Clotrimazole (Canesten)

Clotrimazole (Canesten) is an approved anti-fungal drug. It comes in the form of a cream, a solution or a lozenge. It is manufactured by Bayer under the trade name Canesten, or is available in a generic formulation.

The cream is often used to treat mild fungal skin infections. The lozenge can be used as a treatment for oral candidiasis. Side-effects can include stomach upsets and abnormally high levels of liver enzymes. A cream combining clotrimazole and hydrocortisone, called Canesten HC, is used to treat seborrhoeic dermatitis.

The study ACTG 981, which enrolled 428 people, compared the effectiveness of fluconazole (Diflucan) 200mg per day and clotrimazole 50mg per day as anti-fungal prophylaxis, and found that fluconazole recipients developed fewer fungal infections.1 However, fluconazole and clotrimazole are of similar effectiveness in treating of thrush in the mouth, while clotrimazole lozenges are less effective than itraconazole (Sporanox) solution.2 3 4


  1. Powderly WG et al. A randomized trial comparing fluconazole with clotrimazole troches for the prevention of fungal infections in patients with advanced human immunodeficiency virus infection. N Engl J Med 332: 700-705, 1995
  2. Pons VG et al. Therapy for oropharyngeal candidiasis in HIV-infected patients: a randomized, prospective multicenter study of oral fluconazole versus clotrimazole troches. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 6: 1311-1316, 1993
  3. Koletar SL et al. Comparison of oral fluconazole and clotrimazole troches as treatment for oral candidiasis in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 34: 2267-2268, 1990
  4. Murray PA et al. Itraconazole oral solution versus clotrimazole troches for the treatment of oropharyngeal candidiasis in immunocompromised patients. Clin Ther 19: 471-480, 1997

Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.