terbinafine, Lamisil, Lamisil AT
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
GENERIC NAME: terbinafine
BRAND NAME: Lamisil, Lamisil AT
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Terbinafine is an antifungal agent that is taken by mouth or applied to the skin. Terbinafine acts by interfering with the ability of fungi to make chemicals called sterols that are an important part of the membrane that surrounds fungal cells and holds them together. This weakens the cell membrane. Oral terbinafine is more effective for treating fungal nail infections than griseofulvin (Fulvicin; Gris-Peg) and itraconazole (Sporanox), two other antifungal agents used for treating fungal nail infections. Topical terbinafine was approved by the FDA in 1993. Terbinafine oral tablets were approved in 1996.
PRESCRIPTION: Yes (Tablets), OTC (Topical preparations)
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 250 mg. Oral Granule: 125 and 187.5 mg. Cream, Gel, solution, or spray: 1%.
STORAGE: All formulations should be stored at room temperature, 15-30 C (59-86 F).
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Rifampin reduces oral terbinafine blood concentrations, potentially reducing the efficacy of terbinafine. Cimetidine (Tagamet) may increase oral terbinafine blood levels, potentially increasing side effects of terbinafine. Fluconazole (Diflucan) increases the blood levels of oral terbinafine by 52%-69%. Potentially leading to increased side effects.
PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies in pregnant women. Since nail fungus treatment can be delayed until after pregnancy there is no reason to use oral terbinafine during pregnancy.
NURSING MOTHERS: Breastfeeding mothers should not use oral terbinafine because terbinafine passes into breast milk.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of terbinafine are headache, cough, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hives, itching and altered taste and smell sensation. Oral terbinafine can cause liver failure sometimes leading to liver transplantation or death.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Last Editorial Review: 2/15/2012
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Back to Medications Index