Sounds like 'sick-low-pir-rocks'

Easy-to-read medicine information about ciclopirox – what it is, how to use ciclopirox safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Treat fungal nail infections
  • Belongs to a group of medicines called antifungals
  • Apo-Ciclopirox®
  • Batrafen®
  • Ciclopirox®

What is ciclopirox?

  • Ciclopirox is used to treat fungal nail infections of the toenail or fingernail.
  • It works by stopping the growth of the fungus.
  • It is one of a group of medicines known as antifungals.
  • Ciclopirox is available from a pharmacist. A doctor's prescription is not required.


  • Ciclopirox is available as a medicated nail paint or lacquer.
  • Apply ciclopirox to the infected nail every second day for the first month, then twice weekly for the second month, then once weekly thereafter for up to 6 months.
  • Do not use for longer than 6 months, without checking with your doctor.

How to use ciclopirox

  • Before applying ciclopirox file down the infected areas of the nail using a nail file.
  • Apply a thin layer of ciclopirox paint over the entire surface of the infected nail.
  • Allow the paint to dry (for about 30 seconds) before putting on socks or stockings.
  • After applying ciclopirox, wait 8 hours before taking a bath or shower.
  • Each week remove the entire coat of ciclopirox paint from the nail, using a commercial nail polish remover, before applying a fresh coat of ciclopirox.     
  • It may take a few months after you finish treatment to see the full benefit of ciclopirox. When used to treat nail infections, it takes time for your new healthy nails to grow out and replace the infected nails.
  • Avoid the use of cosmetic nail varnish (nail polish) or artificial nails during treatment with ciclopirox.  

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, ciclopirox can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Burning feeling around the treated nail
  • Redness or itching of the skin around the nail
  • These are quite common when you first start using ciclopirox and usually go away with time.
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist if troublesome.


Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist.