Antifungal, topical. Ciclopirox olamine is a hydroxypyridone antifungal that is structurally unrelated to other antifungal agents. It was first introduced in 1975 and has been accepted and used in Europe for many years. It was approved by the FDA in 1982 for the treatment of superficial fungal infections. A new lacquer formulation was approved in 1999.

Trade Name:

  • Penlac*   Dermik
  • Loprox*   Dermik

Dosage Forms:

  • Nail lacquer solution: Ciclopirox olamine 8% Penlac Nail Lacquer*
  • Topical Gel: Ciclopirox olamine 1% Loprox*
  • Cream: Ciclopirox olamine 1% Loprox*
  • Lotion: Ciclopirox olamine 1% Loprox*

The topical application of this drug was one of the first effective antifungals for superficial dermatophyte, yeast, and fungal infections. The most recent formulation, a lacquer, has made ciclopirox convenient in the treatment of nail infections.

Used for

  • Tinea corporis
  • Tinea cruris
  • Tinea pedis
  • Tinea versicolor
  • Candidiasis, cutaneous
  • Nail lacquer
  • Onychomycosis

Therapeutic Regimen



Ciclopirox 1% lotion, gel or cream applied to the affected areas twice a day.

Ciclopirox 8% nail lacquer to be applied daily as directed and removed once a week. Continue up to 48 weeks if necessary.

PediatricSafety and efficacy have not been established for children < 10 years of age.


Safety Information

Adverse Effects 
Cutaneous effects may include local irritation or burning when first applied.

FDA Pregnancy Category B Adequate human studies have not been completed. Animal studies have not shown adverse fetal effects. It is not known if ciclopirox is distributed in breast milk.

General References

Abrams BB, Hanel H, Hoehler T : Ciclopirox olamine : A Hydroxypyridine Antifungal Agent. In Clinics in Dermatology. Parish LC (Ed) Philadelphia, JB Lippencott 1992 : pages 471 – 477

Jue SG, Dawson GW, Brogden RN : Ciclopirox olamine 1% cream. A preliminary review of its antimicrobial activity and therapeutic use. Drugs 1985 : 29 (4) : 330 – 341

Gupta AK, Baran R : Ciclopirox nail lacquer solution 8% in the 21st century Jour. Am. Acad. Derm. 2000 : 43 : S96 – S102 Bohn M, Kraemer KT : Dermatopharmacology of ciclopirox nail lacquer topical r solution 8% in the treatment of onychomycosis Jour. Am. Acad. Derm. 2000 : 43 : S57 – S59

Gupta AK : Pharmacoeconomic analysis of ciclopirox nail lacquer solution 8% and the new oral antifungal agents used to treat dermatophyte toe onychomycosis in the US. Jour. Am. Acad. Derm. 2000 : 43 : S81 – S95

Gupta AK, Fleckman P, Baran R : Ciclopirox nail lacquer topical solution 8% in the treatment of toenail onychomycosis. Jour. Am. Acad. Derm. 2000 : 43 : S70 – S80

Tosti A, Piraccini BM, Lorenzi S : Onychomycosis caused by non-dermatophyte moulds : Clinical features and response to treatment of 59 cases. Jour. Am. Acad. Derm. 2000 : 42 : 217 – 224

Vardy DA, Zvulunov A, Tchetov T, et al : A double-blind placebo-controlled trial of a ciclopirox olamine 1% shampoo for the treatment of scalp Seborrehic dermatitis. Jour. Derm. Treat. 2000 : 11 : 73 – 77

Wu TC, Chuan MT, Lu YC : Efficacy of ciclopirox olamine 1% cream in onychomycosis and tinea pedis. Mycoses 1991 : 34 : 93 – 95