Ask any physician and they will tell how difficult nail fungal infections are to treat. Sadly, although treating the condition early is the best defense, many fail to realize symptoms are occurring and they fail to pay attention. Once the condition causes discomfort and they see a physician, the infection has become severe and hard to cure. There are a number of medications for the treatment of a toenail fungus on today’s market and each has a varied rate of success as well as a number of side effects.
Physicians have two options when it comes to treating a toenail fungus. They can choose an oral or topical medication. The problems both pose is the success rate for a toenail fungus cure is low and the possible side effect of each medication can be severe. The following is a review of the current medications now available for fungal infections.
Oral Medications for Toenail Fungus
Lamisil, Sporanox and Diflucan are the three available medications currently used to treat a nail fungus. Lamisil and Sporanox have the FDA’s approval as a nail fungus treatment while Diflucan has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for other situations or conditions, but it has not received approval as a nail fungus treatment. Each of these three nail fungus medications has potentially serious side effects with damage to the liver being the most serious. Regular monitoring for blood cell and liver function must be done for each patient using these medications. Overall, there is less than a 50% success rate for users.
1. Lamisil (Terbinafin)
Approved by the FDA, Lamisil appears to have a higher rate of success out of all three medications for the treatment of the most common cause of nail fungus infections, dermatophytes. However, it also ranks highest for serious side effects. Lamisil is effective by stopping the enzyme that promotes the growth of the fungus. Typically 250 mg is prescribed and it needs to be used for a minimum of six weeks for fingernail fungus infections and 12 weeks for toenail infections.
Gastrointestinal issues such as indigestion, diarrhea and abdominal pain are the most common side effects. While these symptoms are problematic, more concern is focused on potential liver damage. Lamisil has thought to damage the liver to such an extent that a transplant may be required or damage was so extensive the patient died. Those taking this medication are educated on possible signs of liver damage that include jaundice, stomach pain, appetite loss, nausea, foods begin to taste differently, dark urine, stools that are the color of clay and severe itching.
Only 50% of the patients cleared to use Lamisil achieve positive results.
Lamisil may also negatively interact with other drugs commonly used like beta-blockers, tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors Type B and certain serotonin reuptake inhibitors. If a patient is pregnant, has kidney disease or deficiencies of the immune system, they should refrain from taking Lamisil.
2. Sporanox (Itraconazole)
Fungal or yeast infections are typically treated with Sporanox. This includes conditions such as thrush (mouth), esophageal candidiasis (esophagus), aspergillosis (lungs) as well as the nails. Approved by the FDA, Sporanox is effective by eliminating the fungus and stopping fungal growth. Dosage is dependent on the patient and how the serious the infection has become.
Side effects include but are not limited to: diarrhea, hypertension or high blood pressure, vomiting or nausea, fever, convulsions, dark urine, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, increase in thirst, change of moods, cramps or pain in the muscles, tingling or numbness of the lips, feet or hands and an overwhelming feeling of weakness or being tired.
3. Diflucan (Fluconazole)
While Difulcan is FDA approved for the treatment of various yeast infections, the FDA has not approved it for the use of nail fungus infections. Difulcan is typically used as a treatment against an overgrowth of Candida yeast in conditions like peritonitis, yeast infections of the vagina or urinary tract, cyptococcal meningitis and pneumonia.
Out of all three medications the side effects of Diflucan are the least severe. However, its success rate as a nail fungus treatment is also much lower. Hair loss, headache, temporary liver problems, pain in the stomach, nausea and diarrhea are a few of the potential side effects patients have reported.
Medications for Toenail Fungus Applied Topically
In addition to oral medications there are several topical medications frequently used for a toenail fungus. Regrettably, the success rate of a topical medication is extremely low. The rate of success is higher when treatment begins during the very beginning of an infection. As the infection gets worse, topical medications become less effective and many have a number of side effects.
1. Penlac (Ciclopirox) Nail Lacquer
Penlac Nail Lacquer
This medication is considered an antifungal and is used to prevent a fungal growth. Available in cream form, it is commonly used as a treatment for ringworm, athlete’s foot, jock itch as well as beginning nail fungal infections. Penlac is applied with a brush to the nail’s surface and to the nail and skin underneath the nail. It should remain in place for a minimum of eight hours before getting the area wet. Itching or burning are frequent side effects. Penlac has a success rate of 9 to 36 percent.
2. Loceryl (Amorolfine) Nail Lacquer
Loceryl Nail Lacquer
The FDA has not approved Loceryl as a nail fungus treatment as of this article. Loceryl does have a cure rate as high as 40 percent when applied during the beginning stages, however, this rate is drastically reduced when used on cases that have advanced into the severe stage. Loceryl is applied via a brush twice weekly for as long as six months. The side effects experienced by many users of Loceryl are similar to Penlac and include dry skin, itching, scaling and burning of the application site.
In closing the article, it’s safe to say that medications on today’s market designed for a nail fungus have a low success rate and a high rate of side effects. The highest rate of concern lies with the oral medications since they have the potential of causing serious liver damage. Considering all the risks prior to using any type of nail fungus medication can’t be stressed enough.
The Next Step
I would suggest that you take a minute to scan my latest review regarding two holistic and natural remedies for a nail fungus. Both meet our very stringent requirements and have a high rate of success. Both Funginix and Zetaclear have no side effects, work for the vast majority of users and are cost friendly.