Oxiconazole nitrate: pharmacology, efficacy, and safety of a new imidazole antifungal agent

Clin Ther. 1991 Jan-Feb;13(1):126-41.


Oxiconazole nitrate (1%) cream became available in the United States in 1989 for the once-daily treatment of tinea pedis, tinea cruris, and tinea corporis. It has also proved valuable in the once-daily treatment of tinea (pityriasis) versicolor. In vitro oxiconazole is highly effective against many dermatophytes, including Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Trichophyton tonsurans, and Epidermophyton floccosum. After application to the skin, oxiconazole is rapidly absorbed into the stratum corneum, maximum concentrations often being attained within 100 minutes. Fungicidal concentrations are maintained in the epidermis, upper corium, and deeper corium for at least five hours, and levels exceeding the minimum inhibitory concentrations of susceptible fungi are present in the corneum, epidermis, upper corium, and the hair follicle for over 16 hours. Applied once daily for four weeks in the treatment of tinea pedis or for two weeks in the treatment of tinea corporis, tinea cruris, and tinea versicolor, 1% oxiconazole cream has produced mycologic and clinical cures in at least 80% of patients. In plantar-type tinea pedis caused primarily by T rubrum, once-daily oxiconazole cream resulted in a mycologic cure in 76% of patients. The efficacy of once-daily and twice-daily regimens is similar. In comparative clinical trials of various types of dermatophytoses, oxiconazole was shown to be as effective as or more effective than miconazole, clotrimazole, and tolnaftate creams, and as effective as econazole and bifonazole creams. Tolerability of oxiconazole and the other antifungal creams was similar; in irritation studies oxiconazole was better tolerated than econazole. Oxiconazole cream exerts no detectable systemic effect since only a negligible amount is absorbed from the skin. Once-daily use of oxiconazole cream could be valuable in patients with a history of noncompliance with multiple-daily regimens of other topical antifungal agents.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Antifungal Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antifungal Agents / adverse effects
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Arthrodermataceae / drug effects
  • Fungi / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Imidazoles / administration & dosage
  • Imidazoles / adverse effects
  • Imidazoles / pharmacology*
  • Tinea / drug therapy*
  • Tinea Pedis / drug therapy
  • Tinea Versicolor / drug therapy
  • Yeasts / drug effects


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Imidazoles
  • oxiconazole