Send to

Choose Destination
J Am Acad Dermatol. 1994 Sep;31(3 Pt 2):S78-81.

Oral therapeutic agents in fungal nail disease.

Author information

Department of Dermatology, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, Scotland.


Oral griseofulvin has been the first-line drug in the therapy of dermatophyte onychomycosis for many years. Even when used long-term, it is effective in only about 30% of patients. Ketoconazole is not much more effective than griseofulvin in toenail infections, and there are significant problems with hepatotoxicity. Recently the triazoles, itraconazole and fluconazole, and the allylamine, terbinafine, were introduced and are believed to be potentially suitable for the oral treatment of fungal nail infection. Terbinafine is particularly effective in the treatment of dermatophyte onychomycosis, with a much shorter treatment period than griseofulvin. Cure rates of well over 80% have been noted in fingernail and toenail infection during treatment periods of 6 and 12 weeks, respectively. Itraconazole, 200 mg/day, has been noted in some studies to be similarly effective in the same treatment period. Few studies of fluconazole in nail infection have been carried out. These new agents appear to be safe, and results thus far suggest that they will soon overtake griseofulvin as the drug of choice in the oral therapy of nail infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center