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Oral Medications For Nail Fungus Overview
Some kinds of oral medications for nail fungus infection can be harmful to your health. These drugs must be prescribed by your doctor only to avoid the risk factors that are included in it. It is also important that you should tell your physician all the medicines you are presently taking for your other body conditions. There are physicians will request for a blood test before you are given nail fungus oral medications.
There are new oral medications for fungal infections that may result to liver impairment. Some may also block the function of the medications used for other health problems. Here are some things you need to consider before taking these treatments.
What to Do Before Taking Oral Medications for Nail Fungus
Before you take nail fungus oral medications, it pays to take note of the things you need to consider. These are basic things which you must think of in order for the entire regiment to be effective.
First and foremost, you have to consider the cost of oral medication prior to embarking on this type of treatment for nail fungus infections. It is quite expensive and it takes a couple of weeks or months before you see the final or complete results of the medication. There is also a great possibility that your fungal infection will recur if you will suddenly stop or will not complete the duration of your medication.
Aside from the expensive cost of the oral medicine for nail fungus, you must also consider the risks involved in taking the medicines. There are a couple of side effects that you will have to consider before embarking on oral medications. These side effects may only cause more problems to your health issues and some may only bring a lot of discomfort to you.
You must also consider the effectiveness of this oral antifungal medicines and the period of time that you are going to use it. Antifungal oral medications have a 50% to 75% efficacy and it can take for as long as one year to complete the medication to see the final results. The most depressing thought is that even if the oral medication really works, there is still 20%-50% possibility that your nail fungus will recur.
Oral medications are ingested by the system. This goes to show that it may affect the other parts of your body. You have to follow product inserts when it comes to the proper dosage of the medicine. You must be very alert in every little way if you want to take advantage of the effectiveness of the medicine.
Some of the generic names for nail fungus oral medications are itraconazole, griseofulvin, fluconazole and terbinafine. It pays to check with your doctor on which of these treatments will be best for your current condition. While you are given a lot of choices, you must always take the necessary steps before acting upon a purchase.
4 Alternative Medications for Toenail Fungus
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are about 12% of the populations in the United States who have toenail fungus. Because oral prescription medications for toenail fungus have potential side effects, many people resort to alternative medications and treatment for this condition. However, consistent treatment is required. It takes two weeks to see improvement and it takes months to resolve completely, the symptoms. Although alternative medications are safe, always talk first with your doctor about alternative and complementary medicine before starting to use one.
Alternative Medications for Toenail Fungus
According to a 2005 issue of the Natural Health magazine, burdock can help treat toenail fungus. It can also be used as a topical treatment for skin problems like acne and eczema. The magazine states that you can take burdock root in the form of capsule or fluid extract. The University of Maryland said that burdock can trigger side effects and can interact with other medications as well as supplements.
In pregnant women, this herb can damage the foetus and can also enhance the symptoms of hydration. It is necessary then to talk with your doctor before taking any herb.
Vinegar is a substance that is present in almost everyone’s home. It is considered as one of the most top home remedies used for toenail fungus because of its acidic nature. According to Mayo Clinic, vinegar can inhibit the growth of bacteria in nail fungus. Vinegar can be applied liberally to the affected toenail. This can also help with the itching and irritation immediately.
Other people make a vinegar solution wherein they soak their feet. They mix 1 cup of vinegar together with 2 gallons of warm water. Soak your feet as long as you feel comfortable after which you rinse your feet and dry after finished. You can repeat the procedure regularly until fungus has disappeared.
Like vinegar, Vicks vaporub has not undergone clinical trials to prove its effectiveness on nail fungus. However, the Mayo Clinic says that it had worked in some cases that involve nail fungus. There are also some people who have said they successfully treated their toenail fungus with the use of Vicks vaporub.
Recommendations may vary. Some suggests you have to apply the ointment only to the affected nail while others say that you must use the ointment on all your nails including between the toes and the treatment should be done once or twice a day.
Tea Tree Oil
This is well known to have very powerful natural antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties. It can provide much help toward fungus symptoms. Just simply apply a few drops of tea tree oil to the affected toenail 2-3 times a day. Be sure to apply oil also under and on top the nail.
However, be aware that Tea tree oil has a very smelly odour. Once you use the tea tree oil properly, it can help alleviate and cure the fungus in just a few days. If there is irritation felt, discontinue use.
