Prescription Drug Information: Ketoconazole

KETOCONAZOLE- ketoconazole aerosol, foam
Padagis Israel Pharmaceuticals Ltd


Ketoconazole foam, 2% is indicated for the topical treatment of seborrheic dermatitis in immunocompetent patients 12 years of age and older.

Limitations of Use

Safety and efficacy of ketoconazole foam, 2% for treatment of fungal infections have not been established.


Ketoconazole foam, 2% should be applied to the affected area(s) twice daily for four weeks.

Hold the container upright, and dispense ketoconazole foam, 2% into the cap of the can or other cool surface in an amount sufficient to cover the affected area(s). Dispensing directly onto hands is not recommended, as the foam will begin to melt immediately upon contact with warm skin. Pick up small amounts of ketoconazole foam, 2% with the fingertips, and gently massage into the affected area(s) until the foam disappears. For hair-bearing areas, part the hair, so that ketoconazole foam, 2% may be applied directly to the skin (rather than on the hair).

Avoid contact with the eyes and other mucous membranes. Ketoconazole foam, 2% is not for ophthalmic, oral or intravaginal use.


Ketoconazole foam, 2% contains 20 mg of ketoconazole, USP per gram, supplied in 50 g and 100 g containers.




5.1 Contact Sensitization

Ketoconazole foam, 2% may result in contact sensitization, including photoallergenicity [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

5.2 Flammable Contents

The contents of ketoconazole foam, 2% include alcohol and propane/butane, which are flammable. Avoid fire, flame and/or smoking during and immediately following application. Do not puncture and/or incinerate the containers. Do not expose containers to heat and/or store at temperatures above 120°F (49°C).

5.3 Systemic Effects

Hepatitis has been seen with orally administered ketoconazole (1:10,000 reported incidence). Lowered testosterone and ACTH–induced corticosteroid serum levels have been seen with high doses of orally administered ketoconazole. These effects have not been seen with topical ketoconazole.


6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug, and may not reflect the rates observed in practice. The adverse reaction information from clinical trials does, however, provide a basis for identifying the adverse reactions that appear to be related to drug use and for approximating rates.

The safety data presented in Table 1 reflect exposure to ketoconazole foam, 2% in 672 subjects, 12 years and older with seborrheic dermatitis. Subjects applied ketoconazole foam, 2% or vehicle foam twice daily for 4 weeks to affected areas on the face, scalp, and/or chest. Adverse reactions occurring in > 1% of subjects are presented in Table 1.

Table 1: Adverse Reactions Reported by >1% Subjects in Clinical Trials

Adverse Reactions

Ketoconazole Foam, 2%

N = 672

n (%)

Vehicle Foam

N = 497

n (%)

Subjects with an Adverse Reaction

188 (28%)

122 (25%)

Application site burning

67 (10%)

49 (10%)

Application site reaction

41 (6%)

24 (5%)

Application site reactions that were reported in <1% of subjects were dryness, erythema, irritation, paresthesia, pruritus, rash and warmth.

6.2 Dermal Safety Studies

In a photoallergenicity study, 9 of 53 subjects (17%) had reactions during the challenge period at both the irradiated and non-irradiated sites treated with ketoconazole foam, 2%. Ketoconazole foam, 2% may cause contact sensitization.

6.3 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse events have been identified during postmarketing use of ketoconazole foam, 2%:

Gastrointestinal disorders: Cheilitis

General disorders and administration site conditions: Application site pain and application site burn

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: Skin burning sensation and erythema

Because these events are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.


8.1 Pregnancy

Risk Summary

There are no available data on ketoconazole foam, 2% use in pregnant women to identify a drug-associated risk of major birth defects, miscarriage or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. No reproductive studies in animals have been performed with ketoconazole foam, 2%. In animal reproduction studies with pregnant mice, rats and rabbits both embryotoxic and developmental effects (structural abnormalities) were observed following oral dosing of ketoconazole during organogenesis. Assuming equivalent systemic absorption of topical and oral ketoconazole doses and a ketoconazole foam, 2% maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 8 grams (equivalent to 160 mg ketoconazole), embryotoxic effects were observed at 0.8 to 2.4 times the MRHD and developmental effects were observed at 4.8 times the MRHD [see Data].

