Daktacort cream/ointment (Hydrocortisone, miconazole)

How does it work?

Daktacort cream and ointment contain two active ingredients, hydrocortisone and miconazole.

Hydrocortisone is a type of medicine known as a corticosteroid (or steroid). Corticosteroids are hormones that are produced naturally by the adrenal glands, and have many important functions, including control of inflammatory responses.

Hydrocortisone is the same as the natural corticosteroid, cortisol, and is used to decrease inflammation in the skin. When applied to the skin it is absorbed into the skin cells. Here it works by preventing the release of certain chemicals from the cells. These chemicals are important in the immune system, and are released as a result of allergy or irritation. They cause blood vessels to widen, resulting in the affected area of skin becoming red, swollen, itchy and painful, as seen in dermatitis or eczema. By decreasing the release of these chemicals in the skin, hydrocortisone reduces inflammation and thus relieves redness, swelling and itching.

There is a range of potencies of corticosteroids applied to the skin. Hydrocortisone is classed as a mild corticosteroid. It is used to treat a wide variety of inflammatory skin disorders such as eczema and dermatitis.

Miconazole is a type of antifungal medicine known as an imidazole. It kills fungi, yeasts and some bacteria. Miconazole works by preventing fungi from producing a substance called ergosterol, which is a component of fungal cell membranes. The cell membranes of fungi are vital for their survival. They keep unwanted substances from entering the cells and stop the contents of the cells from leaking out. Without ergosterol as part of the cell membrane, the membrane is weakened and damaged, and essential constituents of the fungal cells can leak out. This kills the fungi. Miconazole is used to treat infections with fungi and certain types of bacteria (Staphylococcus and Streptococcus species).

The combination of hydrocortisone and miconazole in Daktacort is used to treat inflammatory skin disorders, such as eczema, that have become infected. The hydrocortisone reduces the inflammation while the miconazole treats the infection. Once the inflammation is reduced (usually after about seven days) your doctor may prescribe a medicine containing just an antifungal, eg Daktarin cream or Daktarin powder to treat any remaining infection.

What is it used for?

  • Inflamed skin disorders, such as eczema or dermatitis, with associated fungal or bacterial infection.
  • Infection and inflammation between folds of skin or areas of skin that rub together, eg between the buttocks or thighs, or beneath the breasts (intertrigo, sometimes known as sweat rash).

Warning!

  • This medicine is for external use on the skin only.
  • Wash and dry the skin thoroughly before applying the cream or ointment. Wash your hands after application to avoid spreading the infection to other areas of the body, or to other people.
  • Avoid getting this medicine in contact with your eyes and the moist membranes lining the inside of certain parts of the body, eg mouth, nasal passages (mucous membranes). Rinse with cold water if accidental contact occurs.
  • You should not cover the area being treated with airtight dressings such as bandages or other dressings (including babies nappies) unless directed by your doctor, as these will enhance the absorption of the medicine into the body and may increase the risk of side effects.
  • If corticosteroids are used for long periods of time, on large areas of skin, delicate areas of skin such as the face, or raw or broken skin, they are absorbed into the body more. This increases the risk of local side effects such as skin thinning, and those on other parts of the body, such as a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands. For this reason, continuous, long-term use of this medicine should be avoided wherever possible, particularly in children and on large areas of skin. Use on the face in children should be avoided.
  • Consult your doctor if any infection spreads, or if after seven days of treatment with this medicine there is little or no improvement in your symptoms, as you may need to stop using this medicine or take a course of antibiotics or antifungals by mouth.
  • Daktacort cream should be stored in a refrigerator at 2-8ºC. Daktacort ointment can be kept at room temperature (at or below 25ºC). Both should kept safely out of the reach of children.

Use with caution in

  • Children.
  • Elderly people.

Not to be used in

  • Skin infections caused by Gram-negative types of bacteria.
  • Tuberculosis infection of the skin.
  • Viral skin infections such as chickenpox, cold sores or genital herpes.

This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.

  • This medicine should not be used during pregnancy unless considered essential by your doctor. If it is prescribed by your doctor it should not be used on large areas of skin, underneath airtight dressings, or for prolonged periods of time. Consult your doctor for further information.
  • This medicine should not be used during breastfeeding unless considered essential by your doctor. If it is prescribed by your doctor it should not be used on large areas of skin, underneath airtight dressings or for prolonged periods of time. If it is applied to the breasts it should be washed off carefully before breastfeeding and then reapplied afterwards.

Side effects

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Skin irritation, eg redness, itching, burning sensation or rash in area of use. If affected stop using this medicine.

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How can this medicine affect other medicines?

Tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already using, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any new medicines while using this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.

Miconazole is unlikely to be absorbed through the skin in sufficient amounts to affect other medicines that you are taking by mouth. However, if you are taking warfarin to prevent blood clots, there is a very small chance that this medicine may enhance the effect of the warfarin. If you are taking warfarin your doctor may therefore want to monitor your blood-clotting time (INR) during and after a course of this medicine.

Other medicines containing the same active ingredients

Daktacort hydrocortisone cream