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Clotrimazole vs. Miconazole: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 2, 2024
Clotrimazole and miconazole are both antifungal medications; clotrimazole is often used for thrush and athlete's foot, while miconazole is common for skin and yeast infections.

Key Differences

Clotrimazole is a broad-spectrum antifungal agent effective against a variety of fungal infections, including thrush and athlete's foot. Miconazole, similarly, is a broad-spectrum antifungal used primarily for skin infections and vaginal yeast infections. Both work by inhibiting the synthesis of ergosterol, a key component of fungal cell membranes.
Clotrimazole is often found in creams, lotions, and lozenges, tailored for different types of fungal infections. Miconazole is also available in similar formulations, including creams, sprays, and suppositories, each designed for specific infection sites. Their versatility makes them staples in antifungal treatment.
The absorption and metabolism of clotrimazole vary depending on its form; for instance, oral troches for thrush have different pharmacokinetics than topical creams for athlete's foot. Miconazole's absorption also differs based on application, with vaginal suppositories absorbing differently than topical creams.
Clotrimazole is often chosen for oral infections like thrush due to its formulation and effectiveness in that area. Miconazole is frequently preferred for vaginal yeast infections, due to its specific formulations and efficacy in treating these conditions.
Side effects of clotrimazole can include itching, redness, and blistering at the application site. Miconazole, similarly, may cause irritation, burning, or itching where applied. Both require careful application as per medical advice to avoid adverse reactions.

Comparison Chart

Common Uses

Thrush, Athlete's Foot
Skin Infections, Vaginal Yeast Infections

Available Forms

Creams, Lotions, Lozenges
Creams, Sprays, Suppositories

Absorption and Metabolism

Varies by form; oral vs. topical
Depends on application site

Preferred Treatment Areas

Oral Infections (Thrush)
Vaginal Yeast Infections

Typical Side Effects

Itching, Redness, Blistering
Irritation, Burning, Itching

Clotrimazole and Miconazole Definitions


Clotrimazole inhibits fungal cell membrane synthesis.
The doctor prescribed clotrimazole for my thrush.


Miconazole treats skin and vaginal yeast infections.
Miconazole cream quickly relieved my skin infection.


Clotrimazole is an antifungal medication for skin and oral infections.
Clotrimazole cream effectively treated my athlete's foot.


Miconazole disrupts fungal cell membranes.
The doctor recommended miconazole for my yeast infection.


Clotrimazole comes in various forms, including creams and lozenges.
I used a clotrimazole lozenge for oral thrush.


Miconazole is available in creams, sprays, and suppositories.
I used a miconazole spray for my athlete's foot.


Clotrimazole can cause side effects like itching and redness.
After applying clotrimazole, I experienced some mild itching.


Miconazole is a broad-spectrum antifungal agent.
Miconazole effectively treats various fungal infections.


Clotrimazole is effective against a wide range of fungal infections.
Clotrimazole is my go-to for fungal skin infections.


Miconazole may cause burning or irritation at the application site.
I felt a slight burning sensation after applying miconazole.


A broad-spectrum antifungal drug, C22H17ClN2, used topically to treat a variety of superficial fungal infections, including candidiasis and ringworm.


A broad-spectrum antifungal agent, C18H14Cl4N2O, used topically, often in its nitrate form, to treat candidiasis and other fungal infections.


An antifungal medication used to treat humans and animals, C22H17ClN2.


(pharmaceutical drug) An imidazole antifungal agent that works by inhibiting the synthesis of ergosterol.


An antifungal agent usually administered in the form of a nitrate (trade name Monistat)


Can clotrimazole be used for vaginal yeast infections?

Yes, but it's more commonly used for oral and skin infections.

Is clotrimazole available over the counter?

Yes, in various forms like creams and lozenges.

Can miconazole treat oral thrush?

It's possible, but it's more commonly used for skin and vaginal infections.

Can clotrimazole treat nail fungus?

It can, but there are more specific treatments for nail fungus.

How does clotrimazole work?

It inhibits the synthesis of ergosterol, disrupting fungal cell membranes.

What is miconazole primarily used for?

For treating skin and vaginal yeast infections.

How is miconazole applied?

It's applied as a cream, spray, or suppository, depending on the infection.

What are the side effects of miconazole?

Possible side effects include irritation, burning, and itching.

Is clotrimazole safe for children?

Yes, but consult a pediatrician for appropriate dosing and use.

What is clotrimazole used for?

It's used to treat fungal skin infections and oral thrush.

Are there any side effects of clotrimazole?

Side effects can include itching, redness, and blistering.

How long does it take for clotrimazole to work?

Improvement is often seen in a few days, but full treatment duration should be followed.

Is miconazole available without a prescription?

Yes, it's available over the counter in various formulations.

Can clotrimazole and miconazole be used together?

It's best to consult a healthcare provider before combining treatments.

Should clotrimazole be applied to broken skin?

No, it should be used on intact skin only.

Does miconazole interact with other medications?

It can, especially with blood thinners. Consult a doctor for advice.

Can miconazole be used during pregnancy?

Consult a healthcare provider, as it depends on the stage of pregnancy and infection type.

Is miconazole effective against all types of fungi?

It's effective against many, but not all, types of fungi.

Can miconazole cause allergic reactions?

Yes, allergic reactions are possible and should be immediately reported to a healthcare provider.

How often should miconazole be applied?

Follow the instructions on the package or as advised by a healthcare provider.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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