The background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively.


Animal Data

The animal multiples of human exposure calculations are based on body surface area (BSA) comparisons of oral doses administered to animals and a ketoconazole foam, 2% maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 8 grams (equivalent to 2.67 mg ketoconazole/kg/day for a 60 kg individual or 98.8 mg ketoconazole/m2 /day).

Embryofetal development studies have been conducted in mice, rats and rabbits with orally administered ketoconazole. When orally administered to mice on gestational days 6 through 18 (covering the period of organogenesis), ketoconazole was embryotoxic (25 mg/kg and higher; 0.8 times the MRHD based on BSA comparisons) with a high incidence of resorptions, increased number of stillbirths and delayed parturition. Delays in maturation were also observed. There was no evidence of maternal toxicity or malformations at up to 50 mg/kg (1.5 times the MRHD based on BSA comparisons). No treatment related developmental effects were observed at 10 mg/kg (0.3 times the MRHD based on BSA comparisons).

In the presence of maternal toxicity in rats, orally administered ketoconazole was both embryotoxic (40 mg/kg and higher; 2.4 times the MRHD based on BSA comparisons), including increased resorbed fetuses and stillbirths, and teratogenic (80 mg/kg and higher; 4.8 times the MRHD based on BSA comparisons), including syndactylia, oligodactylia, waved ribs and cleft palate. Additionally, 100 mg/kg (6 times the MRHD based on BSA comparisons) ketoconazole orally administered on a single day during gestation (gestational days 9 through 12) was embryotoxic (increased resorptions). This same oral dose given on gestation day 12, 13, 14 or 15 induced external malformations including cleft palate, micromelia and digital anomalies (brachydactyly, ectrodactyly, syndactyly).

In pregnant rabbits orally administered ketoconazole, evidence of embryotoxicity (increased resorptions) was observed at 10 mg/kg (1.2 times the MRHD based on BSA comparisons) and higher and an increased incidence of skeletal abnormalities was observed at 40 mg/kg (4.8 times the MRHD based on BSA comparisons).

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

There is no information available on the presence of ketoconazole in human milk, or the effects on the breastfed child, or the effects on milk production after topical application of ketoconazole foam, 2% to women who are breastfeeding. In animal studies ketoconazole was found in milk following oral administration. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for ketoconazole foam, 2% and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from ketoconazole foam, 2% or from the underlying maternal condition.

8.3 Females and Males of Reproductive Potential


In animal fertility studies in rats and dogs, administration of oral doses of ketoconazole between 3-day and 3-month periods resulted in infertility that was reversible [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.1)].

8.4 Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of ketoconazole foam, 2% in pediatric patients less than 12 years of age have not been established.

Of the 672 subjects treated with ketoconazole foam, 2% in the clinical trials, 44 (7%) were from 12 to 17 years of age. [See Clinical Studies (14)].

8.5 Geriatric Use

Of the 672 subjects treated with ketoconazole foam, 2% in the clinical trials, 107 (16%) were 65 years and over.

Clinical trials of ketoconazole foam, 2% did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently than younger subjects.


Ketoconazole foam, 2% contains 2% ketoconazole USP, an antifungal agent, in a thermolabile hydroethanolic foam for topical application.

The chemical name for ketoconazole is piperazine, 1-acetyl-4-[4-[[2-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-2-(1H -imidazol-1-ylmethyl)-1,3-dioxolan-4-yl]methoxy]phenyl]-, cis — with the molecular formula C26 H28 Cl2 N4 O4 and a molecular weight of 531.43.

The following is the chemical structure:

chemical structure
(click image for full-size original)

Ketoconazole foam, 2% contains 20 mg ketoconazole per gram in a thermolabile hydroethanolic foam vehicle consisting of cetyl alcohol, citric acid, ethanol 58%, polysorbate 60, potassium citrate, propylene glycol, purified water, and stearyl alcohol pressurized with a hydrocarbon (propane/butane) propellant.

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