Successful treatment of dandruff with 1.5% ciclopirox olamine shampoo in Korea

J Dermatolog Treat. 2003 Dec;14(4):212-5.


Background: Dandruff is a chronic scalp condition characterized by scaling. The common causative agent is now accepted to be the lipophilic yeast Malassezia furfur. Ketoconazole, a highly effective antifungal agent against M. furfur has been used for the treatment of dandruff.

Aim: To determine whether a 1.5% ciclopirox olamine shampoo is as effective as a 2% ketoconazole shampoo for the treatment of mild to moderate dandruff.

Methods: A total of 64 patients, with mild to moderate dandruff, participated in the study. The study consisted of three consecutive phases: a 2-week washout period, a 4-week treatment period and a 2-week post-treatment period. Patients were randomized equally to either the 1.5% ciclopirox olamine shampoo or 2% ketoconazole shampoo. An overall dandruff score was calculated using an area of dandruff involvement score and a severity score. Patients evaluated the presence of pruritus and also reported a global evaluation of efficacy.

Results: In all, 57 patients successfully completed all three phases. The overall dandruff score declined progressively throughout the treatment period for both shampoos. A slight increase in pruritus was observed in the ciclopirox olamine treatment group during the post-treatment phase. Regarding global self-assessment of efficacy, both treatment groups were pleased with their scalp condition following treatment.

Conclusion: Ciclopirox olamine shampoo appears to offer an effective, safe and easy to use treatment for mild to moderate dandruff.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ciclopirox
  • Dermatomycoses / diagnosis
  • Dermatomycoses / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hair Preparations
  • Humans
  • Ketoconazole / therapeutic use*
  • Korea
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pyridones / therapeutic use*
  • Scalp Dermatoses / diagnosis*
  • Scalp Dermatoses / drug therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Hair Preparations
  • Pyridones
  • Ciclopirox
  • Ketoconazole