In this session, we will be discussing the consumer medication information for terbinafine, trade name LamisilTM.

What it’s for & How to take

Terbinafine is an antifungal medication that works to slow the growth of certain types of fungus. This antifungal medication is used specifically to treat fungal infections of the fingernail and toenail. This medication may be used for other fungal infections at the discretion of your physician.

In general, our body keeps a steady balance of healthy fungus and bacteria. The balance might be changed by antibiotics, steroids, chemotherapy or other situations that stress your body. When this happens, fungus grows easier in your body.

Your specific dosage and length of treatment is based on your specific clinical condition and response to treatment. It may take several weeks or months before you notice the full effect of this medication on your fingernails or toenails. It will take time for your healthy nails to grow and replace the infected nails.

Terbinafine is usually taken once daily, with or without food. If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip it and continue with your normal dose time. Do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.

Take this medication until it is all done, even if you are feeling better and the symptoms are gone. Stopping the medication too soon may allow for the fungus to come back only after a short time. If you notice that your symptoms are not getting better, call your doctor.

Warnings & Cautions

  • Tell your doctor if you have ever been told you have any heart rhythm problems. Rarely, terbinafine may cause your heart to beat fast and unsteady. If you feel any severe dizziness or feel like your heart is racing or beating too fast, get medical help right away.
  • Rarely, people who have taken this medication have developed liver damage. Tell your doctor if you have any liver problems before taking this medication. Contact your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of liver damage such as stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, or yellowing of your skin.
  • You are more likely to get a sunburn while taking this medication. If you can’t stay out of the sun, cover up with clothing and sunscreen.
  • Rarely, this medication may make you dizzy, drowsy, or blur your vision. Do not drive or do any activity that requires focus and attention until you are sure you can do them safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages while taking terbinafine.
  • Terbinafine is not recommended for use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Talk with your doctor if you are prescribed this medication and are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Interactions & Side Effects

  • Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if terbinafine is safe for you to take.
  • Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don’t take them very often.
  • Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any history of liver or kidney disease, any form of heart rhythm abnormality or any other medical condition.
  • While taking terbinafine, you may feel a headache, dizziness or perhaps some gastrointestinal effects such as diarrhea or stomach pain. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection such as nausea or vomiting, lack of energy, dark urine or flu-like symptoms, or any other unwanted or persistent side effects.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you have a fast or abnormal heart beat or experience severe dizziness or fainting.

If you have any questions about what you have heard, contact your pharmacist or doctor. This session does not include all the potential interactions or side effects that this medication may cause. Ask your pharmacist how your medication should be stored and how you should dispose of it when you are done taking it. Do not share your medication with anyone, ever. Remember, this is not meant to replace your counseling session with your pharmacist. In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Updated 7/20