Prescription vs.OTC: Prescription by Doctor required
Last Updated: March 14, 2022

Terbinafine sold under the brand name Lamisil, it is used in the treatment of various fungal disorders and has been proven to be effective against fungal infections such as athletes foot, jock itch, pityriasis Versicolor and ringworms. It is either taken orally or is applied to the skin as a cream or an ointment.

It basically is an anti-fungus agent, but the cream and ointment also help relieve the itching, burning and cracking and scaling from the infections caused by the fungus. If it’s being used as a cream or as an ointment, it has to be applied on dry and clear skin.

Do not apply the cream/ointment on the eyes, nose, mouth or inside intimate areas. Use once daily, preferably at the same time. Avoid applying it on nails and scalps unless suggested by the doctor. Apply until the symptoms are reduced and for a few more days so that the infection does not resurface.

This medication does not pose any serious side effect, however, it is still advised to use it in moderation. Serious drug allergies are rare.

Avoid contact with eyes, nose, or mouth during treatment with cream; nursing mothers should not use on breast tissue; advise physician if eyes or skin becomes yellow or if irritation, itching, or burning develops.

Do not use occlusive dressings concurrent with therapy. Full clinical effect may require several months due to the time required for a new nail to grow.

Patients should not be considered therapeutic failures until they have been symptom-free for 2-4 weeks off following a course of treatment; GI complaints usually subside with continued administration.

Information given here is based on the salt content of the medicine. Uses and effects of the medicine may vary from person to person. It is advisable to consult a Internal Medicine Specialist before using this medicine.

Terbinafine is primarily used for the following condition:

Side effects of Terbinafine are as follows:

  • How long is the duration of effect?

    Both the effects of the ointment/cream and tablets are roughly between 12-24 hours. The symptons may begin to resurface after that period of time.

  • What is the onset of action?

    . The effect is usually felt within an hour of application or after taken orally. It takes roughly about 2-3 weeks for it to completely clear the fungus and about 6 weeks in case of toenails.

  • Are there any pregnancy warnings?

    Generally safe for use, it is only recommended only if clearly needed.

  • Is it habit forming?

    No this drug is not known to be addictive, however, one should not prolong the use of this medicine after 2 weeks since start.

  • Are there any breast-feeding warnings?

    The drug passes through milk while breast feeding, when taken orally. It is not known if the drug passes through breast-milk when applied as an ointment/cream.

  • Is It safe with alcohol?

    No it is not safe with alcohol.

  • Is it safe to drive while on this medicine?

    Yes, it is safe to drive if you have applied the ointment/cream , though some drivers have reported to feel dizzy or giddly if they have take the tablets oraly.

  • Does this affect kidney function?

    Kidney functions are not know to be affected. Although specific guidelines are not available, dose reduction in significant renal insufficiency (GFR <50 mL/minute) is recommended.

  • Does this affect liver function?

    People suffering from Liver problems are not advised to take this medicine.

  • Are there any missed dose instructions?

    Do not overapply the ointment if missed the previous time. Do not take more that one tablet per day.

  • Are there any overdose instructions?

    Though overdose is not very common, Consulting a doctor is highly recommended.

  • India

  • United States

  • Japan

Below is the list of medicines, which contains Terbinafine as ingredient

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Terbinafine decreases ergosterol production by disrupting the activity of cytochrome P450, inhibiting the formation of the cell membrane of susceptible fungi like Candida and Micosporum.

Whenever you take more than one medicine, or mix it with certain foods or beverages, you"re at risk of a drug interaction.

  • Interaction with Alcohol

    The medicine reacts with alcohol

  • Interaction with Lab Test

    Information not available.
  • Interaction with Medicine

    • Decreased effect: Cyclosporine clearance is increased (~15%) with concomitant terbinafine; rifampin increases terbinafine clearance (100%).
    • Increased effect: Terbinafine clearance is decreased by cimetidine (33%) and terfenadine (16%); caffeine clearance is decreased by terfenadine (19%).
  • Interaction with Disease


    While rare, the following complications have been reported and may require discontinuation of therapy:
    • Changes in the ocular lens and retina, pancytopenia, neutropenia, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis.
    • Discontinue if symptoms or signs of hepatobiliary dysfunction or cholestatic hepatitis develop.
    • Use caution in writing/filling Rx. Confusion between Lamictal® (lamotrigine) and Lamisil® (terbinafine) have occurred.
  • Interaction with Food

    Information not available.

Ques: Can Terbinafine be safe for use in patients with liver cirrhosis?

Ans: No, you must consult your doctor before consuming this drug if you are suffering from liver problems.

Ques: Can I drink tea or coffee while taking Terbinafine?

Ans: Caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee should be taken with caution while being on treatment with this medication.

Ques: How long do I need to take Terbinafine?

Ans: The duration of this medication is decided by the doctor depending upon the type of infection, the site of infection, and the patient’s response to the therapy.

Ques: Does Terbinafine cause any skin reactions?

Ans: Yes, some individuals might develop skin reactions while using this drug.

Ques: Is Terbinafine effective?

Ans: This medication is effective as an anti-fungal medicine if used in the dose and duration advised by your doctor. Do not stop taking it even if you see improvement in your condition.
Disclaimer: The information produced here is best of our knowledge and experience and we have tried our best to make it as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we would like to request that it should not be treated as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Lybrate is a medium to provide our audience with the common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. Even if there is no mention of a warning for any drug or combination, it never means that we are claiming that the drug or combination is safe for consumption without any proper consultation with an expert.

Lybrate does not take responsibility for any aspect of medicines or treatments. If you have any doubts about your medication, we strongly recommend you to see a doctor immediately.

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Content Details
Written By
PhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child Care
Reviewed By
General Physician
Table of Content
About Terbinafine
What are the uses of Terbinafine
What are the contraindications of Terbinafine ?
What are the side effects of Terbinafine ?
Key highlights of Terbinafine
What are the dosage instructions?
Where is the Terbinafine approved?
Medicines containing Terbinafine
How does this medication work?
What are the interactions of Terbinafine ?
FAQs about Terbinafine