Sertaconazole, which is often marketed in the US as Dermofix, Ertaczo, Konzert and Zalain, is an antifungal medication which belongs to a class of medicines known as imidazoles. It is typically available as a cream which is applied topically to treat fungal infections like athlete’s foot.
This medication has numerous known mechanisms of action. It is at once considered as antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, fungicidal, fungistatic, antitrichromal and antipruritic. Like other imizadole anti-fungal treatments, Sertaconacole stops the synthesis of ergosterol by inhibiting the 14-alpha enzyme. Ergosterol is the main component of fungal cell membrane, and the inhibition of its synthesis stops fungal cells from multiplying and impairs growth.
Sertaconazole is unique among other imizadole antifungal agents in that it contains a benzothiopene ring. This ring mimics tryptophan and increases the ability of the drug to form pores within the fungal cell membrane, making it leaky enough to die from calcium dysregulation. These open pores typically occur within 10 minutes of having the topical cream applied, making Sertaconazole a popular choice for patients who want a fast-acting remedy for athlete’s foot and other fungal infections.
Susceptible organisms to treatment with Sertaconazole include epidermophyton floccosum, candida albicans, trichophyton mentagrophytes, trichophyton rubrum. The medication is approved by the FDA and its use is widespread throughout the world.
Along with the desired effects, Sertaconazole topical cream can also potentially cause some unwanted side effects. The most common side effects reported by patients who undergo treatment with this cream include the following: darkening of skin, flushing, redness in the skin, tenderness, usually warm skin, blistering/burning/crusting/dry/flaky skin.
As the patient continues to apply Sertaconazole cream as prescribed, most (if not all) of the previously mentioned side effects should begin to lessen. If symptoms persist over time or get worse, the patient is advised to inform their doctor as soon as possible. In some instances, a doctor or healthcare professional may be able to advise the patient on how they can alleviate certain symptoms using natural or over the counter remedies. The majority of patients treated with this medicine only experience minimal side effects, if they observe any whatsoever.
Sertaconazole is intended to alleviate some of the previously mentioned side effects and symptoms and is typically prescribed because the benefit of defeating fungal infection is greater than the risk of experiencing side effects.
Between one and ten per cent of patients treated with this medication have reported cutaneous side effects (including dermatitis, skin tenderness at application sight, hyperpigmentation, pruritus, vesiculation, and/or burning skin).
Not all side effects of Sertaconazole topical cream may be reported. Patients who experience untoward side effects which are not listed are advised to consult their doctor or healthcare provider for medical advice, and to report said side effects to the FDA.
As with all medicines, it is imperative that patients apply Sertaconazole cream only as prescribed by a qualified physician. This means that patients should avoid using more of the cream than advised, either in dose size or frequency of application. In addition to this, patients should stop using Sertaconazole if advised to do so by their doctor, even if they have a supply of the cream remaining.
Sertaconazole nitrate cream is typically supplied in a concentration of 2 per cent, and is suitable for use in patients aged 12 and older for the treatment of interdigital tinea pedis (athlete’s foot between the toes). Each gram of 2 per cent Sertaconazole topical cream contains 17.5mg of the active ingredient sertaconazole (as sertaconazolone nitrate, 20mg). The cream is thick in consistency and white in color.
For the topical treatment of athlete’s foot and associated fungal infections, the patient should apply Sertaconazole cream twice a day for a period of four weeks. This medication is only for topical use, and should not be administered for oral, ophthalmic or intravaginal use.
The patient should apply a sufficient amount of the cream to cover the affected areas between toes as well as the surrounding healthy areas of skin. If the patient is using the cream after bathing or showering, they should ensure that the affected areas are dried thoroughly before applying Sertaconazole. Patients are advised to use this medicine for the full treatment time as recommended by a doctor – even if symptoms have improved or disappeared completely.
After applying the cream, the patient is advised to wash their hands thoroughly, and to avoid contact with the mouth, eyes, vagina and other mucous membranes. This is to avoid spreading infection. Occlusive dressings should not be applied to the affected area after application of the cream unless a physician has specifically instructed the patient to do so.
Patients are advised against taking double doses or excess doses. If the patient misses a dose, they can apply the missed dose if little time has elapsed since the scheduled dose. If it is closer to the time of the next dose, the patient should omit the missed dose and simply continue with the schedule as prescribed by a doctor.
Although the potential to overdose on Sertaconazole cream (when applied topically) is virtually non-existent, patients who feel they may have overdosed on this or any other medication, and are experiencing symptoms of overdose (fast or slow heartbeat, difficulty breathing, seizures and/or loss of co-ordination) should contact their local poison control center on 1800-222-1222 or the emergency services on 911.
All drugs have the potential to interact with other chemicals or medicines within the human body. These interactions can cause the effects of one or more medications to change. In some instances, a medication can be rendered ineffective. In other cases, interactions can cause potentially dangerous or even fatal side effects to occur. Because of this, patients are advised to keep a full, detailed list of all medicines they are currently taking. Some patients assume that this only applies to prescription drugs, when in fact this extends to over the counter remedies, herbal supplements, vitamins and complementary medicines.
There are currently no known drug interactions for Sertaconazole topical cream – however, this does not mean that no interactions exist. Patients who feel like they may have discovered an interaction or are experiencing untoward side effects which they believe could be attributable to Serconazole interacting with a medicine they are taking, are advised to contact their doctor immediately, and to report their findings to the FDA.
If irritation develops because of Sertaconazole use, the patient is advised to discontinue treatment and contact their doctor or healthcare provider as soon as possible. In instances such as this, a doctor may prescribe another treatment.
Caution is advised in patients using 2 per cent Sertaconazole cream if they are known to be sensitive to azole antifungal treatments. This is because cross-reactivity could potentially occur. Patients who experienced increased redness, irritation, blistering or oozing should contact their doctor as soon as possible.
While there are no adequate or well-controlled studies conducted in pregnant women who have undergone treatment with Sertaconazole cream, healthcare professionals recommend that this medicine is used during pregnancy only of the potential benefits justify the potential risks posed to the fetus.
It is not known if Sertaconazole is excreted in human milk. However, because of the propensity for medications to be passed from breastfeeding mothers to infants, caution should be exercised in nursing mothers who are being treated with 2 per cent Sertaconazole cream.
Sertaconazole topical cream is supplied in a 60g foil tube. It should be kept in its original packaging, inside the cardboard outer box it is supplied in to protect it from light, and stored at room temperature (between 20C and 25C) with excursions permitted (15C to 30C) – however, if kept at lower or upper ends of the excursion limits the shelf-life may be shortened. This medication should be kept in out of reach or children or pets.
Unwanted or out-of-date medicines should be disposed of in a safe and hygenic manner. Sertaconazole should not be flushed down a toilet or drain. Patients who require further advice on how to dispose of unwanted medication should contact their local pharmacist.
Sertaconazole topical cream is an effective treatment for athlete’s foot, and as a combined antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, it is useful for treatment both the symptoms and causes of fungal infection.
However, use of this medicine is not without its risks – patients should be forthcoming to their doctor about any pre-existing health conditions or allergies prior to using this drug in order to avoid unwanted interactions or side effects. When used correctly, this medicine helps to rid the body of exterior fungal infections of the feet, helping the patient to walk and take part in sporting activities once again without pain or discomfort.
In order for the patient to get the most out of this medicine, they must work with their healthcare provider to ascertain the optimum dose.