Nizoral shampoo is a synthetic anti-fungal medication containing ketoconazole at a concentration of 2 percent. Nizoral shampoo is used for the treatment of fungal infections that affect the skin such as seborrhoeic dermatitis (dry, flaking skin), Pityriasis Versicolor, seborrhoeic dandruff, athlete’s foot, ringworm and jock itch. Ketoconazole present in Nizoral shampoo eliminates yeasts and fungi by damaging their cell membranes. Many people can access this shampoo as it is available in both generic and over the counter forms.

Just like other medications, Nizoral has various side effects even when taken in normal doses. Depending on the person, side effects of Nizoral shampoo can be mild or severe, temporary or last a long while. The following are possible side effects of this medication; while most of them can be managed and go away over time, others might lead to severe conditions if not addressed on time.

1. Hair Changes

According to, a small percentage of people have reported changes to their hair after using Nizoral shampoo. This medication affects the hair in different ways such as the development of abnormal hair texture, along with either dryness or oiliness, loss of hair wave, and hair discoloration especially in chemically-damaged hair or gray hair. The user may also experience a normal increase in hair loss or even patchy hair loss (alopecia).

2. Skin side effects

Nizoral shampoo may also cause side effects on the skin, although rare. Users especially first time users may experience mild skin itching, stinging, irritation, burning sensations, skin dryness, pimples, scalp pustules, rashes, and eczema. Nizoral Shampoo irritates mucous membranes; therefore, the user should avoid eye contact. In case the shampoo gets in your eyes, ensure you rinse them thoroughly with plenty of water. According to research, ketoconazole 2 percent Nizoral shampoo causes lesser irritation than selenium sulfide shampoos such as Selsun Blue.

3. Allergic Reactions

According to health experts at, a small percentage of Nizoral shampoo users have reported severe hypersensitivity and allergic reactions to the medication. Likely signs include skin rash, shortness of breath, severe swelling, headaches and application site reactions. Other adverse allergic reactions include skin inflammation (contact dermatitis) and anaphylaxis, a life-threatening shock reaction. It is recommended that anyone who experiences these side effects should seek medical attention immediately.

Some people may experience other side effects. The bottom line is to check with your doctor in case you notice any worrying symptom or reaction while taking this medication; they will help you manage the side effects.

Considerations and Precautions

1. Allergies  

Nizoral shampoo should not be used by people who are allergic to ketoconazole or any other ingredients of the medication. Ensure you inform your doctor or pharmacist of any allergies and medical conditions that affect you as well as the medication you are taking. In case you experience chemical irritation or any other reaction suggesting an allergy when using ketoconazole shampoo, contact your doctor.

2. Eye concerns:

Avoid using Nizoral shampoo to treat infections near the eye.

3. Pregnancy Considerations: 

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies Nizoral Shampoo as Pregnancy Category C, indicating that the medication can potentially harm the fetus. According to medical research, pregnant women should only use Nizoral shampoo is the benefits outweighs the possible risks. It is also advisable to contact the doctor if you become pregnant while using Nizoral shampoo medication.

4. Breastfeeding:

There are chances that a breast feeding mother who uses his medication may affect the baby. Seek consultation from your doctor or any other health expert. It is not

5. Children:

Unless advised by a health professional, children under the age of 12 should not use Nizoral Shampoo.

6. Interaction with other medications: 

Be sure to inform your doctor about other prescriptions you are taking. Through close monitoring, your doctor will help you manage the interaction depending on your specific circumstances.

Finally, remember to store Nizoral Shampoo at room temperature to prevent freezing and keep it out of children’s reach. Nizoral shampoo is a powerful anti-fungal if used the right way. Apply the shampoo to the affected area, leave it in place for five minutes, and then rinse off with enough water. A single application of the medication is enough, do not apply twice to make up for a dose you missed. Continue with your regular schedule as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist. 

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