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What Is Miconazole Cream?

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  • Written By: Jacquelyn Gilchrist
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2016
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Miconazole cream is an antifungal medication that may be used to treat a variety of fungal infections. Patients may apply it topically to the skin to treat ringworm, jock itch, and athlete's foot. Women may use it externally on the vulva or internally as a suppository to treat a yeast infection.

When using miconazole cream externally, patients should wash and dry the affected area of skin first. A thin layer of the medication should be rubbed gently into the skin twice daily or as directed by a physician. Those with athlete's foot should take care to apply the cream between the toes. Patients should wash their hands thoroughly after each application.

Miconazole cream is also used as an internal suppository for yeast infections, which may be available in prefilled applicators. If the applicators are not prefilled, the patient should follow the product's instructions to fill an applicator with medicated cream. The applicator should be inserted into the vagina and the plunger depressed to release the miconazole cream. Patients must wash their hands thoroughly.

Some side effects may occur with the use of miconazole cream for fungal infections, but they are generally mild. Patients may notice lower abdominal cramps and a headache. Sometimes, pain, itching, or a burning sensation may occur in the genital area. The patient should notify their doctor if these side effects become bothersome.

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Serious side effects are not common with miconazole cream treatment, but patients should seek medical attention as soon as possible if they do occur. These can include severe abdominal pain or flu-like symptoms, such as a fever and chills. Patients who are allergic to this medication will likely notice hives or a rash, swelling of the skin, and itching. They may also have trouble breathing and experience severe dizziness.

Before undergoing treatment with miconazole cream for a fungal infection, patients should discuss their other medical conditions with their doctors, as well as any other drugs or supplements they are taking. As of 2011, it is unknown whether the drug may pass into breast milk and harm a nursing infant. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should discuss the possible risks with their doctors. The cream may be contraindicated for use by those who have diabetes, chronic vaginal yeast infections, or a suppressed immune system. Patients should also inform their doctors if they have porphyria, which is a blood disease, or a history of liver problems.

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