Topical or Oral Lamisil for Nail Fungus: Is It Effective?
When looking for the best nail fungus medicine, you have a number of options available to you including standard pharmaceutical products. One of the most common medications prescribed by doctors to treat toenail and fingernail fungus is Lamisil. Though easy to use, this medication is not without its side effects and many people want to know if it is effective before risking their health using it.
Treating Toenail Fungus with Lamisil
Lamisil is an antifungal antibiotic that kills fungus by altering its cell membranes. The generic name for this medication is terbinafine hydrochloride and the product is manufactured by Novartis. It comes in two forms: oral tablets and topical cream and it is approved by the FDA to treat a variety of fungal infections including ringworm of the scalp for adults and kids.
Both forms of the medication have been prescribed or recommended to treat a variety of fungus infections including on the:
- Scalp (tinea capitis)
- Body (tinea corporis)
- Groin (tinea cruris; jock itch)
- Feet (tinea pedis; athlete’s foot)
- Fingernails and toenails
- Yeast infections that erupt on the body (cutaneous candidiasis)
- Sun fungus (tinea versicolor)
The efficacy of Lamisil depends on the form of the medication you use as well as the severity of the infection. To understand why, you must first know something very important about toenail fungus. It doesn’t live on the nail at all. Actually, the fungus lives under on the nail bed. It uses the nail as a shield to protect it from any prescription or OTC topical remedies you may use to kill it.
Because of this, the Lamisil tablets are more effective than the cream because it attacks the fungus from inside the body. According to available data, 70 percent of people who took the tablet once per day for 12 weeks saw a significant improvement in their toenail infections. However, it took about an average of 10 months for healthy nail to grow in and completely replace the infected nail. About 15 percent acquired the infection again afterwards. Oral forms of Lamisil typically require a prescription from a doctor.
Side Effects of Lamisil
While Lamisil pills may be effective, it can cause some serious and even life-threatening side effects. In particular, it is known for damaging the liver leading to liver inflammation (hepatitis), increased level of liver enzymes, and even liver failure. Other side effects include:
- Gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea, nausea, gastritis, constipation, gas
- Dizziness, vertigo
- Decreased white cell count
- Loss of taste
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain
The Lamisil cream is less effective than the pill, but also less likely to cause side effects. Even so, if you use this topical toenail fungus medicine you may experience the following side effects:
- Burning or irritation
- Skin dryness
Lamisil is not believed to be harmful to fetuses, but pregnant women should wait until after they have given birth to start using it to treat their onychomycosis. Tell your doctor if you are suffering from any of the following diseases, so he or she can adjust your dose as necessary:
- Weak immune system or immunocompromization from HIV or AIDS
- Blood disorders
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
It is recommended that anyone who uses Lamisil be tested for complete blood count and liver function on regular basis to determine of the medicine is causing side effects.
Using Oral Medication
The exact dosage and length of time you will take the medication depends on the severity of your condition, the location of the onychomycosis, your overall health and how the fungus responds to medicine. Typically, doctors will recommend that you take 250 milligrams once per day for 6 weeks to cure fungus on your fingernails and for 12 weeks for fungus on the toenails. However, it may take months before you will see any results from using this drug.
It’s important to take the medication as directed and around the same time each day. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible unless it’s within 4 hours of taking the next dose. In that case, only take the medication like you normally would. Do not take an extra dose to make up for the one you missed as this could increase your risk of experiencing side effects.
The medicine should be stored out of reach of children and far away from heat, direct light and moisture. Medicine cabinets are typically a good place. Make sure the bottle is labelled clearly to minimize confusion with other drugs you may be storing in the same area. Medicine that has reached or passed its expiration date should be disposed of according to the recommendations of your pharmacist or healthcare provider.
Home Remedies for Nail Fungus
It is not necessary to go through all of that to cure your nail fungus. There are several natural treatments available that will fix the problem without causing annoying or dangerous side effects. There is no need to hide your unsightly toenails under nail polish any longer. If you want to learn how to cure nail fungus naturally, go to the homepage to read reviews of the top herbal and homeopathic fungus cures available.