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Trade namesDesenex, Monistat, others
  • (RS)-1-(2-(2,4-Dichlorobenzyloxy)-2-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)ethyl)-1H-imidazole
Clinical data
Drug classAntifungal medication (imidazole)[1]
Main usesRing worm, pityriasis versicolor, yeast infections[1]
Side effectsItchiness or irritation of the area[1]
  • AU: A(when used topically)
  • US: C (Risk not ruled out)(for topical use)
Routes of
Topical, vaginal, sublabial
Defined daily dose200 mg (by mouth)[2]
1 gm (by injection)[3]
100 mg (vaginally)[4]
External links
Legal status
  • AU: S2 (Pharmacy medicine) Schedule 2 for topical formulations, schedule 3 for vaginal use and for oral candidiasis, otherwise schedule 4
  • UK: POM (Prescription only)
  • US: OTC
Bioavailability<1% after topical application
Protein binding88.2%
ExcretionMainly faeces
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass416.127 g·mol−1
3D model (JSmol)
ChiralityRacemic mixture
  • Clc1cc(Cl)ccc1C(Cn2ccnc2)OCc3ccc(Cl)cc3Cl
  • InChI=1S/C18H14Cl4N2O/c19-13-2-1-12(16(21)7-13)10-25-18(9-24-6-5-23-11-24)15-4-3-14(20)8-17(15)22/h1-8,11,18H,9-10H2 checkY

Miconazole, sold under the brand name Monistat among others, is an antifungal medication used to treat ring worm, pityriasis versicolor, and yeast infections of the skin or vagina.[1] It is used for ring worm of the body, groin (jock itch), and feet (athlete's foot).[1] It is applied to the skin or vagina as a cream or ointment.[1]

Common side effects include itchiness or irritation of the area in which it was applied.[1] Use in pregnancy is believed to be safe for the baby.[5] Miconazole is in the imidazole family of medications.[1] It works by decreasing the ability of fungi to make ergosterol, an important part of their cell membrane.[1]

Miconazole was patented in 1968 and approved for medical use in 1971.[6] It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines.[7] The wholesale cost in the developing world is about US$0.23 to US$0.60 for a 30 gram tube.[8] In the United States a course of treatment costs less than US$25.[5]

Medical uses

Miconazole is mainly used externally for the treatment of ringworm including jock itch and athlete's foot. Internal application is used for oral or vaginal thrush (yeast infection). This oral gel may also be used for the lip disorder angular cheilitis and other associated systems.

In the UK, miconazole may be used to treat neonatal oral thrush, while the alternative nystatin is only licensed for patients over the age of one month, but drug interactions are possible.


The defined daily dose is 1 gram by injection,[3] 100 mg vaginally,[4] and 200 mg by mouth.[2] For thrush in those over the age of two it is given as 2.5 ml four times a day as a 2% oral gel.[9] While in those 6 months to 24 months 1.25 ml four times a day is used.[9] Treatment is generally for 7 to 14 days.[9]

Side effects

Unlike nystatin, some miconazole is absorbed by the intestinal tract when used orally (and possibly if used vaginally[10]); this may lead to drug interactions.

Interactions are possible with anticoagulants, phenytoin, terbinafine,[citation needed] some newer atypical antipsychotics, cyclosporin, and some statins used to treat hypercholesterolemia.


Mechanism of action

Miconazole inhibits the fungal enzyme 14α-sterol demethylase, resulting in a reduced production of ergosterol.[11] In addition to its antifungal actions, miconazole, similarly to ketoconazole, is known to act as an antagonist of the glucocorticoid receptor.[12]


After application to the skin, miconazole can be measured in the skin for up to four days. Less than 1% is absorbed into the bloodstream, where 88.2% are bound to plasma proteins and 10.6% to blood cells. The substance is partly metabolized and mainly eliminated via the faeces.[13]


The solubilities of miconazole nitrate powder are 0.03% in water, 0.76% in ethanol and up to 4% in acetic acid.[14]

Other uses

Miconazole is also used in Ektachrome film developing in the final rinse of the Kodak E-6 process and similar Fuji CR-56 process, replacing formaldehyde. Fuji Hunt also includes miconazole as a final rinse additive in their formulation of the C-41RA rapid access color negative developing process.

