Econazole (Topical)

Econazole is a topical medication, often sold under the names Ecoza or Spectazole in the United States. It is an imidazole, an azole antifungal medication.

Overview

Econazole is used to treat ringworm, often known as jock itch or athlete's foot, as well as several other common fungal infections. Econazole works by preventing the growth of fungus on the skin, allowing the irritating fungus to die off and for the skin to reach equilibrium.

Econazole is usually sold in a topical cream but is also available in a foam form, a solution, or in a powder. It is usually applied to the affected area daily for a period of several weeks. Patients using Econazole will need to keep the affected area clean and dry in between applications of Econazole.

Conditions Treated

  • Ringworm of the body
  • Tinea Corporis
  • Ringworm of the foot
  • Tinea Pedis
  • Athlete's foot
  • Ringworm of the groin
  • Tinea Cruris
  • Jock Itch
  • Sun fungus
  • Tinea Versicolor
  • Yeast infection of the skin
  • Cutaneous Candidiasis

Type Of Medicine

  • Topical antifungal
  • Imidazole
  • Azole antifungal

Side Effects

Along with the therapeutic effects that Econazole is prescribed for, some patients may experience unwanted effects or symptoms from Econazole. These side effects are an indication that the medication may not be interacting with your body in an ideal fashion, and can cause health problems. If you experience side effects from using Econazole, you will need medical attention to ensure that no serious health problems will occur.

Some patients who use Econazole may experience unwanted dermatological side effects or unwanted effects on the skin. These side effects include:

  • Any pain or unpleasant sensation, such as burning, itching, or stinging, on the area of skin where the Econazole has been applied or around the application area.
  • Color or texture changes in the skin, such as redness, a rash, or erythema, on the area of skin where the Econazole has been applied or around the application area.
  • Unusual skin redness or a rash anywhere on the body while using Econazole.
  • Prurigo, or itchy skin eruptions that may resemble dome-shaped welts, swelling, or pimples that may develop crusted-over material on top.

If you experience any of these side effects while using Econazole, contact your doctor immediately. You may need medical assistance to treat the side effects of Econazole. Discontinuation of Econazole may be required. Always follow your doctor's directions regarding the safe usage of Econazole.

Some patients may experience side effects from Econazole that are not listed here. If you experience any other adverse effects while using Econazole, check with your doctor as soon as possible. You or your doctor may wish to report any unlisted or serious side effects to the Food and Drug Administration's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program, reachable by phone at 1-800-332-1088 or online at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch.

Dosage

Tinea Corporis or Ringworm

Patients who have been prescribed Econazole to relieve a case of tinea corporis or ringworm will normally need to apply Econazole once per day for a period of two weeks. The patient should apply as much Econazole cream as is needed to cover the areas affected by the rash.

Tinea Cruris or Jock Itch

Patients who have been prescribed Econazole to relieve a case of tinea cruris or jock itch will normally need to apply Econazole once per day for a period of two weeks. The patient should apply as much Econazole cream as is needed to cover the areas affected by the rash.

Tinea Versicolor or Pityriasis Versicolor

Patients who have been prescribed Econazole to relieve a case of tinea versicolor or pityriasis versicolor will normally need to apply Econazole once per day for a period of two weeks. The patient should apply as much Econazole cream as is needed to cover the areas affected by the rash.

Tinea Pedis or Athlete's Foot

Patients who have been prescribed Econazole to relieve a case of tinea pedis or athlete's foot will normally need to apply Econazole once per day for a period of four weeks. The patient should apply as much Econazole cream as is needed to cover the areas affected by the rash.

Cutaneous Candidiasis

Patients who have been prescribed Econazole to relieve a case of cutaneous candidiasis will normally need to apply Econazole twice per day, once in the morning and once in the evening, for a period of two weeks. The patient should apply as much Econazole cream as is needed to cover the areas affected by the rash.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of your Econazole, apply the cream as soon as you are able to. If it is nearly time to apply your next dose of Econazole, skip the dose you missed and return to your normal dosing schedule. Do not double-dose or put on two doses of Econazole at the same time. If you are not sure of a safe interval of time to apply your Econazole, check with your doctor.

Interactions

Drug interactions can increase your risk or severity of side effects, or can change the way your medications work in your body. Keep a list of all drugs, medications, and supplements you take regularly, whether they are prescribed to you by a health care professional or sold over the counter. Your doctor or pharmacist should be able to help you identify potential drug interactions.

Econazole has a risk of interaction with anticoagulants such as Warfarin and Dicoumarol. Econazole may seep into the bloodstream when applied topically if applied to a large area of skin, if Econazole is applied to the genitals, or if dressings which do not allow moisture to evaporate (such as occlusive dressings, which are sealed with wax in order to be air tight and water tight) are applied to the area. In patients who are taking an anticoagulant, this can enhance the anticoagulation properties of the medication or increase the blood level of the medication. This may lead to bleeding complications in patients taking an anticoagulant medication. Patients taking an anticoagulant medication and Econazole at the same time may need additional monitoring of INR levels, or an adjustment of dosage of the anticoagulant in order to reduce the incidence of side effects.

