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Ciclopirox (On the skin)

Ciclopirox (sye-kloe-PIR-ox)

Treats skin infections caused by fungus, such as ringworm, athlete's foot, or dandruff. Belongs to a class of drugs called antifungals.

Brand Name(s):

CNL8, Ciclodan, Ciclodan Cream Kit, Ciclopirox Topical Solution 8%, Loprox, Pedipirox-4 Nail Kit, Penlac, Penlac Nail Lacquer

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to ciclopirox.

How to Use This Medicine:

Cream, Gel/Jelly, Liquid, Lotion, Ointment, Shampoo, Kit

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Wash your hands before and after using the cream, gel, or ointment.
  • Use this medicine only on the skin, scalp, fingernails, or toenails. Do not get any in your eyes, mouth, or vagina. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away.
  • Use enough ciclopirox to cover the infected area and the skin around it. Rub the cream, gel, or ointment in gently. Apply the nail lacquer using the brush that came with your medicine.
  • Do not cover the treated area with a bandage unless directed by your doctor.
  • If you are using ciclopirox on the groin (crotch) area, wear loose cotton underwear. You may use talcum powder on your skin between the times you use ciclopirox.
  • If you are using ciclopirox on your feet, dry them carefully, especially between the toes, after bathing. If you cannot go barefoot, wear clean cotton socks. Avoid socks made from wool, rayon, or nylon. Wear sandals or shoes that allow air to get to your feet. Use talcum powder between your toes and sprinkle some in your socks and shoes once or twice daily.
  • The nail lacquer is flammable. Do not use it near heat or an open flame.
  • You may need to use the nail lacquer for up to 6 months before seeing any improvement in your nail infection. It may take up to one year of treatment for your nails to clear completely.
  • Take all of the medicine in your prescription to clear up your infection, even if you feel better after the first few doses.

If a dose is missed:

  • Apply a dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and apply a regular dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist or doctor how to dispose of the medicine container and any leftover or expired medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Check with your doctor before using any other skin product (prescription or non-prescription) on the same area of the skin you are treating with ciclopirox.
  • Do not use nail polish or other nail cosmetics while using this medicine on your fingernails or toenails.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have diabetes.
  • The shampoo form of this medicine may cause hair discoloration if you have a light hair color. Talk with your doctor if you have any concerns.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Do not use this medicine to treat a skin problem your doctor has not examined.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Fast heartbeat.
  • Hives, severe itching.
  • Severe burning, redness, swelling, or oozing of skin around nails.
  • Swollen, burning, blistering, or peeling skin.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache.
  • Mild, temporary stinging.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 10/4/2014


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