Terbinafine: What is it? How does it work? Uses, Indications and Side Effects

It is an antifungal medicine prescribed for fungal infections and is challenging to treat nails.

What are terbinafine tablets used for?

Treatment of fungal infections of the skin, such as those detailed below, where oral therapy is necessary since the condition is severe, widespread, or challenging to treat with creams or gels.

  • Fungal infection of the groin that is inguinal ringworm (tinea cruris).
  • Athletic Pie (tinea pedis).
  • Fungal infection of the nails.

How does terbinafine work?

Terbinafine hydrochloride is an antifungal medication that kills fungi causing an infection. It does this by causing holes in the membranes of the fungal cells.

The fungal cell membranes are vital for their survival. They prevent unwanted substances from entering the cells and stop the contents of the cells from leaking.

By making holes appear in cell membranes, terbinafine kills fungi and eliminates infection.

Treatments for skin infections

How do I take terbinafine in tablets?

The usual dose for adults is a 250 mg terbinafine tablet once a day. It would help if you tried to take your amount simultaneously every day.

The duration of treatment depends on the infection being treated. Still, you will usually need to take the medication between two and six weeks for skin infections and between six weeks and three months for nail infections.


Some infections of toenails need treatment for six months or more. Always follow the instructions given by your doctor.

The tablets should be swallowed with a drink of water. They can be taken with or without food.

If you forget to take a dose, do not worry; take it as soon as you remember, then take your next tablet at the usual time. However, do not take a double dose to make up for the forgotten dose.

Be sure to take terbinafine tablets regularly and complete the course as directed by your doctor.

It is essential to complete the course; even if your symptoms have cleared up otherwise, there is a risk that the infection will return. If there are no signs of improvement after the first two weeks of treatment, consult your doctor.

What should I know before taking terbinafine tablets?

Terbinafine can cause liver problems on rare occasions. Your doctor may want to have a blood test to check your liver function before starting treatment.

This test should be repeated after four to six weeks of treatment.

You should consult your doctor immediately if you experience unexplained itching or fatigue, yellowing of the skin or eyes ( jaundice ), unusually dark urine or pale stools, nausea and vomiting, and abdominal pain.

Who should not take terbinafine tablets?

  • Women who are breastfeeding.
  • Terbinafine tablets are not recommended for people with active or prolonged liver disease.
  • Terbinafine tablets should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have already experienced the allergy. If you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Terbinafine tablets should be cautioned in people with kidney or liver problems (your doctor may prescribe a lower dose).

People with psoriasis (terbinafine can sometimes make psoriasis worse).

People with a long-term autoimmune disease called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) affect the connective tissue.

Can I take terbinafine tablets during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

Certain medications should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

However, other medications can be used safely during pregnancy or breastfeeding, as long as the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the fetus.

Before using any medication, always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

The safety of terbinafine tablets for use during pregnancy has not been established.

Its use in pregnancy is not recommended unless your doctor deems it essential. Ask your doctor for more medical advice.

Terbinafine passes into breast milk. Women who are breastfeeding should not take this medication. Get more advice from your doctor.

What are the possible side effects?

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways.

A side effect indicated here does not mean that all people who use this drug experience that or any side effect.

It is generally well-tolerated, with moderate, mild, and transitory effects such as satiety, dyspepsia, loss of appetite, diarrhea, mild abdominal pain, desire to vomit, rash, and hives.

It can cause cholestatic hepatitis in approximately 1 in every 60,000 treatments. It is severe hepatitis with a mortality of 20% and is chronic in 45% of cases.