Terbinafine (By mouth)


Terbinafine (TER-bin-a-feen)
Treats fungal infections of the scalp, toenails, or fingernails.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Lamisil, Terbinex

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to terbinafine.

How to Use This Medicine

Packet, Tablet
  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses. Your infection may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon.
  • Sprinkle the oral granules on a spoonful of pudding or other soft, non-acidic food such as mashed potatoes, and then swallow without chewing. Do not use applesauce or fruit-based foods. If you will need two packets of oral granules with each dose, you may sprinkle the content of both packets on one spoonful or two spoonfuls of non-acidic food.
  • It may take several months for your infection to clear up completely and for healthy nails to grow out and replace the infected nails.
If a dose is missed:
  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using cimetidine (Tagamet®), cyclosporine (such as Gengraf®, Neoral®, or Sandimmune®), dextromethorphan (Benylin®), fluconazole (Diflucan®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), rifampin (such as Rifaden®, Rifamate®, or Rifater®), blood pressure medicine (such as carvedilol, metoprolol, timolol, Blocadren®, Coreg®, or Toprol®), an MAO inhibitor (such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®), medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as amiodarone, flecainide, propafenone, Cordarone®, Tambocor®, or Rythmol®), or medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, clomipramine, desipramine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, imipramine, nortriptyline, paroxetine, venlafaxine, Anafranil®, Aventyl®, Effexor®, Luvox®, Pamelor®, Paxil®, Prozac®, Norpramin®, or Tofranil®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, kidney disease, blood problems, lupus, or HIV infection (AIDS).
  • This medicine may lower the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections while you are using this medicine.
  • This medicine may cause serious skin problems. Check with your doctor right away if you develop skin rash or other skin problems while you are using this medicine.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash.
  • Dark-colored urine.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain in the upper stomach.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
  • Diarrhea, stomach pain, or upset stomach.
  • Mild skin rash or itching.
  • Unusual or bad taste in your mouth.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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