When treating your nail fungus, be sure to wash your feet thoroughly and dry it well. You must avoid nail polish. Wear clean shoes and socks every day if you want to prevent the occurrence of the condition. Alternative medications for toenail fungus will work properly if coupled with the above reminders.
Treatment and Medication Options for Nail Fungus
The next time you look at your toenails or fingernails and notice a yellow or white spot under it, then there may be possibilities you are suffering from nail fungus.
When fungi attack your nails you should be ready to see discoloration and thickening of the nail edges and this in itself can be quite unsightly. The good news is that there are treatments methods for you to choose from that can help you deal with the situation. Why you get nail fungus Nail fungus infections appear for primarily one reason. That you have exposed your nails to warm and damp environments for a long time, and these are the conditions that are very conducive for the growth of the fungus that cause this infection. A good example is sweaty feet and hands. Whereas athlete’s foot affects only the skin, nail fungus goes a step further and attacks the nails. However in some cases these two problems simply coexist.
Drugs and Treatments
It may well appear to be difficult to treat nail fungus but the good news is that there are various remedies and medications available to deal with the problem and can actually help you clear the fungal infection completely. There are also a big variety of over the counter medications and creams, even though most of them may not be as effective as they are purported to be.
When you consult with your doctor seeking for treatment for nail fungus, he or she may prescribe oral antifungal medication. But even if you take these medications for 6-12 weeks, you won’t be able to see the result until your nails grow back again. Taking these drugs will help your nails get rid of infections while replacing them completely. It will normally take between four and six months for you to eliminate the infection but then you need to be careful not to expose your hands and feet to warm and moist conditions again to avoid a re-infection.
Some doctors may not recommend these drugs for people with some conditions such as congestive heart failure or liver disease. It may also not be advisable for people taking some types of medication to take them because these antifungal drugs sometimes cause side effects such as liver damage and skin rashes.
Other Possible Treatments
There are other effective treatments as well that your doctor may recommend including some of the following:
Some mild nail fungus infection can be treated with some medicated nail polish that is available in some places. Painting the infected nail and the surrounding skin everyday can easily help you get rid of the fungal infections. You may need to continue applying the medication every day for a few more days until you are sure that you have cleared the infection completely. In one year, your infection will be cured. Be warned however, that only less than 10% of people have been successfully treated with this nail polish.
Toenail Fungus Medications
Treatment unfortunately does not come with a 100% guarantee because the nail makes it difficult to reach the fungus, but there are toenail fungus medications that can be tried.
Some tips to think about when using any of the toenail fungus medications include;
- The worse the condition the harder it is to treat
- Medications come with side effects, and some have quite serious ones
- Any treatment for toenail fungus is going to take a period of at least 6 months possibly even a year
- Any treatment claiming a quick fix is to be avoided
- There are systemic toenail fungus medications and topical ones, but topical tend to be less effective
- A mild condition may respond to over the counter products or natural treatments like tea tree oil
- If a medication is not successful the doctor may suggest having the nail removed
Toenail fungus treatment is less successful than any other fungal treatment so be prepared to have to try several times or different medications make sure you change your habits if you have to, to avoid worsening the infection or get a recurrence, get better shoes, wear flip flops in public areas, cut your toenails properly, clean the nails regularly and so on.
Toenail Fungus Medications – Topical
In the US there is only one anti-fungal topical medication approved for use called Ciclopiros olamine 8% or brand name Penlac®. It comes in the form of a nail lacquer you paint on the infected nails and the skin around them.
Other countries have other medications. There are anti-fungal creams for the treatment of skin fungal infections that may be effective such as Naftin®, Loprox® or Lamisil® but studies on how effective they are as toenail fungus medications are not that extensive. As mentioned topical treatments have difficulty on toenail fungus though and chances of an actual cure or much lower than if you use systemic toenail fungus medications.
There are creams, and procedures that can be done to thin the nail, or even drill a hole into the nail (done by the podiatrist) to help the medication reach where it needs to be for those that cannot take oral medication.
Toenail Fungus Medications – Systemic
A systemic medication is one you take orally or is injected. It will treat the whole body and in the case of the toenail fungus that topical applications can’t reach it is far more effective as it enters the bloodstream and can get to where it is needed. But they still do not have 100% success and there are side effects. Taking an oral treatment for this infection needs to be weighed carefully, how bad is it versus potential risks.
