Please select the country or location you would like to see content from.
country picker icon
treatment icon


Terbinafine for nail fungus

Written by Healthwords's team of doctors and pharmacists based in UK | Updated: 26.01.2023 | 2 min read

Terbinafine is an antifungal medicine used to treat skin infections caused by a fungus or yeast, including athlete's foot, fungal nail infections, ringworm and pityriasis versicolor.

Terbinafine is available as a cream, gel or sprays for treating athlete's foot, ringworm and pityriasis versicolor. You can buy these from a pharmacy or supermarket. It also comes as tablets for treating fungal nail infections and other fungal infections, however, this is only available on prescription.

Who is it for?

Terbinafine tablets can be prescribed for adults and children aged 1 year and over. Your doctor may recommend tablets if they think creams, gels, sprays or solutions are not likely to work on the fungal infection.

How does it work?

Terbinafine works by killing the fungus which treats the infection and symptoms. For nail infections treatment usually lasts for between 6 weeks and 3 months, although some patients with toenail infections may need to be treated for much longer.

Should anybody not take it?

To make sure terbinafine is safe for you, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you:

• Have had an allergic reaction to terbinafine or any other medicines in the past

• Have ever had liver or kidney problems as the terbinafine might not be the most appropriate treatment for you or the dose may need to be reduced

• If you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Are there any side-effects?

The most common side effects of terbinafine tablets are having a smaller appetite than usual, pain in your joints or muscles, or an upset stomach. Some people have reported feeling dizzy or giddy while they are taking terbinafine tablets.

Stop taking them and call a doctor immediately if you are experiencing serious side effects; yellow skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow, you bruise more easily, have a high temperature with a rash, experience severe pain near the top of your stomach that spreads to your back, or if your muscles feel weak or painful, or your pee changes colour to a dark red-brown.

Was this helpful?

Was this helpful?

Newsletter icon
Subscribe to our Newsletter
to get monthly notified about our latest health and wellness topics.
By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the Healthwords Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of the newsletter subscription at any time.