Nizoral 2% shampoo contains the active ingredient ketoconazole, which is an antifungal medicine that your doctor may prescribe to treat certain skin conditions, including dandruff.
What is Nizoral shampoo used for?
Nizoral 2% shampoo is prescribed to prevent and treat skin conditions that are likely to be caused by the yeast Pityrosporum (also known as Malassezia), such as those listed below.
- Inflammatory skin condition with greasy, red and scaly areas (seborrhoeic dermatitis).
- Fungal skin condition called pityriasis versicolor.
How does Nizoral shampoo work?
- Nizoral 2% shampoo contains the active ingredient ketoconazole, which is a type of medicine called an antifungal. It is used to treat skin infections with fungi and yeasts.
- Ketoconazole kills fungi and yeasts by interfering with their cell membranes. It works 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 disrupts the fungal cell membrane, causing holes to appear in it.
- The cell membranes of fungi are vital for their survival. They keep unwanted substances from entering the cells and stop the contents of the cells from leaking out. As ketoconazole causes holes to appear in the cell membranes, essential constituents of the fungal cells can leak out. This kills the fungi and clears up the infection.
- Ketoconazole is used to prevent and treat a number of different types of fungal and yeast infections. Ketoconazole shampoo is used to treat skin conditions that are caused by infection with the yeast Pityrosporum, also known as Malassezia. These include the skin infection pityriasis versicolor, as well as seborrhoeic dermatitis and dandruff, which is considered to be a mild form of seborrhoeic dermatitis.
- Like other shampoos, Nizoral shampoo also contains ingredients to clean your hair.
How do I use Nizoral shampoo?
- Nizoral 2% shampoo should be used to wash the affected areas as below. Leave the shampoo on for three to five minutes before rinsing.
- For dandruff and seborrhoeic dermatitis, the shampoo should be used to wash the hair twice a week for two to four weeks. Once these conditions have cleared up they can be prevented from coming back by using the shampoo once every one to two weeks.
- To treat pityriasis versicolor, the shampoo should be used to wash the skin once a day for a maximum of five days. Pityriasis versicolor can often come back in the spring or summer. The shampoo can be used to prevent this by using it once a day for a maximum of three days before you expect to expose your skin to sunshine.
Nizoral shampoo should not be used in
- People with known sensitivity or allergy to any ingredient.
- Nizoral shampoo is not recommended for children under 12 years of age.
- This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
- If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
- This medicine is not absorbed into the bloodstream from the skin and thus should not be harmful if used during pregnancy.
- This medicine is not absorbed into the bloodstream from the skin and can be safely used during breastfeeding.
Possible side effects of Nizoral shampoo
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
Uncommon (affect between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 people)
- Reactions at the application site, such as redness, irritation or itching.
- Skin burning sensation.
- Dry skin.
- Change in how your hair feels.
- Hair loss.
- Inflammation of the hair follicles (folliculitis).
Rare (affect between 1 in 1000 and 1 in 10,000 people)
- Allergic inflammation of the skin (contact dermatitis).
- Peeling skin.
- Skin blistering.
- Eye irritation.
- Discolouration of hair (mainly affecting chemically-damaged or grey hair).
- Loss of curl in some people with permed hair.
- Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you want any more information about the possible side effects of this medicine.
Can I use Nizoral shampoo with other medicines?
- This medicine is not absorbed into the bloodstream and does not affect other medicines.
- If you have been using a topical corticosteroid on your skin you should talk to your doctor about whether to continue this while you are using Nizoral shampoo.