Miconazole is an antifungal agent which belongs to a group of antifungal known as triazoles. The miconazole nitrate powder is slightly soluble in water, ethanol and in acetic acid. It is used for the treatment of skin infections or yeast overgrowths such as athlete’s foot, ringworm, vaginal yeast and jock itch. Miconazole is a broad spectrum type of synthetic antifungal that can be used against all types of fungi.
The drug is also known by other trade names such as Monistat, Femizol, Vagistat, M-Zole, Micatin and Lotrimin. It is effective against vaginal infections caused by Candida albicans and other infections caused by fungi such a Tinea versicolor, Tinea pedis, Tinea cruris and Tinea corporis.
How Miconazole works
The drug acts by inhibiting the growth of fungi cells. It does this by inhibiting the synthesis of ergosterol which is essential in fungal cell membranes.
Miconazole antifungal is available in form of topical cream, lotion, powder, vaginal suppositories of 100 mg, 200 mg and 1200 mg, ointment, powder, liquid spray and gel. It is effective if used as recommended, not more or less.
The vaginal creams and suppositories are only used for vaginal infections and cannot be taken by mouth. Suppositories are inserted, one for a single dose, in an applicator. For the vaginal cream, the tube is screwed on to the end of an applicator. Lying on the back with bent knees, the patient then inserts the applicator with cream or suppository, pushes the plunger in and deposits the medication in the vagina.
Miconazole is used once daily preferably at bedtime. Suppositories of 200 mg are used once nightly for a period of 3 nights. 100 mg suppositories are used once every night for a period of 7 nights. For the 1200 mg formulation, it is applied once for one night.
For the treatment of athlete’s foot, miconazole is used once or twice daily for a period of one month. However for other skin infections such as ringworms, it is used for a period of 2 weeks.
A Miconazole topical cream for skin infections is applied to cover the affected area as a thin layer. This is done twice daily, with the hands being washed before and after every use.
The medication should not be used if one is allergic to it or any other antifungal agents in the azole group. It is also recommended to discuss with the doctor beforehand if one is using other forms of medication such as those for diabetes and HIV-AIDS, when pregnant or planning to get pregnant, breastfeeding, and when taking herbal products.
The miconazole oral gel is used for lip disorder and is also effective against neonatal oral thrush. However, when used orally, miconazole is absorbed into the intestinal tract causing drug interactions especially with coagulants and some statins.
Reported side effects of miconazole include:
Irritation and burning from topical or vaginal miconazoles
Changes in taste
A foul smelling vaginal discharge
Swelling of the mouth, face, lips and tongue
Tightness in chest
These side effects should be reported to the doctor as soon as possible.