Also Known As: Miconazole, Micatin
Miconazole is an imidazole antifungal agent, developed by Janssen Pharmaceutica, commonly applied topically to the skin or to mucus membranes to cure fungal infections. It works by inhibiting the synthesis of ergosterol, a critical component of fungal cell membranes. It can also be used against certain species of Leishmania protozoa which are a type of unicellular parasite that also contain ergosterol in their cell membranes. In addition to its antifungal and antiparasitic actions, it also has some limited antibacterial properties. It is marketed in various formulations under various brand names.
Miconazole is also used in Ektachrome film developing in the final rinse of the Kodak E-6 process and similar Fuji CR-56 process, replacing formaldehyde. Fuji Hunt also includes miconazole as a final rinse additive in their formulation of the C-41RA rapid access color negative developing process.
Miconazole is mainly used externally for the treatment of athlete's foot, ringworm and jock itch. Internal application is used for oral or vaginal thrush (yeast infection). The oral gel may also be used for the lip disorder angular cheilitis.
In the UK miconazole may be used to treat neonatal oral thrush, while the alternative nystatin is only licensed for patients over the age of one month; but drug interactions are possible.