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Miconazole ball-and-stick.png
Clinical data
Trade namesDesenex, Monistat, others
  • AU: A (when used topically)
  • US: C (Risk not ruled out) (for topical use)
Routes of
topical, vaginal, sublabial
ATC code
Legal status
Legal status
  • AU: S2 (Pharmacy only) Schedule 2 for topical formulations, schedule 3 for vaginal use and for oral candidiasis, otherwise schedule 4
  • UK: POM (Prescription only)
  • US: OTC
CAS Number
PubChem CID
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
ECHA InfoCard100.041.188 Edit this at Wikidata
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass416.127 g/mol g·mol−1
3D model (JSmol)
ChiralityRacemic mixture

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.[2] Miconazole is in the imidazole family of medications.[1] It works by decreasing the ability of fungi to make ergosterol, an important part of its cell membrane.[1]

Miconazole was patented in 1968 and approved for medical use in 1971.[3] It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.[4] The wholesale cost in the developing world is about 0.23 to US$0.60 for a 30 gram tube.[5] In the United States a course of treatment costs less than US$25.[2]

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.

Side effects

Unlike nystatin, some miconazole is absorbed by the intestinal tract when used orally (and possibly if used vaginally[6]); 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.

Brand names and formulations

Vaginal miconazole 20 mg/g - Brazil

Oral treatment: (brands: 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: (brands: 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: (brands: 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


Miconazole inhibits the fungal enzyme 14α-sterol demethylase, which reduces production of ergosterol.[7] In addition to its antifungal actions, miconazole, along with ketoconazole, is known to act as an antagonist of the glucocorticoid receptor.[8]


Miconazole has been shown to promote remyelination of neurons in chronic progressive multiple sclerosis mouse models.[9]

Physical properties

The solubilities of miconazole nitrate powder are 0.03% in water, 0.76% in ethanol and up to 4% in acetic acid.[10]

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.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Miconazole Nitrate". The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b Hamilton, Richart (2015). Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia 2015 Deluxe Lab-Coat Edition. Jones & Bartlett Learning. p. 180. ISBN 9781284057560.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (19th List)" (PDF). World Health Organization. April 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Miconazole Nitrate". International Drug Price Indicator Guide. Archived from the original on 10 May 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  6. ^ British National Formulary '45' March 2003
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Najm, Fadi J.; Madhavan, Mayur; Zaremba, Anita; Shick, Elizabeth; Karl, Robert T.; Factor, Daniel C.; Miller, Tyler E.; Nevin, Zachary S.; Kantor, Christopher (2015-01-01). "Drug-based modulation of endogenous stem cells promotes functional remyelination in vivo". Nature. 522 (7555): 216–220. doi:10.1038/nature14335. PMC 4528969. PMID 25896324.
  10. ^ United States Patent 5461068 Archived 2014-09-10 at the Wayback Machine

External links