What is ciclopirox, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Ciclopirox is a synthetic broad-spectrum antifungal agent that inhibits the growth of dermatophytes, a type of fungus that grows on the skin, hair, and nails. When applied to skin a very small percentage is absorbed into the body. It was approved for use in the U.S. by the FDA in December 1999.

What brand names are available for ciclopirox?

Penlac, Loprox

Is ciclopirox available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for ciclopirox?


Which drugs or supplements interact with ciclopirox?

Use together with other medications for fungal infection is not recommended. Nail polish or other cosmetic products should not be used on the treated nails.

Is ciclopirox safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

When applied to skin a very small amount of ciclopirox is absorbed into the body. It is not known whether ciclopirox is excreted in breast milk. Because of a potential for side effects in the nursing infant, the physician must weigh the potential benefits and possible risks before prescribing ciclopirox to nursing mothers.

What else should I know about ciclopirox?

What preparations of ciclopirox are available?

Solution: 8%; Cream/lotion/gel: 0.77%; Shampoo: 1%

How should I keep ciclopirox stored?

Ciclopirox should be stored at room temperature, 15 C – 30 C (59 F – 86 F). Use or storage near heat or open flame should be avoided since the solution is flammable.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/7/2019


Reference: FDA Prescribing Information