Does Medicare Cover Ketoconazole?

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • Ketoconazole is a topical prescription medication used to treat fungal infections on various parts of the body. Learn whether Medicare covers ketoconazole.

Prescribed to treat fungal infections, such as athlete's foot and ringworm, ketoconazole is a topical medication usually dispensed in cream form. According to, all Medicare prescription drug plans provide coverage for ketoconazole. Read on to learn more about this drug and the potential out-of-pocket costs. 

What is Ketoconazole Used For?

Available as a cream or shampoo, ketoconazole is a topical medication that treats certain types of fungal infections. This drug works by killing the yeast causing the fungal infection. It's generally prescribed for short-term use (up to 8 weeks). Fungal infections that don't respond to ketoconazole treatment require additional review from a doctor to explore other treatment options. 

Ketoconazole Side Effects

Because it's a topical medication, ketoconazole's side effects involve the site where applied. Side effects may include itching or stinging at the application site, dry skin or changes in hair texture. Uncommon, but serious, side effects include rash, hives or warmth and redness at the application site. The presence of these symptoms requires immediate medical attention. 

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How Much Does Ketoconazole Cost With Medicare? 

Ketoconazole is a generic drug otherwise available under the brand names Nizoral, Ketodan and Extina. Generic ketoconazole is typically offered on Tier 2 of Medicare prescription drug plans, which has a lower cost than the brand alternatives. reports Medicare cost shares for ketoconazole vary depending on your current drug coverage stage, but typically range from $0-$35 for a 30-day supply. 

Does Medicare Cover Ketoconazole Purchased Over the Counter? 

Ketoconazole is available without a prescription in cream and shampoo forms. Medicare prescription drug (Part D) plans don't cover drugs purchased over the counter. Some Medicare Advantage plans may offer enhanced benefits that include OTC products; however, costs associated with OTC products won't apply to Part D deductibles or annual out-of-pocket maximums.

As with all OTC products, it's important to discuss with your health care provider whether this type of ketoconazole is an appropriate alternative to the prescription drug. Beneficiaries may find that cost assistance with prescription drugs results in fewer out-of-pocket costs when choosing prescription ketoconazole. 

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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