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Griseofulvin

Generic Name: griseofulvin (GRIS ee oh FUL vin)
Brand Name: Grifulvin V, Fulvicin P/G, ...show all 9 brand names.

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Oct 15, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is griseofulvin?

Griseofulvin is an antifungal medicine that is used to treat infections such as ringworm, athlete's foot, jock itch, and fungal infections of the scalp, fingernails, or toenails.

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

Important Information

You should not use griseofulvin if you have porphyria or liver failure.

Taking griseofulvin during the first 3 months of pregnancy may harm the unborn baby.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use griseofulvin if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • liver failure;

  • porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system); or

  • if you are pregnant or may become pregnant.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Taking griseofulvin during the first 3 months of pregnancy may cause birth defects. Do not take griseofulvin if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine.

Griseofulvin can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormonal birth control (condom, diaphragm, cervical cap, or contraceptive sponge) to prevent pregnancy.

You should not breastfeed while using griseofulvin.

Griseofulvin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 2 years old.

How should I take griseofulvin?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose as your infection improves. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Tell your doctor if you cannot swallow a tablet whole. You may be able to crush the tablet and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow the mixture right away without chewing. Do not save it for later use.

While treating a fungal skin or nail infection, keep the skin areas as clean and dry as possible.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication.

Griseofulvin will not treat a bacterial or viral infection such as the flu or a common cold. Griseofulvin also will not treat certain types of fungal infections, including yeast infections.

It may take up several weeks before your symptoms improve. Nail infections can take several months to clear completely.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.

If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

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 griseofulvin?

Avoid covering affected skin areas with tight-fitting, synthetic clothing (such as nylon or polyester clothing, or plastic pants) that does not allow air to circulate to your skin. If you are treating athlete's foot, wear clean cotton socks and sandals or shoes that allow for air circulation. Keep your feet as dry as possible.

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

Drinking alcohol with griseofulvin can cause side effects.

Griseofulvin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands or feet;

  • confusion, trouble with daily activities;

  • fever, chills, flu symptoms, white patches or sores inside your mouth or throat;

  • liver problems--loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • kidney problems--little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath, foamy urine;

  • lupus-like symptoms--muscle or joint pain, flu symptoms, chest pain, and a rash or patchy skin color that worsens in sunlight; or

  • signs of stomach bleeding--bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Common side effects may include:

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.

Griseofulvin dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Onychomycosis -- Fingernail:

Microsize formulation: 1000 mg/day orally in 2 to 4 divided doses

Ultramicrosize formulation: 660 to 750 mg/day orally in 2 to 4 divided doses

Usual Adult Dose for Onychomycosis -- Toenail:

Microsize formulation: 1000 mg/day orally in 2 to 4 divided doses

Ultramicrosize formulation: 660 to 750 mg/day orally in 2 to 4 divided doses

Usual Adult Dose for Tinea Pedis:

Microsize formulation: 1000 mg/day orally in 2 to 4 divided doses

Ultramicrosize formulation: 660 to 750 mg/day orally in 2 to 4 divided doses

Usual Adult Dose for Tinea Barbae:

Microsize formulation: 500 mg/day orally in single or 2 divided doses

Ultramicrosize formulation: 330 to 375 mg/day orally in single or divided doses

Usual Adult Dose for Tinea Capitis:

Microsize formulation: 500 mg/day orally in single or 2 divided doses

Ultramicrosize formulation: 330 to 375 mg/day orally in single or divided doses

Usual Adult Dose for Tinea Corporis:

Microsize formulation: 500 mg/day orally in single or 2 divided doses

Ultramicrosize formulation: 330 to 375 mg/day orally in single or divided doses

Usual Adult Dose for Tinea Cruris:

Microsize formulation: 500 mg/day orally in single or 2 divided doses

Ultramicrosize formulation: 330 to 375 mg/day orally in single or divided doses

Usual Pediatric Dose for Dermatophytosis:

Microsize formulation:
1 year or older: 10 to 20 mg/kg/day orally in single or divided doses, not to exceed 1000 mg/day

Ultramicrosize formulation:
2 years or younger: Dosage has not been established.
Greater than 2 years: 5 to 15 mg/kg/day in single or divided doses, not to exceed 750 mg/day

What other drugs will affect griseofulvin?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Other drugs may affect griseofulvin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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