Safety and efficacy of ciclopirox 1% shampoo for the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp in the US population: Results of a double-blind, vehicle-controlled trial

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Seborrheic dermatitis is a common inflammatory skin disorder. Yeasts of the genus Malassezia have been implicated in the etiology of seborrheic dermatitis, although this connection remains controversial. Ciclopirox is a synthetic, hydroxypyridone-derived, broad-spectrum antifungal agent with anti-inflammatory properties.


A total of 499 US patients with seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp were randomized to apply either ciclopirox shampoo 1% or vehicle twice weekly for 4 weeks. The main efficacy parameters were based on 6-point ordinal scales describing the disease's signs and symptoms (scaling, erythema and itching) and a 6-point scale providing a global evaluation of the status of seborrheic dermatitis.


Ciclopirox was significantly better than vehicle in effectively treating seborrheic dermatitis. ‘Effective treatment’ (score of 0 or 1 for disease status, scaling and erythema) was achieved in 26.0% of ciclopirox-treated patients compared with 12.9% of vehicle-treated patients (P = 0.0001; OR: 2.383, 95% CI: 1.494–3.799). The majority of subjects experienced adverse events that were mild in intensity, with skin and appendage reactions the most commonly reported, at similar frequency in both groups.


Ciclopirox shampoo 1% is effective and safe in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp.

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