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What Is Ciclopirox Lacquer?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Ciclopirox lacquer is a topical medication used to treat fungal infections of the fingernails and toenails. This medication is usually applied directly to the affected nail as well as the surrounding skin once per day or as directed by a doctor. Side effects of ciclopirox lacquer are relatively rare and may involve mild to moderate skin irritation at the application site and discoloration of the nail. Symptoms such as the appearance of blisters, facial swelling, or difficulty breathing may indicate the development of severe complications and should be reported to a doctor immediately. Any specific questions or concerns about the use of ciclopirox lacquer in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Nail fungus often causes the affected nail to become thick and discolored. In some cases, part of the nail may begin to crumble. The skin immediately surrounding the nail may become red, swollen, and flaky. When this occurs, a doctor may prescribe ciclopirox lacquer to help destroy the fungus. In extreme cases, a portion of the nail may need to be surgically removed on a periodic basis in order to completely get rid of the fungus.

Patients who have diabetes should exercise caution when using ciclopirox lacquer. It is important to carefully trim the nails before applying this medication, and infected toenails can be particularly difficult to cut without causing damage to the surrounding skin. Even the smallest cut can pose significant health risks to diabetic patients, so it may be wise to allow a doctor to trim the nails.

In most cases, ciclopirox lacquer is applied once daily to the affected nail as well as the surrounding skin. This medication is not approved for use on any other area of the body. Occasionally, the supervising physician may alter the typical application directions, so it is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed.

The majority of patients who use ciclopirox lacquer do not experience any negative side effects, although mild skin irritation is possible. Some patients may develop an allergic reaction to this drug, even if it has been successfully tolerated in the past. Skin reactions may include blistering, peeling skin, or the development of an itchy rash. A severe type of allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis may involve swelling of the face or throat and difficulty breathing. This is a potentially fatal complication of ciclopirox lacquer usage that requires immediate medical assistance.

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