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FDA-Approved Use:

Ketoconazole foam, 2% is indicated for the topical treatment of seborrheic dermatitis in immunocompetent patients 12 years of age and older.


Mechanism of Action

Ketoconazole is highly effective against the yeast Pityrosporum ovale, an organism believed to be involved in the pathogenesis of dandruff.


Who should not use ketoconazole?

The following conditions can preclude the usage of ketoconazole:

  • Individuals with an allergy to ketoconazole or any other component of the product.
  • Individuals under the age of 12.


What should I tell a provider before starting ketoconazole?

Ensure you disclose your entire medical history to your healthcare provider. Be aware that withholding or providing inaccurate health and medical history to obtain treatment can have serious consequences, potentially including complications.

  • Comorbidities:
      • Allergies: Before taking ketoconazole, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other problems.
    • Pregnancy and Special Populations:
      • It is crucial to inform your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding before using ketoconazole. The safety of ketoconazole during pregnancy has not been fully established. Discuss potential risks and benefits with your healthcare provider.

    How should I use ketoconazole?


    Topical ketoconazole should be applied to the affected areas of the scalp or skin as directed by your provider. The frequency and duration of use will depend on the specific formulation prescribed.


    What side effects should I be aware of with ketoconazole?

    Common side effects of topical ketoconazole may include burning, dryness, redness, irritation, numbness, itching, rash, and warmth at the application site.

    You or a caregiver should carefully monitor for these side effects, especially in the beginning of treatment and with dose changes. If you experience severe symptoms or are having a medical emergency, call 911 or seek immediate medical attention.

    The above does not encompass all potential side effects, medication interactions, or studies related to ketoconazole. Unreported or yet undiscovered side effects might exist. Please review the FDA prescribing information and the Prescriber’s Digital Reference (PDR) for a comprehensive overview of ketoconazole.


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