BMA Concise Guide to Medicine & Drugs


Brand names Boots Thrush Cream, Canesten, Care Clotrimazole Cream

Used in the following combined preparations Canesten HC, E45 Emollient Wash Cream, Lotriderm


Drug group Antifungal drug

Overdose danger rating Low

Dependence rating Low

Prescription needed Yes (for combined preparations)

Available as generic Yes


Clotrimazole is an antifungal drug that is commonly used to treat fungal and yeast infections. It is used for treating tinea (ringworm) infections of the skin, and candida (thrush) infections of the ear, mouth, vagina, or penis. The drug is applied in the form of a cream, spray, topical solution, or dusting powder to the affected area and inserted as pessaries or cream for vaginal conditions such as candida.

Adverse effects from clotrimazole are very rare, although some people may experience burning and irritation on the skin surface in the area where the drug has been applied.


Your drug prescription is tailored for you. Do not alter dosage without checking with your doctor.

How taken/used Pessaries, cream, topical solution, spray, dusting powder.

Frequency and timing of doses 2–3 x daily (skin cream, spray, solution); once daily at bedtime (pessaries); once daily at bedtime (vaginal cream). Solutions for ear infections should be continued for at least 14 days after the infection has disappeared.

Dosage range Vaginal infections One applicatorful (5g) per dose (vaginal cream); 100–500mg per dose (pessaries). Skin infections (skin cream, spray, solution) as directed.

Onset of effect Within 2–3 days.

Duration of action Up to 12 hours.

Diet advice None.

Storage Keep in original container at room temperature out of the reach of children.

Missed dose No cause for concern, but make up for the missed dose or application as soon as you remember.

Stopping the drug Apply the full course. Even if symptoms disappear, the original infection may still be present and symptoms may recur if treatment is stopped too soon.

Exceeding the dose An occasional unintentional extra dose is unlikely to cause problems. But if you notice unusual symptoms or if a large amount has been swallowed, notify your doctor.


Clotrimazole rarely causes adverse effects. Skin preparations and vaginal applications may occasionally cause localized burning, stinging, or irritation. If a rash appears, stop using the drug and discuss with your doctor.


Latex contraceptives Damage may occur to these; additional precautions are needed during use of clotrimazole and for at least five days after.


Be sure to tell your doctor if:

· You are taking other medicines.

Pregnancy No evidence of risk to the developing baby, but only use with the advice of your doctor.

Breast-feeding No evidence of risk.

Infants and children No special problems, but use of pessaries not recommended.

Over 60 No special problems.

Driving and hazardous work No known problems.

Alcohol No known problems.


No problems expected.