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Common Antifungal Drugs

25 Dec 2010 Anti fungal drugs are used to fungal infection. From a minor nail fungus to vaginal infection to yeast and other fungal infections, there is an anti fungal drug available in the form of tablets, capsule, liquid, syrups, ointment, cream and spray. However, the use of anti fungal drugs also has its side effects if not taken properly. Moreover, there is every likelihood of the disease to re-occur and repeated infections are common. The best thing is to know about the various anti fungal drugs and their side effects and their severity. Here is a list of common antifungal drugs and what to expect from them.

Terbinafine: This is the most commonly used drug for anti fungal infections caused by dermatophytes. The drug can kill almost 40 to 90% of fungi and also reproduced a normal-looking nail in 35 to 50 percent of the people using it. For fingernail fungus, treatment time is eight weeks for and for toenail fungus, it is 12 weeks.


Itraconazole: These are used for infection caused by molds or yeasts. It is taken in "pulse" doses, that is, you take one tablet a week in a month for 2-3 months. Itraconazole is effective in 45 to 70 percent of people using it. A normal-looking nail was produced in 35 to 80 percent of users. However, drug interactions are common, especially with antibiotics and asthma medicines.
Clotrimazole: It was one of the first azoles to be developed. It is used for treating Candida albicans and the dermatophytes. It is available in lozenges and topical cream form. It is also available in a variety of combinations with antibiotics and corticosteroids. Local Clotrimazole drugs can cause irritation, hypersensitivity, pruritus, burning, erythema, fissuring, or swelling.

Ciclopirox: This is a topical anti fungal drug. This drug was one of the first effective antifungals for superficial dermatophyte, fungal and yeast, infections. Side effects may include local irritation or burning when first applied.

Fluconazole: This is given once a week for many months. It is used if the infection is caused by Candida. Dose adjustment is needed in patients with renal function impairment. It causes side effects like abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, headache, dizziness and drowsiness.

Ciclopirox: It is a topical antifungal drug and is used in the treatment of superficial anti fungals. Side effects may include local irritation or burning when first applied.

Ketoconazole: This is an azole medication. It can treat a broad spectrum of fungi. It is effective against yeasts and dermatophytes, both systemically and topically. For life threatening fungal infections, this drug is widely recommended. Side effects are like itching, stinging, irritation including abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite and rarely, hepatotoxicity.

Itraconazole: This is a popular antifungal azole, used in various fungal infections. It is used effectively in the treatment of onychomycosis and candidal infection. Using this drug has some adverse side effects like hypersensitivity reactions, gastrointestinal effects and also other effects like headache, dizziness and drowsiness.