What is Ketoconazole?
Ketoconazole (KCZ) is an anti-fungal compound available in multiple forms and varying levels of strength. It is manufactured as a cream, tablet, or shampoo, and it is primarily used to control dandruff as well as fight fungal infections. Studies have shown that it may have other clinical uses as well.
Is Ketoconazole an effective treatment for Hair Loss?
Official government studies show that KCZ holds significant promise for restoring hair loss by promoting an anti-inflammatory effect that counteracts certain types of alopecia caused by inflammation in particular. A separate study, conducted in 2002, confirmed that KCZ can amplify and enhance the restorative effect 2% minoxidil has on hair follicles. For this clinical experiment, twenty-four patients applied 2% minoxidil without any other type of medication, while ten patients used a combination of topical 2% minoxidil with topical 2% KCZ. After monitoring each individual’s progress for one year, the study found that those who used a combination of minoxidil and KCZ statistically grew more hair than the group who merely used minoxidil by itself. This study proves a connective link between topical KCZ products and hair restoration, though more studies are needed in order to reach a definitive conclusion.
Ketoconazole as a Tablet
KCZ tablets work best on a full stomach. Be sure to finish your full regime while on this medicine, even if you notice that the fungal infection goes away early on. If you do not finish the full prescription, the fungal infection can easily return. If you forgot a dose, take a tablet as soon as you can. However, if it is time for your next dose, do not take double the prescribed amount. In addition, if it is almost time for your next dose, wait until it is time and take the regular amount.
Ketoconazole as a Cream or Shampoo
KCZ creams are typically used every day, while shampoos may be needed less frequently, and sometimes can be applied as little as one time only. Since the strength can vary, be sure to follow the exact directions. If you apply more than you are supposed to, it will not alleviate any infections nor treat dandruff faster or more efficiently. In fact, using too much KCZ at once can cause additional side effects. Be sure to use only the prescribed amount, and be sure to use KCZ creams at the same time every day.
Who should not take Ketoconazole?
People with certain liver, heart, kidney, or stomach problems should discuss these problems with their doctor before taking KCZ. Pregnant women should also speak to their doctor before taking KCZ, and should never take KCZ while breastfeeding.
What are the Side Effects of Ketoconazole?
These problems can be caused by KCZ, and should be discussed with your doctor:
- Heart rhythm complications
- Liver complications. Refrain from alcohol while on this medication.
- Urine or stool discoloration.
- No appetite
- Stomach pain
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Sexual problems such as the inability to maintain an erection.
- Swollen breast tissue (with males)