Ciclopirox (Penlac) 8% Nail lacquer (Topical Solution, 8%, is a clear, colourless to slightly yellowish solution), a topical treatment for nail fungus and at any one time between 6 and 8% of the population suffer from this condition.
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The risk factors are associated with the development of onychomycosis, including male gender, increasing age, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and immuno-suppression. The success rate for this treatment is between 12 and 30% for mild to moderate cases and it can take up to a year for a toenail to grow!
The active ingredient is Ciclopirox and is only available through a prescription and this amalgam is fungicidal in vitro against reproducing and quiescent fungal cells.
Now, we have an idea of how it works, what does it do? Ciclopirox (Penlac) 8% Nail Lacquer permeates the nail plate via a transungual delivery system. When the Ethyl acetate and isopropyl alcohol solvents evaporate after application, the concentration of Ciclopirox is amplified from 8% to 34.8%, providing a concentration gradient that aids the transmission of the drug through the nail plate.
This mode of application allows distribution of the active compound throughout the entire nail plate, including the lateral margins and onycholytic portions of the nail.
Penlac Chemical Structure
The chemical name for Ciclopirox is (6-cyclohexyl-1-hydroxy-4-methyl-2(1H)-pyridone), Ciclopirox (Penlac) 8% Nail Lacquer, should only be used under medical supervision with frequent checks on the progress.
It is applied daily, just as in a nail varnish using a brush or applicator. For successful treatment you must apply the lacquer daily over the previous coat and once a week wash off the built-up areas with alcohol.
Ciclopirox (Penlac) 8% Nail Lacquer, has a number of good points: approved by the FDA in the US, a known anti-fungal agent and a topical medication that targets the site of the infected Toenail rather than a systemic treatment.
Now for some of the cons: daily application which is time consuming, not so good for severe infections, relies on direct contact with the Fungus and sometimes, it cannot reach the infection and there is the risk of side effects, but not as severe as oral treatment.