Toenail Fungus Medication – Prescription Drugs Success Rate and Side Effects

Toenail Fungus Medication

If you become infected with toenail fungus and this unsightly condition does not get nipped in the bud, then you may wind up on toenail fungus prescription medication. Toenail fungus medication that requires a doctor’s prescription is very strong stuff. There are currently three FDA approved medications of this type, although only two of them are specifically approved for treating this particular condition. These three medications are Lamisil (Terbinafine) (the most frequently prescribed), Sporanox (Itraconazole), and Diflucan (Fluconazole). Diflucan is not FDA approved to treat toenail fungus specifically.

The above three toenail fungus medications are taken orally. Penlac (Ciclopirox) and Loceryl (Amorolfine) are two more toenail fungus medications, and both these are applied topically, rather like nail lacquer. All of these synthetic medications include an array of possible unwanted side effects. These powerful, negative side effects are accompanied by not-so-spectacular cure rates, meaning that if you get to the point where you need to use any one of these toenail fungus medications, you will be taking rather large risks for dubious hopes of relief from the unsightly and possibly itchy or mildly painful problem. What’s more, none of these medications can guarantee that the infection won’t recur.

Don’t forget that you must notify your doctor immediately if you experience any of the unwanted side effects.


Lamisil (Terbinafine)


In a clinical trial conducted during 72 weeks on 507 adult patients with confirmed toenail fungus (onychomycosis), Lamisil has been shown to have a success rate of about 50%. This medication is taken either with or without food, once a day. The long list of possible side effects includes: drowsiness or lethargy; loss of taste; upset stomach; diarrhea; fever; persistent sore throat; chills; blurry vision; and becoming susceptible to easy bleeding or bruising.


Furthermore, this toenail fungus medication may cause serious harm to you liver. Symptoms of this may include:


  • persistent nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • severe stomach or abdominal pain
  • throwing up
  • dark urine
  • yellowing of the skin or the eyes


Sporanox (Itraconazole)


Itraconazole has been show in clinical trials to have just a 25% success rate, as well as a relatively high relapse rate. It is ingested either in capsule form or liquid form. 200-400 mg are taken daily either in single doses or two divided doses. If you are using capsules you should take one after a meal.


Itraconazole has been shown to sometimes interfere with the body’s uptake of other medications, and it has also caused death when combined with certain other drugs, which you need to ask your doctor about if he recommends this particular toenail fungus medication. Nursing mothers should not take this drug because it gets excreted in breast milk.


The most common side effects are:

  • nausea
  • throwing up
  • diarrhea
  • rash
  • edema
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • increased blood triglycerides


Liver failure is also possible with this drug. Look for the same signs that you would with Lamisil.


Diflucan (Fluconazole)


Diflucan is an antifungal drug prescribed to treat vaginal, oropharyngeal, and vaginal candida as well cryptococcal meningitis. To date it hasn’t been approved by the FDA as a toenail fungus medication. Side effects are less severe with Diflucan than either Lamisil or Sporanox, but it is also less effective used as a nail fungus medication.


The side effects that you may possibly experience include:

  • nausea
  • throwing up
  • diarrhea
  • stomach upset/pain in the abdominal area
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • hair loss may occur
  • liver disease (temporary hepatic reactions)


Penlac (Ciclopirox)


Penlac (Ciclopirox) nail lacquer has been shown to have a cure rate of 36% in some trials, but in others its rate is as low as 9%. This is not really a toenail fungal medication, but rather has been designed to treat ringworm, jock itch, and athlete’s foot. Side effects may include:

  • itching
  • burning
  • stinging
  • redness
  • blistering
  • swelling
  • oozing

Loceryl (Amorolfine)

Toenail Fungus Medication

Loceryl (Amorolfine) nail lacquer has only been clinically tested for treating mild nail fungus. Its cure rate is close to 40% on mild toenail fungus infections, meaning that with moderate to severe nail fungus it will be even less effective (in all probability). The FDA has not approved it, either. Its side effects may include:

  • burning sensation
  • skin dryness or scaling
  • itching
  • erythema
  • weeping

In Summary

It should be obvious from this review that these toenail fungus medications may do more harm than good. Toenail fungus drugs are very powerful, especially those that are taken orally. Synthetic medicines always have a wide range of possible side effects that can be far worse than what they are attempting to cure.

If you notice the initial signs of a toenail fungus infection, don’t hesitate to see your doctor to confirm it, but think twice before taking a prescription drug. You can use safer forms of toenail fungus medications. If you nip the infection in the bud, natural treatments in therapeutic dosages (for example) may be able to help you. Above all else, use preventative measures to give yourself the best chance of never needing any toenail fungus medication at all.

Learn further about the best nail fungus treatment available today without the need of any prescription from your doctor. It is much safer to use than prescription drugs and just as efficient.

Visit NailFungusConsumerReview.com to get the most accurate information on your toenail fungus treatment options, to weigh the pros and cons of each treatment and to find the most suitable cure for you.