Nizoral shampoo is usually used to treat or prevent yeast skin infections as well as fungal infections. The infections that are prevented include dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis or pityriasis versicolor. Within this shampoo there is ketoconazole –a synthetic anti-fungal medication in little concentration i.e. 2 percent. This medication works to stop fungal growth by preventing the fungus from making normal cell membranes. 

Nizoral usually comes in form of a gel, cream or shampoo. While they all serve the same purpose, Nizoral shampoo is the most commonly used for treating dandruff. This shampoo can be obtained over the counter in its generic form. As much as the shampoo has medicinal value in it, people using it have complained of various side effects which we are going to discuss below.

Mode of Application

To use Nizoral shampoo, one should apply shampoo at the affected area as well as the surrounding area to counter any spreading infection. Before applying, one should ensure that the affected area is damp. After applying, leave the shampoo intact for about 5 minutes and then rinse it with clean water. 


It is important to note that like most medications, Nizoral shampoo may interact with other medications and hence you should consult your doctor before using it. Ensure you tell your doctor all the drugs all supplements that you may be using. Nizoral might affect a developing fetus and hence should not be used during pregnancy unless prescribed.

Side effects of Nizoral Shampoo

Hair changes

First and foremost, one should know that use of this shampoo can cause changes to hair. Some of the users have complained of hair dryness as well as hair oiliness. Cases of hair discoloration may occur. Those with permanent wave in the hair can lose the wave. Some of the users have also complained of increased rate of normal hair loss. Normal hair loss is also known as patchy hair loss.

About Nizoral Shampoo

Effects on Skin

The shampoo can react with the skin and can cause burning sensations, dryness, stinging, itching, eczema and pimples. While using it, you should keep it away from the eyes as it can cause irritation to the mucous membranes. In the case of the product getting into your eyes, you should rinse them thoroughly with enough clean and cold water for several minutes. 

Allergic Reactions

Some cases of allergic reactions have been reported. It is quite important before using this product to consult a doctor and tell him/her if you have any cases of allergic reactions. Signs of allergic reactions include severe swelling, rash or shortness of breath. It is advisable for anyone experiencing these reactions to seek medical attention. This is because a shock reaction called anaphylaxis can develop and may be life threatening. Some users have also reported allergic skin inflammation. 

Pregnancy Considerations

The U.S Food and Drug Association classify Nizoral shampoo as Pregnancy Category which means that it can cause possible harm to a developing fetus. The word possible is mentioned as the tests have been carried on animals and not actual human beings. It was observed that when Ketoconazole which is contained in Nizoral was administered orally to pregnant rats, their offspring had birth defects. Unless otherwise advised by a registered physician, pregnant women should not use Nizoral shampoo. 

Rare Side Effects

Although not common, use of Nizoral shampoo can cause Nausea and vomiting. When this happens, they usually go away after a short period of time. However, if any of the conditions persist, one should tell their doctors immediately. 

When used in high doses, ketoconazole can cause problems to the adrenal gland. Although the possibility of this happening is low, when it does happen, testosterone levels decrease which leads to decreased sperm production. In the case of an already existing adrenal gland problem, ketoconazole can make it worse. Adrenal gland problem makes it difficult for your body to respond which can put you at risk. 

In rare cases, blurred vision, headaches, mood changes and change in color vision may occur. Other rare side effects of associated with Ketoconazole include; blood in stool or urine, pain in the chest region, confusion, swallowing difficulty, coughing and hoarseness, increased rate of heartbeat, trouble sleeping, swollen glands, fatigue and yellow skin or eyes. If any of the following symptoms occur, make sure you consult your doctor immediately.