Nizoral is a synthetic broad-spectrum antifungal medication that is taken orally and prescribed to treat fungal infections of the skin or mucous membranes that can’t be treated with topical Ketoconazole due to the site or extent of the infection, and cannot be treated with other antifungals. Ketoconazole, the active ingredient in Nizoral belongs to the class of drugs called azole antifungals that stop the growth of the fungus.
Ketoconazole kills fungi and yeasts by stopping the fungi from producing a substance called ergosterol, which is an essential component of fungal cell membranes. The disruption in production of ergosterol impairs the fungal cell membrane by causing holes to appear in it. Essential components of the fungal cells can leak out while other substances can seep in. This prevents the growth and reproduction of the fungus and they die.
Nizoral should only be used when other treatments have failed or cannot be used. Nizoral or generic Ketoconazole may be prescribed to treat a variety of fungal infections that include vaginal thrush, ringworm, blastomycosis, and histoplasmosis. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Vaginal thrush is a common condition caused by a yeast infection (usually Candida albicans) in the vagina and surrounding area. Symptoms such as irritation and discharge are usually mild and may be treated with Nizoral.
Ringworm is a common skin infection that is caused by a fungus, not a worm. It’s called “ringworm” because it can cause a circular rash that is usually red and itchy. Anyone can get ringworm. The fungi that cause this infection can live on skin, surfaces, and on household items such as clothing, towels, and bedding. The medical terms for ringworm are tinea corporis or “dermatophytosis.” Other names for ringworm are based on its location on the body – for example, ringworm on the feet is also called athlete’s foot or tinea pedis.
Nizoral should only be used when other treatments cannot be used or have not worked. Medication should be taken for the full period of treatment as prescribed, which may be approximately 6 months. Be sure to provide your doctor with a complete medical history and list of medications you are taking before you begin treatment with Nizoral. Using Nizoral along with certain medications may increase your risk of serious side effects.
If you experience any liver problems, including upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice, notify your doctor right away. Keep Nizoral out of children’s reach and never share your medications with anyone else. Be patient with your treatment as it can take a long time before you can be sure all fungi have been killed.