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Generic Name: terbinafine (ter BIN na feen)
Brand Name: LamISIL

What is terbinafine?

Terbinafine is an antifungal medication that fights infections caused by fungus.

Terbinafine tablets are used to treat infections caused by fungus that affect the fingernails or toenails. Terbinafine oral granules are used to treat a fungal infection of scalp hair follicles in children who are at least 4 years old.

Terbinafine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about terbinafine?

Some people taking terbinafine have developed severe liver damage leading to liver transplant or death. It is not clear whether terbinafine actually caused the liver damage in these patients. In most cases, the patient had a serious medical condition before taking terbinafine.

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Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of liver damage, such as nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). These events can occur whether or not you have ever had liver problems before.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking terbinafine?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to terbinafine.

To make sure you can safely take terbinafine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease;

  • a history of depression;

  • weak immune system (caused by disease or by using certain medicine); or

  • an autoimmune disorder such as lupus or psoriasis.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby, but you should wait until after your pregnancy to start treating your nail or scalp infection with terbinafine. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Terbinafine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I take terbinafine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take the terbinafine tablet with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

Terbinafine granules should be sprinkled into a spoonful of pudding or mashed potatoes (do not mix with applesauce, fruit juice, or other fruit-based or acidic foods). Swallow this mixture right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use.

The terbinafine granule mixture should be taken with a meal.

Terbinafine is usually taken for 6 to 12 weeks.

Take this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Terbinafine will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

While using terbinafine, you may need frequent blood tests.

It may take several months for your nails to return to their normal appearance after your treatment with terbinafine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the terbinafine oral granules in their sealed packet until you are ready to use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking terbinafine?

Avoid coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks or other sources of caffeine while taking this medication.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Terbinafine can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Terbinafine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some people taking terbinafine have developed severe liver damage leading to liver transplant or death. It is not clear whether terbinafine actually caused the liver damage in these patients. In most cases, the patient had a serious medical condition before taking terbinafine.

Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of liver damage, such as nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). These events can occur whether or not you have ever had liver problems before.

Stop taking terbinafine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • depressed mood, feeling restless, sleep problems, lack of interest in daily activity;

  • flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;

  • chest pain, irregular heart rhythm, feeling short of breath;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain, little or no urinating;

  • new or worsening cough with fever, trouble breathing;

  • skin sores, butterfly-shaped skin rash on your cheeks and nose (worsens in sunlight);

  • weight loss due to taste changes; or

  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • changes in your sense of taste or smell;

  • diarrhea, mild nausea or stomach pain;

  • stuffy nose, sore throat; or

  • headache.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect terbinafine?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with terbinafine, especially:

  • cimetidine;

  • cyclosporine;

  • desipramine or other antidepressant;

  • fluconazole;

  • rifampin; or

  • heart or blood pressure medication.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with terbinafine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about terbinafine.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 11.01. Revision Date: 2013-08-23, 1:25:55 PM.

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