Contact allergy to imidazoles used as antimycotic agents

Contact Dermatitis. 1995 Aug;33(2):73-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.1995.tb00504.x.


The present article reviews the literature (up to 1994) on contact sensitivity to imidazoles and presents the results obtained from 15 patients observed at the Contact Allergy Unit in Leuven. The frequency as well as the cross-reaction patterns described are analyzed. Although allergic contact reactions may have been missed in the past (mainly because of problems with the correct choice of vehicle for patch testing), they seem to be relatively infrequent in view of their widespread use. The imidazole derivatives most frequently reported to be allergens are miconazole, econazole, tioconazole, and isoconazole. As far as cross-reactivity is concerned, statistically significant associations were found in the patient data between miconazole, econazole, and isoconazole; between sulconazole, miconazole, and econazole; and also between isoconazole and tioconazole. Patients sensitive to phenylethyl imidazoles (except ketoconazole) needing antimycotic therapy should be advised to use ketoconazole, clotrimazole, bifonazole, or, perhaps, the new flutrimazole. Clearly, non-imidazole antifungals can also be used.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antifungal Agents / chemistry
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Cross Reactions
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Imidazoles / adverse effects*
  • Imidazoles / chemistry
  • Imidazoles / pharmacology
  • Patch Tests


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Imidazoles