Clotrimazole is an anti fungal cream that can effectively treat thrush infections in men.
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Clotrimazole cream is an anti fungal cream that helps to clear away thrush infections. The active ingredient clotrimazole fights the cause of fungal infections.
Clotrimazole is a generic version of Canesten. It is available as a 1% strength thrush external cream. You apply it to the skin in externally affected areas.
20 g tube(s) - £9.99
Clotrimazole is a substance used to treat fungal skin infections such as:
- thrush of the head of the penis (candidal balanitis)
- thrush of the head of the penis and foreskin (balanoposthitis)
- thrush in females
- athlete’s foot
- fungal nappy rash
- fungal sweat rash
Apply clotrimazole cream as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. You can use clotrimazole cream as follows:
- before use, unscrew the head of the cream, turn it upside down and press into the end of the tube to pierce the seal
- apply thinly and evenly to affected areas 2 to 3 times a day
- a strip of cream (half a cm) is enough to treat the size of a hand
- to treat male thrush infections use the cream for at least 2 weeks
- do not put the cream in your mouth
- do not swallow the cream
Clotrimazole cream contains 10mg of clotrimazole (1% w/w).
Clotrimazole is in the imidazole group of medicines and is an antifungal agent. It destroys the fungus or yeast that is causing the infection.
The yeast is usually Candida albicans causing candidiasis (candida infection). Candida is naturally found on the skin of almost all people. In a small number of people this naturally occurring yeast can cause an infection which requires treatment.
Taking clotrimazole early will help to resolve the troublesome symptoms of thrush. It will also reduce the chance of spreading it to someone else.
With clotrimazole you can expect itching or soreness to go away within a few days. Redness and scaling of the genital skin may take longer to go away. If your symptoms persist, contact a healthcare professional.
You can help the treatment to work if you:
- avoid scratching affected areas
- avoid irritants coming into contact with the skin
- keep affected areas clean
- keep your skin dry as infections grow in moist environments
- avoid sharing towels or other personal items with others
- wear cotton underwear instead of synthetics
- wash your hands after applying the treatment
As with all medicines, clotrimazole can have some side effects. Not everyone will have side effects.
After applying the cream you may have some:
- blisters or peeling
- discomfort or irritation
This may mean you are allergic to the cream. In rare cases, allergies to the cream may be more serious. Go to A&E or tell your doctor as soon as possible if you have:
- a fast spreading rash
- shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing
- swelling of the body or face
- weakness, dizziness or feeling faint
Clotrimazole is a popular treatment that most people can use. Do not use clotrimazole if you are allergic to clotrimazole or any other ingredients of clotrimazole cream. You can find the other ingredients in the package insert, inside your medicine’s box.
Clotrimazole cream is not known to interact with most other medications or food and drink.
But some antibiotics may interact with thrush treatments. Discuss all your medications including over the counter medications with a doctor.
Thrush may be more likely with antibiotics. But, if you have been given antibiotics, it is important to take the entire course. Antibiotics are important to prevent bacterial infections from worsening. We have a useful guide on thrush treatment and antibiotics.
Clotrimazole cream may decrease the effectiveness of rubber contraceptives (condoms or diaphragms). Use alternative protection for at least 5 days of using clotrimazole.
Avoid smoking or flames, as fabric in contact with this product is more flammable. Washing the fabric may help.
For female thrush, clotrimazole is available in other forms, such as:
- 2% external use cream
- 10% internal vaginal cream
- a pessary (vaginal tablet)
These are not for use by men.
Alternatives to clotrimazole for men and women include other antifungal medications. These are in the form of creams or pills, like:
- Miconazole cream
- Econazole cream
- Fluconazole pills
To treat the symptoms of pain or discomfort the following can be used:
- Hydrocortisone 1% cream
- Hydrocortisone 1% ointment
For more information about male thrush and its treatments refer to our guide here. If you have any further questions, speak to a doctor or pharmacist.
If you are not sure whether or not you have thrush contact a doctor. You may have other conditions such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Thrush is not an STI. But male yeast infections and STIs can have similar symptoms such as:
- feeling itchy, irritation or burning (at rest and passing urine)
- unpleasant smell
- difficulty pulling back the foreskin
Alternatively, you can order an STI test kit from ZAVA. It is quick and easy. Results and advice are available in a few days.
Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Expansion
Babak studied medicine at King’s College London and graduated in 2003, having also gained a bachelor’s degree in Physiology during his time there. He completed his general practice (GP) training in East London, where he worked for a number of years as a partner at a large inner-city GP practice. He completed the Royal College of GPs membership exam in 2007.Meet our doctors
Last reviewed: 04 Feb 2022
Clotrimazole Cream 1%, Patient Information Leaflet, EMC [accessed January 2022]
Clotrimazole cream, spray and solution, National Health Service [accessed January 2022]
Clotrimazole, NICE/British National Formulary [accessed January 2022]
Clotrimazole 1% cream, Summary of Product Characteristics, EMC [accessed January 2022]
Thrush in men and women, National Health Service [accessed January 2022]