Symptoms of bleeding complications from the interaction of Econazole and an anticoagulant include:

  • Unusual bruising
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Stools that are red or black with a tarry consistency or appearance
  • Vomiting or coughing up fresh blood, dried blood, or substances that look like coffee grounds
  • Dizziness or a lightheaded feeling
  • Physical weakness
  • A severe headache

If you experience any of these symptoms while using Econazole at the same time you are using an anticoagulant medication, seek immediate medical attention. Do not stop using any medication unless you discuss it with your doctor first.

Warnings

Proper Use

Patients using Econazole may see relief of symptoms within the first few days of using the medication. It is crucial that you keep using your Econazole for the prescribed time, even if your symptoms have gone away. This will prevent the fungus from returning. If your symptoms do not improve by the time your prescribed regimen of Econazole has ended, or if your symptoms become worse while using the Econazole, check with your doctor. Do not use Econazole for a skin problem or other affliction unless it has been checked and authorized by your doctor.

Econazole is for use on the skin only. Do not ingest this medicine orally. Keep Econazole out of mucous membranes such as the eyes, mouth, or nose to prevent chemical burns or discomfort.

Before you apply a dose of Econazole, wash your hands thoroughly. Wash the area that is affected by fungus and dry it thoroughly before you apply the Econazole. Apply a thin layer of the Econazole to the affected area of skin and rub it in gently. Do not cover the area of applied Econazole with dressings, bandages, or make-up unless following your doctor's directions.

After applying Econazole, wash your hands to ensure that no Econazole residue is left on your hands. Do not wash your hands if Econazole is meant to go on the hand.

Proper Use for Tinea Pedis or Athlete's Foot

While using Econazole for tinea pedis, ringworm of the foot, or athlete's foot, it is crucial to keep the feet dry and cool to ensure that the medication is working to its most effective extent and that the infection will not return. Guidelines for keeping the feet in an optimal situation to prevent fungus growth include:

  • After bathing or cleaning the feet, carefully and thoroughly dry the feet, especially between the toes.
  • Between applications of Econazole, there are things you can do to keep your feet and toes clean and dry. Procure an antifungal powder such as tolnaftate, or an absorbent powder such as talcum powder. Apply this powder on the feet, taking special care to distribute it between the toes, and in socks and shoes once or twice per day.
  • Prevent excessive sweat by wearing proper footwear. Socks made from cotton are best, as it ensures the toes receive proper ventilation. Avoid socks made from wool, or from synthetic fabrics such as nylon or rayon. Change your socks at least daily, or more often if you sweat excessively.
  • Ensure your footwear is well-ventilated. Ideal shoes include sandals, shoes with holes such as Crocs, or shoes made with breathable materials.

Proper Use for Tinea Cruris or Jock Itch

While using Econazole for tinea cruris or jock itch, it is crucial to keep the affected area cool and dry in order to ensure that the medication is working to its most effective extent and that the infection will not return. Following these directions will also ensure that chafing and irritation in the affected area is kept to a minimum:

  • Between applications of Econazole, use an antifungal powder like tolnaftate on the skin of the affected area, or apply an absorbent powder such as talcum powder. Ask your doctor about antifungal or absorbent powders that are right for you and your condition.
  • Avoid wearing underwear that is made from synthetic fabrics such as nylon or rayon. It is best to favor cotton underwear during this time. It is also best to avoid wearing underwear that is tight or snug, and favor underwear that is loose, such as boxer shorts.

Medical Precautions

Before you start using Econazole, let your doctor and pharmacist know if you are allergic to this medication or to any other drugs or medications. Econazole may not be suitable for all patients. Keep a list of all drugs, medications, and supplements such as vitamins that you regularly take, and make sure your doctor and pharmacist are informed. This can help cut down on drug interactions and other adverse effects.

While using Econazole, tell any health care providers supervising or treating you, such as nurses, dentists, doctors, or pharmacists, that you are taking Econazole.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breastfeeding while taking Econazole. You will need to discuss the risks and benefits of using this medicine while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Storage

Keep your Econazole in the container you received it in. Make sure the medication is kept at room temperature and is not exposed to high heat or excessive moisture. It is not advised to store your Econazole in the bathroom for this reason.

When you have finished with your Econazole regimen, do not throw this medication in the trash or flush down the toilet. Your pharmacist or doctor can tell you how to dispose of Econazole safely or may be able to dispose of the medication for you.

Summary

Econazole is a topical antifungal medication. It is often sold under the name Ecoza or Spectazole, and is available in a cream, powder, foam, or solution. Econazole is prescribed to treat fungal infections of the skin such as athlete's foot or jock itch.

Econazole is applied to the affected area of the body once or twice per day for a period of two to four weeks, depending on your condition. Before using Econazole, clean and dry the affected area thoroughly. Econazole is not to be ingested orally or to be used with bandages or dressings.

Patients may need to observe specific hygiene guidelines while using Econazole. Some patients may need to apply absorbent or antifungal powder to the affected area in between applications of Econazole. While using Econazole, make sure that the affected area of the skin is able to breathe. Avoid wool, synthetic fibers, or tight clothes on the affected area.

If you experience burning, itching, stinging, redness or a rash while using Econazole, tell your doctor immediately.