Fungal infection of the nails is not actually a dangerous health condition, but it is a concern for many from a cosmetic perspective: Nails appear thick, discolored, misshapen, and broken or crumbling.
But how can it be treated? Some over-the-counter topical remedies are available, but they generally prove ineffective.
Oral Antifungal Medications
Oral Prescription Medications are usually physicians’ first-line treatment against onychomycosis, as nail fungus is scientifically called:
- Lamisil (terbinafine) is taken at a dose of 250 mg tablet once a day for 6 weeks for fingernail infections and 12 weeks for toenail infections. It may take longer before full effects are seen, after a new, healthy nail has grown out fully. While taking this medication patients should avoid beverages with caffeine and stay out of the sun and tanning beds.
- Sporanox (itraconazole) is taken for fingernail infection at a dose of 200 mg twice a day for two weeks, followed by three weeks without treatment, followed by 200 mg twice a day for one week. For toenail infection the drug is taken at a rate of 200 mg twice daily for 12 weeks.
Oral antifungal medications can affect the liver function, cause rash, and other problems, and they can interact with other medications. Therefore in some patients physicians would recommend prescription-strength topicals.
Prescription-Strength Topical Antifungal Medications:
- Jublia (efinaconazole 10% solution) is applied to the nails and surrounding skin every day for a year.
- Penlac (ciclopirox) is painted onto the nails and surrounding skin every day for a week, then peeled off. Repeat every week for a year.
Treating nail fungus can be difficult and frustrating to treat and—depending on which treatment option is chosen—may take up to a year.
Did you know that QuickMD can treat nail fungus online? From the convenience of your home with no insurance needed.