Last update Feb. 5, 2022


High Risk

Poorly safe. Evaluate carefully. Use safer alternative or interrupt breastfeeding 3 to 7 T ½ (elimination half-lives). Read the Comment.

Clioquinol is a halogenated hydroxyquinoline with antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is used topically in the form of creams in the treatment of skin infections and in liquid form for infections of the external ear.

At the date of the last update, there was no published data available on its excretion in human milk.

It is absorbed through the skin in an amount that could be significant, especially as an occlusive cure. (AEMPS 2008, Wilcock 1985, Stohs 1984, Fischer 1978)

Systemic clioquinol is highly neurotoxic, can cause blindness and neuropathy; it should not be used in infants. (AAP 1990)

If used, do not apply on the breast area, or in places on the maternal skin that the infant can reach, or in large areas, or as an occlusive cure or for prolonged periods to avoid increasing systemic absorption.


We do not have alternatives for Clioquinol.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Clioquinol is also known as

Clioquinol in other languages or writings:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Clioquinol in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. (derm: 3 a 40 ) %
Molecular weight 306 daltons
pKa 7.34 -
11 - 14 hours


  1. AEMPS. Menaderm otológico (Beclometasona + Clioquinol). Ficha técnica 2008 Full text (in our servers)
  2. AAP. American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs: Clioquinol (iodochlorhydroxyquin, vioform) and iodoquinol (diiodohydroxyquin): blindness and neuropathy. Pediatrics. 1990 Nov;86(5):797-8. No abstract available. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  3. Wilcock M. Absorption of iodochlorhydroxyquin in humans. J Invest Dermatol. 1985 Jan;84(1):79. No abstract available. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  4. Stohs SJ, Ezzedeen FW, Anderson AK, Baldwin JN, Makoid MC. Percutaneous absorption of iodochlorhydroxyquin in humans. J Invest Dermatol. 1984 Feb;82(2):195-8. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  5. Fischer T, Fagerlund C, Hartvig P. Absorption of 8-hydroxyquinolines through the human skin. Acta Derm Venereol. 1978;58(5):407-11. Abstract

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