of Alcohol

It is advisable to refrain from consuming alcohol while undergoing treatment as it could potentially raise the chances of experiencing liver damage linked to ketoconazole.

Sun Exposure Precautions

It is essential to inform patients to limit their sun exposure while taking the medication. This is because ketoconazole can increase sensitivity to the sun, which could lead to a risk of sunburn.

XV. Storage Requirements for Ketoconazole

Ideal Storage Conditions

Store Ketoconazole at room temperature, keeping it away from heat and moisture and ensuring it is out of the reach of children and pets.

Expiry and Disposal Instructions

Patients must be informed about emptying ketoconazole if it is expired or no longer required. They should avoid sharing it with others. For guidance on medication disposal, patients can contact a local pharmacy or waste disposal company that can provide instructions on how to proceed.

XVI. Handling Precautions for Ketoconazole

Safe Handling Practices

Patients should be advised to cleanse their hands after applying topical formulations or shampoo while also being mindful to steer clear of any contact with their eyes, nose, and mouth.

What to Do in Case of Spillage

If there is a spill, it's essential to clean it up away using a cloth or tissue. After cleaning up the spill make sure to wash your hands. If you continue to experience any problems related to spills it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or pharmacist.

Rated: 5.0 / 5 based on 5.0 customer reviews.

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Very satisfied

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Note: does not imply any medical claims from this review.

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