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Canesten is an antifungal medication primarily used to treat various fungal skin and mucous membrane infections.

Last Modified: 03 May 2024

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What is Canesten? 

Canesten is an antifungal medication primarily used to treat various fungal skin and mucous membrane infections. It contains the active ingredient clotrimazole, which works by attacking the cell wall of fungi, thereby stopping their growth and replication. Clotrimazole is the generic name for this drug, and it's sold under several brand names, including Canesten, Lotriderm, Lotrimin, Mycelex, and Gyne-Lotrimin, among others. 

Clotrimazole, the active compound in Canesten, is a synthetic medication of the “azole” class of antifungals. Its chemical structure allows it to interfere with the synthesis of ergosterol, a vital component of fungal cell membranes. Without ergosterol, the cell membrane becomes permeable and leaks essential components, leading to the death of the fungal cells. 

Global Name

Generic name:  Clotrimazole
Brand names: Canesten, Lotrimin, Clotrimaderm, Mycelex, Gyne-Lotrimin, Desenex, Fungoid, FungiCure, Curesan, Clotrimazol AL (generic brand in some regions). 


What is Canesten used for? 

Canesten is used to treat a broad range of fungal infections, including: 

How do you use Canesten? 


Canesten is available in various forms, including creams, tablets, sprays, and vaginal pessaries. 

Dosage information:

  • Cream: Apply to the affected area 2-3 times a day for up to 4 weeks, or as directed by a doctor. 
  • Tablet/Pessary: Typically one tablet/pessary as a single dose for vaginal yeast infections. 
  • Spray: Apply to the affected area according to the product instructions. 


  • Children: Yes, for certain conditions and under medical supervision. 
  • Adults: Yes, widely used among adults. 
  • Elderlies: Yes, but with caution and under medical advice. 
  • Pregnancy: Only under doctor's recommendation but topical creams are generally safe to use. 
  • Lactation: Consult a doctor before use but topical creams are generally safe to use. 

Is there anyone who can’t take Canesten? 

  • Children: Not recommended without medical advice. 
  • Adults: Generally safe, but contraindicated in those allergic to clotrimazole or similar azole antifungals. 
  • Elderlies: Use with caution; the elderly may be more sensitive to side effects. 
  • Pregnancy: Use only if clearly needed and prescribed by a healthcare provider. 
  • Lactation: Caution advised; consult your doctor. 

People with allergies to imidazole antifungals shouldn't use Canesten. Warnings and precautions include monitoring for signs of an allergic reaction. Typically, Canesten can be applied at any time, with or without food. 


Drug Interactions: 

Canesten may interact with other topical treatments, reducing its effectiveness. It should not be used in individuals who have had an allergic reaction to clotrimazole or similar azole antifungals. 

Side Effects

Common side effects may include skin irritation or itching. Severe allergic reactions are rare but possible.

Pharmacist Tips

  • Store Canesten at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. 
  • Keep the medication out of reach of children. 
  • If using the cream, wash hands before and after application to prevent the spread of infection. 


Where is Canesten available in Hong Kong?

Canesten is an over-the-counter (OTC) medication that can be sold without a prescription. It is found in all chain drug stores, including Mannings and Watsons.



Can Canesten cream be used for diaper rash?  

Yes, but consult a pediatrician for children under 2 years old. Not all diaper rashes are fungal in origin. 

How long does it take for Canesten to work?  

Symptoms usually improve within a few days, but treatment should be continued as directed.

Can men use Canesten for yeast infections?

Yes, Canesten is suitable for both men and women for yeast infections. 

Should Canesten be applied internally or externally for vaginal yeast infections? 

Canesten is available in formulations for both internal and external use. Follow the instructions on the package or consult a healthcare provider.

How to apply Canesten cream for female vaginal thrush? 

For treating a vaginal yeast infection, Canesten cream should be applied with the help of an applicator that comes with the medication, or as directed by your healthcare provider. It's usually applied internally to the vagina for a specified number of days. Always wash your hands before and after application, and apply the cream at bedtime to help it stay in place overnight.


This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

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