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All about: Econazole Topical

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Spectazole

In Canada—

  • Ecostatin

Category

  • Antifungal, topical

Description

Econazole (e-KONE-a-zole) belongs to the family of medicines called antifungals, which are used to treat infections caused by a fungus. They work by killing the fungus or preventing its growth.

Econazole cream is applied to the skin to treat fungus infections. These include:

  • ringworm of the body (tinea corporis);
  • ringworm of the foot (tinea pedis; athlete's foot);
  • ringworm of the groin (tinea cruris; jock itch);
  • tinea versicolor (sometimes called ``sun fungus''); and
  • certain other fungus infections, such as Candida (Monilia) infections.

Econazole is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage form:

  • Topical
  • Cream (U.S. and Canada)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For topical econazole, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to econazole. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as preservatives or dyes.

Pregnancy—Topical econazole has not been studied in pregnant women. Oral econazole has not been shown to cause birth defects in animal studies; however, it has been shown to cause other problems. Before using this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

Breast-feeding—It is not known whether topical econazole passes into the breast milk. However, econazole, when given by mouth, does pass into the milk of rats and has caused problems in the young. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are taking this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.

Children—Although there is no specific information comparing use of this medicine in children with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of econazole in the elderly with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are using any other prescription or nonprescription (over the counter [OTC]) medicine.

Proper Use of This Medicine

Apply enough econazole to cover the affected and surrounding skin areas, and massage in gently.

Keep this medicine away from the eyes .

When econazole is used to treat certain types of fungus infections of the skin, an occlusive dressing (airtight covering, such as kitchen plastic wrap) should not be applied over the medicine. To do so may cause irritation of the skin. Do not apply an airtight covering over this medicine unless you have been directed to do so by your doctor .

To help clear up your infection completely, it is very important that you keep using econazole for the full time of treatment , even if your symptoms begin to clear up after a few days. Since fungus infections may be very slow to clear up, you may have to continue using this medicine every day for several weeks or more. If you stop using this medicine too soon, your symptoms may return. Do not miss any doses .

Dosing—The dose of topical econazole will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average dose of topical econazole. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For topical dosage form (cream):
    • For fungus infections:
      • Adults and children—Apply to the affected skin and surrounding areas, one or two times a day, for two to four weeks. If you have to use the cream two times a day, apply it in the morning and evening.

Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Keep the medicine from freezing.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

If your skin problem does not improve within 2 weeks or more, or if it becomes worse, check with your doctor.

To help clear up your infection completely and to help make sure it does not return, good health habits are also required .

  • For patients using econazole for ringworm of the groin (tinea cruris; jock itch):
    • Avoid wearing underwear that is tight-fitting or made from synthetic materials (for example, rayon or nylon). Instead, wear loose-fitting, cotton underwear.
    • Use a bland, absorbent powder (for example, talcum powder) or an antifungal powder (for example, tolnaftate) on the skin. It is best not to use econazole cream or any other antifungal cream at the same time that you use the powder.

These measures will help reduce chafing and irritation and will also help keep the groin area cool and dry.

  • For patients using econazole for ringworm of the foot (tinea pedis; athlete's foot):
    • Carefully dry the feet, especially between the toes, after bathing.
    • Avoid wearing socks made from wool or synthetic materials (for example, rayon or nylon). Instead, wear clean, cotton socks and change them daily or more often if the feet sweat freely.
    • Wear well-ventilated shoes (for example, shoes with holes) or sandals.
    • Use a bland, absorbent powder (for example, talcum powder) or an antifungal powder (for example, tolnaftate) between the toes, on the feet, and in socks and shoes freely once or twice a day. It is best not to use econazole cream or any other antifungal cream at the same time that you use the powder.
    These measures will help keep the feet cool and dry.

If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

Burning, itching, stinging, redness, or other sign of irritation not present before use of this medicine

Rare

Skin rash with itching

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Revised: 06/14/1999

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