- What is terbinafine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for terbinafine?
- Is terbinafine available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for terbinafine?
- What are the side effects of terbinafine?
- What is the dosage for terbinafine?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with terbinafine?
- Is terbinafine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about terbinafine?
What is terbinafine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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.
What is the dosage for terbinafine?
- Tablets: The usual dose is 250 mg once daily for 6 weeks for treatment of the fingernails, and 12 weeks for treatment of toenails. Optimal results will not be seen for several months after treatment because it takes time for new healthy nails to grow. Terbinafine may be taken with or without food.
- Cream, gel, spray, solution: Apply to affected area (s) once (jock itch, ringworm) or twice daily (athletes foot) for about for 1 week.
Which drugs or supplements interact with terbinafine?
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.
Is terbinafine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
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.
Breastfeeding mothers should not use oral terbinafine because terbinafine passes into breast milk.
Terbinafine (Lamisil, Lamisil AT) is an antifungal medication prescribed for the treatment of fungal nails, jock itch, and athlete's foot. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to using this medication.
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