Ketoconazole, a brand name for a formulation containing essential Ketoconazole, is widely used for various health benefits. This guide provides comprehensive information on the uses, dosage, side effects, and mechanism of action of Ketoconazole, as well as insights into how long it takes to work. Understanding these aspects can help you make informed decisions about its use and effectiveness.


Ketoconazole is a synthetic antifungal medication used to treat a wide variety of fungal infections. It is available as an oral tablet, topical cream, and topical solution, as well as a generic form.


Ketoconazole is used to treat various fungal infections such as athlete's foot, jock itch, ringworm, and yeast infections of the skin, scalp, mouth, and nails. It is also used to treat fungal infections of the brain and spinal cord caused by Candida (yeast).

Mechanism of Action

Ketoconazole inhibits fungal growth by interfering with the fungal cell membrane. It also affects the activity of certain enzymes. These actions stop the spread of the fungal infection.

How Long Does Ketoconazole Take to Work?

Ketoconazole usually begins to work within a few days, depending on the severity and location of the infection. It may take up to several weeks of continuous treatment before infections are completely healed.


Ketoconazole can be absorbed either orally or through topical treatments. Oral absorption is rapid, while topical absorption is slower.

Route of Elimination

Ketoconazole is eliminated from the body through bile in the feces and urine.


The dosage of ketoconazole depends on the condition being treated and other factors such as age and weight. The dosage can range from 200mg to 400mg taken orally once per day for up to two weeks, or as instructed by your doctor. 


Ketoconazole can be taken orally with or without food. Topical forms of the medication should be applied as instructed by your doctor.

Side Effects

The most common side effects of ketoconazole include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, headache, and rash. Severe side effects may include liver injury, low blood sugar, and increased risk of fungal infection.


Ketoconazole is generally considered to have low to moderate toxicity. However, in high doses for long periods of time, it can cause liver damage and other adverse effects.


Ketoconazole should not be used by people with liver disease, kidney disease, or low blood sugar. It should also not be used by pregnant or nursing women, or people who are taking immunosuppressive drugs.


Ketoconazole can interact with other medications and supplements, so it’s important to tell your doctor about all medications and supplements you are taking.

Disease Interactions

Ketoconazole may worsen conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. It can also interact negatively with medications used to treat these conditions.

Drug Interactions

Ketoconazole can interact with other medications, so it’s important to tell your doctor about all medications and supplements you are taking.

Food Interactions

Ketoconazole can interact with certain foods, so it’s important to tell your doctor about all foods and supplements you are taking.

Pregnancy Use

Ketoconazole should not be used during pregnancy, as it can cause harm to the developing baby.

Lactation Use

Ketoconazole is not recommended for use in nursing mothers, as it can pass into breast milk and cause harm to a nursing infant.

Acute Overdose

If an overdose occurs, contact a poison control center immediately. Symptoms of an overdose may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and drowsiness.


Ketoconazole is contraindicated in people who have liver disease, kidney disease, low blood sugar, or who are taking immunosuppressant drugs.

Directions for Use

Ketoconazole should be used as directed by your doctor or pharmacist.

Storage Conditions

Ketoconazole should be stored at room temperature and kept away from light.

Volume of Distribution

Ketoconazole has an average volume of distribution of 11–16 L/kg.


The half-life of ketoconazole is approximately 3–5 hours.


Ketoconazole has a clearance rate of 14–27 L/hr/kg.

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