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Clotrimazole (Otomax® , Otibiotic®)

By: Dr. Karin Szust

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  • Clotrimazole is a drug used to treat infections caused by fungi. It is effective in the treatment of the common skin and ear yeast Malassezia pachydematitis and in control of the skin fungi (dermatophytes) Microsporum, Candida and Trichophyton.
  • The drug is also used occasionally for treatment of fungus infection of the nasal cavity.
  • Clotrimazole is most often used in veterinary medicine as a combination product designed for treating ear infections. The product Otomax® contains clotrimazole, the antibiotic gentamicin, and the steroid betamethasone valerate.
  • Gentamicin is effective against a variety of bacteria (including Pseudomonas, Proteus, E. coli and Staphylococcus) while the steroid betamethasone valerate offers anti-itching and anti-inflammatory actions.
  • Some forms of clotrimazole are prescription drugs and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian. Some forms are available over the counter but should only be used under the guidance of a veterinarian.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in humans and animals.
  • Human formulations: Mycelex® (Bayer), Lotrisone® (Taro), Lotrimin® (Schering-Plough), Gyne-Lotrimin® (Schering-Plough) and generic preparations
  • Veterinary formulations: Otomax® (Schering-Plough), Otibiotic® (Vetus) and various generic preparations

    Uses of Clotrimazole

  • Clotrimazole is prescribed to treat or control infections caused by susceptible fungi (yeasts and molds).
  • The clotrimazole containing preparation, Otomax®, is indicated for the treatment of acute and chronic ear infections caused by bacteria or certain fungi (especially Malassezia). The product should be used in dogs only.
  • Clotrimazole is not effective against infections caused by viruses or parasites (such as worms or mites).
  • On rare occasions fungus or yeast will develop resistance to clotrimazole.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, clotrimazole can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Clotrimazole should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • The combination of clotrimazole, gentamicin and betamethasone found in Otomax® is generally safe for use in dogs.
  • Use of Otomax® has been associated with partial hearing loss in a small number of geriatric dogs. If you notice hearing loss, head tilt or dizziness in your pet undergoing treatment with Otomax®, stop the treatment and call your veterinarian immediately.
  • It is possible that the steroid component of Otomax®, betamethasone, can be absorbed into the circulation. Chronic use can suppress the function of the adrenal glands.
  • Do not use this drug in pregnant dogs.
  • Clotrimazole may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with clotrimazole.

    How Clortrimazole Is Supplied

  • Clortrimazole is available in various size tubes (7.5 gm, 15 gm and 30 gm )

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • The typical dose of Otomax® ranges from 4 to 8 drops in the ear canal.
  • Administer 4 drops to dogs weighing less than 30 pounds two times a day for seven days, or as indicated by your veterinarian.
  • Apply 8 drops to dogs weighing more than 30 pounds two times a day for seven days.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse or prevent the development of resistance.

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