Brands and formulations

Oral treatment: (brand names Daktarin in UK, Fungimin Oral Gel in Bangladesh):

  • Oral gel 24 mg/ml (20 mg/g)
  • Oravig 50 mg once daily buccal tablet:

In 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Oravig (miconazole) buccal tablets once daily for the local treatment of oropharyngeal candidiasis, more commonly known as thrush, in adults and children age 16 and older. Oravig is the only local, oral prescription formulation of miconazole approved for this use in the U.S.[citation needed]

External skin treatment (brand names Desenex and Zeasorb in US and Canada, Micatin, Monistat-Derm, Daktarin in India, UK, Australia, Belgium and the Philippines, Daktar in Norway, Fungidal in Bangladesh, Decocort in Malaysia)

  • Topical cream: 2-5%
  • Combination: hydrocortisone/miconazole cream with 1% and 2%, respectively (Daktacort in UK, Daktodor in Greece)
  • Dusting powder: 2% powder with chlorhexidine hydrochloride (mycoDust)

Vaginal treatment (brand names Miconazex, Monistat, Femizol or Gyno-Daktarin in UK):

  • Pessaries: 200 or 100 mg
  • Vaginal cream: 2% (7-day treatment), 4% (3-day treatment)
  • Combination: 2% cream with either 100 or 200 mg


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 "Miconazole Nitrate". The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "WHOCC - ATC/DDD Index". www.whocc.no. Archived from the original on 6 November 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "WHOCC - ATC/DDD Index". www.whocc.no. Archived from the original on 6 November 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "WHOCC - ATC/DDD Index". www.whocc.no. Archived from the original on 6 November 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Hamilton, Richart (2015). Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia 2015 Deluxe Lab-Coat Edition. Jones & Bartlett Learning. p. 180. ISBN 9781284057560.
  6. Fischer, Janos; Ganellin, C. Robin (2006). Analogue-based Drug Discovery. John Wiley & Sons. p. 502. ISBN 9783527607495. Archived from the original on 2016-12-20.
  7. World Health Organization (2019). World Health Organization model list of essential medicines: 21st list 2019. Geneva: World Health Organization. hdl:10665/325771. WHO/MVP/EMP/IAU/2019.06. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
  8. "Miconazole Nitrate". International Drug Price Indicator Guide. Archived from the original on 10 May 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "MICONAZOLE oral gel - Essential drugs". medicalguidelines.msf.org. Archived from the original on 28 August 2021. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  10. British National Formulary '45' March 2003
  11. Becher, R; Wirsel, SG (August 2012). "Fungal cytochrome P450 sterol 14α-demethylase (CYP51) and azole resistance in plant and human pathogens". Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 95 (4): 825–40. doi:10.1007/s00253-012-4195-9. PMID 22684327.
  12. Duret C, Daujat-Chavanieu M, Pascussi JM, Pichard-Garcia L, Balaguer P, Fabre JM, Vilarem MJ, Maurel P, Gerbal-Chaloin S (2006). "Ketoconazole and miconazole are antagonists of the human glucocorticoid receptor: consequences on the expression and function of the constitutive androstane receptor and the pregnane X receptor". Mol. Pharmacol. 70 (1): 329–39. doi:10.1124/mol.105.022046. PMID 16608920. Archived from the original on 2018-11-04. Retrieved 2018-11-04.
  13. Haberfeld H, ed. (2019). Austria-Codex (in German). Vienna: Österreichischer Apothekerverlag. Daktarin 2%-Creme.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  14. United States Patent 5461068 Archived 2014-09-10 at the Wayback Machine

External links

External sites: