Econazole Nitrate vs Clotrimazole – Comparison of Side Effects & Uses

Econazole Nitrate

It is a medication that belongs to a group of drugs called azole antifungal medications. It works by stopping the fungi from producing ergosterol, a substance that is an essential component of fungal cell membranes.


This antifungal medication is typically used to treat skin infections, like – jock itch (a fungal infection of the skin), athlete’s foot (a fungal infection which typically starts between the toes), tinea versicolor (a fungus that discolors the skin), ringworm (also known as dermatophytosis or tinea), and yeast infections.


It comes as a cream to apply to the skin. The usual recommended dose is one application once or twice per day (depending on your affections), in the morning and evening, for 14 days. More exactly:

  • to treat yeast infections of the skin, apply the antifungal medication to the affected areas and nearby skin two times per day for 14 days;
  • to treat ringworm, jock itch, or tinea versicolor, apply the antifungal medication to the affected areas and nearby skin once per day for 14 days;
  • to treat athlete’s foot, apply antifungal medication to the affected areas and nearby skin once per day for 30 days.

Here are several tips on how to apply the cream and get the optimum results:

  • only use doses as directed;
  • be sure to wash and fully dry the infected area;
  • to help to reduce the risk of the fungus spreading to other areas of your body, wash your hands immediately after using the antifungal cream;
  • cover the infected area with a dressing or bandage to let the cream soak in;
  • after applying it directly to the fungus, rub it in gently.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • stinging;
  • burning after using the medicine;
  • pimple-like bumps;
  • swelling;
  • flaking of the treated skin;
  • tenderness;
  • redness;
  • irritation of the skin.

Rare side effects may include:

  • itching;
  • unusual or severe blistering;
  • oozing;
  • redness;
  • open sores after using the medicine;
  • swelling;
  • dryness;
  • peeling.

Breast Feeding & Pregnancy

There are no adequate clinical studies in women for determining infant risk when using this antifungal medication during breastfeeding. Therefore, contact your doctor before using it.

Also, there are no adequate clinical studies in pregnant women to determine the safe use of this antifungal medication during pregnancy, therefore, if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, contact your doctor before using the medication.


It is a medicine (brand name – Canesten) that is used to treat fungal infections, such as – vaginal thrush (an infection caused by an overgrowth of C. albicans yeast).

This medicine works by inhibiting the biosynthesis of the sterol ergosterol, an important component of fungal cell membranes.


The medication can be used to treat athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), ringworm (tinea corporis), jock itch (tinea cruris), candidiasis (yeast infections of the skin and mucous membranes), infected diaper rash (caused by Candida albicans), and tinea versicolor (patches of skin which are a different colour).

Also, the oral form of this antifungal medication is used to prevent and treat yeast infections of the throat and mouth.


This antifungal can be found both as a prescription and OTC medication.

It is usually applied two times per day for 2 to 8 weeks for skin infections and 5 times per day for 14 days for oral thrush.


If you experience itching around the outside of the vagina, apply the medication to that area once or twice per day for 7 days. It is important to keep taking this antifungal medication for the full time prescribed, even if the signs appear to have cleared up.

The area treated with this antifungal cream should not be bandaged but only cover the skin with clothing made of a breathable fabric.

If you are using this antifungal medication to treat tinea pedis (athlete’s foot), it is recommended to wash and dry the feet before using it.

Side Effects

Commonly side effects may include:

  • itching;
  • burning in the area of application;
  • stinging;
  • hives;
  • local redness;
  • blistering;
  • peeling;
  • swelling.

Precautions & Tips

If you experience foul-smelling vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, or fever, your symptoms may be due to a more severe illness, other than a yeast infection. Hence, talk to your doctor as soon as you can and do not use this antifungal cream.

Do not get this cream in your eyes. Nevertheless, if you do, rinse out with cool tap water.

Birth control methods may be less effective if you use them during the treatment with this cream. Additionally, this cream will not prevent the yeast infection from spreading to your sexual partner.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

There are no clinical studies to determine the safe use of this medication by pregnant women, hence, contact your doctor before using the cream. Also, since it is passed into breast milk and may negatively affect the infant, do not use the antifungal if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Drug Interactions

This medication may interact with many other drugs, especially:

  • betamethasone;
  • aspirin;
  • fish Oil (omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids);
  • beclomethasone;
  • lantus (insulin glargine);
  • benadryl (diphenhydramine);
  • lipitor (atorvastatin);
  • cymbalta (duloxetine);
  • miconazole, terconazole;
  • anbesol;
  • fluconazole;
  • metronidazole;
  • hydrocortisone;
  • singulair (montelukast);
  • lasix (furosemide);
  • tylenol (acetaminophen);
  • lyrica (pregabalin);
  • Xanax (alprazolam);
  • Miralax (polyethylene glycol 3350);
  • vitamin C (ascorbic acid);
  • nexium (esomeprazole);
  • vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol);
  • ProAir HFA (albuterol);
  • zyrtec (cetirizine);
  • symbicort (budesonide/formoterol);
  • vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin);
  • synthroid (levothyroxine).

Econazole Nitrate vs Clotrimazole – Which Is Better?

Both these medications are antifungals, however, even if they are different, they have similar effects – they stop the fungi from producing ergosterol.

According to a 1983 study that compared the effectiveness of these antifungals, they are both effective with few side effects, when given for 14 days.


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