- What is terbinafine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- 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 brand names are available for terbinafine?
Lamisil, Lamisil AT
Is terbinafine available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for terbinafine?
Yes (Tablets), OTC (Topical preparations)
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.
What else should I know about terbinafine?
What preparations of terbinafine are available?
Tablets: 250 mg. Oral Granule: 125 and 187.5 mg. Cream, Gel, solution, or spray: 1%.
How should I keep terbinafine stored?
All formulations should be stored at room temperature, 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F).
Daily Health News
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.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Picture of Folliculitis
An infection of the hair follicles of the skin. See a picture of Folliculitis and learn more about the health topic....
Picture of Athlete's Foot 2
Athlete's foot is a fungus that causes itching, redness, and cracking. See a picture of Athlete's Foot and learn more about the...
Picture of Fungal Nail Infection
Nails that are infected with a fungus may become discolored (yellowish-brown or opaque), thick and brittle, and may separate from...
Picture of Types of Ringworm
Ringworm is a common skin disorder otherwise known as tinea. See a picture of Types of Ringworm and learn more about the health...
Picture of Athlete's Foot 1
Athlete's foot is caused by a fungus that grows on or in the top layer of skin. See a picture of Athlete's Foot and learn more...
Related Disease Conditions
The term "ringworm" or "ringworms" refers to fungal infections that are on the surface of the skin. A physical examination of...
Jock itch is an itchy red rash that appears in the groin area. The rash may be caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. People...
Folliculitis is a skin condition that causes small red bumps to form around the hair follicles. Skin bacteria such as...
Fungal nails (onychomycosis) may be caused by many species of fungi, but the most common is Trichophyton rubrum. Distal subungal...
Athlete's foot (tinea pedis) is a skin infection caused by the ringworm fungus. Symptoms include itching, burning, cracking,...
Antibiotic Resistance (Drug Resistance, Antimicrobial Resistance)
Drug resistance (antimicrobial resistance) is the ability of bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses to grow, even in the...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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.
FDA Prescribing Information