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Tolnaftate vs Clotrimazole

Tolnaftate vs Clotrimazole:


Tinea is the name of a group of diseases caused by a fungus. Types of tinea include:

  • Tinea versicolor – it is a mild infection that can occur on many parts of the body;
  • Tinea cruris (jock itch)- it  tends to create a rash in the moist, warm areas of the groin;
  • Tinea pedis (athlete’s foot) – it is an infection that occurs on the feet, especially between the toes;
  • Tinea corporis (ringworm) – it is a fungal infection of the top layer of your skin, which can form on your torso, arms, and legs;
  • Tinea capitis – it is a skin infection of the scalp. It mostly affects children.

Dermatophytes, more exactly – Epidermophyton, Trichophyton, and Microsporum species are responsible for most superficial human fungal infections.

Here is a comparison of two antifungal medicines that are used to treat these skin infections:


It is a man-made over-the-counter antifungal agent that belongs to the family of drugs called antifungals.

This antifungal can be found under the following brand names:

  • Tinaspore;
  • Tinaderm;
  • Tinactin;
  • Mycocide NS;
  • Lamisil Defense;
  • Clarus Antifungal;
  • Blis-To-Sol.


It is an alkaline anti-fungal medication that can be either taken by mouth or applied as an ointment to the skin. It was originally discovered in 1969.

Mechanism of Action

Tolnaftate works by prohibiting the growth of a fungus that becomes less powerful, and, eventually, the patient will be fully healed.

Clotrimazole works by killing sensitive fungi by interfering with the formation of the fungal cell membrane.


Tolnaftate topical is used to treat infections like:

  • ringworm (tinea corporis);
  • jock itch (tinea cruris);
  • athlete’s foot (tinea pedis).

Clotrimazole is prescribed for the treatment of pityriasis versicolor (cutaneous fungal infection), tinea cruris, tinea pedis, and tinea corporis.


Tolnaftate is recommended to be applied topically to the affected area once or two times per day for 15 to 30 days.

Clotrimazole is indicated to be applied to the affected area two times per day.

Side Effects


The most frequent side effects associated with this antifungal during treatment included:

  • dryness or peeling of treated skin;
  • a burning sensation at the time of application.

Call your healthcare provider at once if you have a more serious side effect, such as:

  • swelling of your tongue, face, lips, or throat;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • hives.


The most frequent side effects associated with this antifungal during treatment included:

  • vomiting;
  • urticaria;
  • tightness in the chest;
  • a burning sensation at the time of application;
  • stomach pain;
  • itching of the skin;
  • breathing difficulty;
  • nausea;
  • foul-smelling vaginal discharge.

Serious side effects include:

  • skin irritation (itching, swelling and/or rash);
  • swelling (throat, face, lips and/or tongue);
  • difficulty breathing;
  • hives;
  • redness.

Drug Interactions

No significant interactions are known for tolnaftate.

Clotrimazole may interact with the following medications:

  • Coumadin (a medication that is used to prevent blood clots from forming);
  • anisindione;
  • warfarin;
  • dicumarol (a coumarin-like compound found in sweet clover);
  • clomipramine;
  • carbamazepine (a medication used in the treatment of epilepsy);
  • phenytoin (an anti-epileptic drug);
  • Miradon;
  • Jantoven.

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Warnings & Precautions

Do not use coverings (dressings, bandages, make-up) unless told to do so by your healthcare provider.

Clean the affected part before use. Also, wash your hands before and after use.

You should not use the antifungal if you are allergic to it. But, if an allergic reaction symptom develops, stop using the medicine and seek medical assistance.

If you miss a dose, it is essential not to ”double up” on the next one.

Keep out of your child’s nose, mouth, and eyes.

Moreover, keep using the antifungal as you have been told by your doctor, even if your symptoms improve.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding


It is not known whether the medicine passes into breast milk.

Therefore, do not use this antifungal without your healthcare professional’s advice if you are breastfeeding an infant.

It is not known whether the medicine will harm a developing fetus.

Do not use it without your healthcare provider’s advice if you are pregnant.


It is not known exactly whether clotrimazole passes into breast milk.

Hence, it is recommended to contact your doctor if you are breastfeeding an infant before using this antifungal.

This medicine is not expected to harm an unborn baby.

But still, tell your doctor that you are pregnant before using it.

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Consuming alcoholic beverages is unlikely to interfere in a negative way with these antifungals.

Conclusion – Tolnaftate vs Clotrimazole – Which Antifungal Is Better At Treating A Fungal Infection?

Tolnaftate is an antifungal agent that is commonly used to clear up conditions like – athlete’s foot, ringworm, and jock itch.

Clotrimazole is an antimycotic drug that is used to treat athlete’s foot, vulvovaginal candidiasis, ringworm (tinea cruris), and jock itch. 

It works by disrupting the walls of fungal cells and freeing the sufferer from the infection.

According to the data, there were no significant differences in efficacy found between these medicines.

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