The most common oral treatment used is a pill with the active ingredient terbenafine, brand name Lamisil®. Treatment lasts for 3 to 6 months depending on severity and the patient has to have blood tests and liver function tests as liver damage is its serious side effect. One out of about 50,000 experience symptoms of liver abnormalities but these are usually reversible; it is rare for complete liver failure to happen.
Itraconazole is another anti-fungal medication that can be used to treat toenail fungus, brand name Sporonox®. It too can cause liver damage as well as heart problems.
Fluconazole has also been used, taken once a week for 6 months but it is not as effective as itraconazole or terbenafine and itraconazole is not as effective as terbenafine. Still cure rates range from 50% to 80% and recurrence is common about 30% get it again.
Nail-Fungus Information and Treatment Options
Nail fungus generally affects toenails and fingernails of many adults, especially senior male citizens. Many people commonly misunderstand the disease and leave it unattended for such a long time for various reasons. The pathogen that causes nail fungus is the same one that causes ring worm, athlete’s foot and other common fungal infections. This article gives you some treatment potions you can consider.
Toenail fungus is particularly difficult to treat and more often than not it can be confused with other conditions such as psoriasis of the nails, nail ridges and some other bacterial infections.
What Is Nail Fungus?
Nail fungus is cause by an organism that sets up residence inside your nail tissue and feeds on keratin, the protein that makes up the nail found in fingernails and toenails. Our nails are meant to be strong barriers to protect toes and fingers from any harm and intrusions of bacteria and fungi. It is the strength of this barrier that makes it difficult for one to eradicate the problem once it sets in.
Related Conditions & Risk Factors
It is quite common to find people who suffer from conditions like diabetes and other conditions that impair circulation and the immune system also having nail fungus infections. Diabetics are especially vulnerable to infections like nail fungus because their high blood sugar inhibits some immune system responses.
What’s The Best Treatment?
There are many factors to consider when deciding the best treatment method for nail fungus. Toenail fungus is much harder to treat than fingernail fungus. The same toenail fungus is also much easier to acquire because the condition of the toes provides an environment that is conducive for the survival of the fungi.
Finger Nail and Toenail Fungus Treatment Options
There are mainly two treatment methods that are basically used for the treatment of nail fungus with varying degrees of effectiveness. There are topical treatments which can be used to treat infections that are not too severe. These are treatments that are usually acid based liquids or anti-fungal creams. Oral treatments on the other hand are powerful antifungal medications that are used in those severe cases.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Topical Treatment Advantages
- Available over the counter (OTC), no prescription required
- Very low risk of serious side effects
Topical Treatment Disadvantages
- In many cases it only functions as a treatment, and not a cure.
- Nail fungus can reappear once treatment stops
- Requires multiple applications daily for an extended period of time
- Treatments can cause superficial damage to surrounding skin
- Topical solutions can be messy, have bad odours
Oral Anti-Fungal Advantages
- May be more likely to provide a permanent cure, however recurrence is still very common after prescription medications are used
- More effective on stubborn toenail fungus
- Typically one pill a day
- No smells/odours like those that topical options frequently have
Oral Anti-Fungal Disadvantages
- In rare cases, life-threatening side effects have been reported
- Other side effects, such as skin rashes and irritation (sometimes severe) seem to be fairly common).
More Information on Nail Fungus Medications
Are you looking for nail fungus medication? What is the best nail fungus medication? Let’s learn more about nail fungus.
There are several ways to know if you have nail fungus. You can see the symptoms of nail fungus on your nail such as discoloration, a rough surface on your nail, lose its shine and lustre and will often begin to loosen. If you have these symptoms, you need to find the best nail fungus medication for you.
For most people, it is an embarrassing condition, so they hide their nail fungus under nail polish or shoes, but for your information, if you did this, nail fungus never recover by its own and untreated nail fungus, it can spread to other nails and lead to painful infection problem.
What Is The Best Nail Fungus Medication?
Your family doctor will give you topical and oral anti fungal medication to fight with this. The medication is costly and long term, because they often will take several months to show any improvement. But the side effects of these medications often cause them to be not worth the risk and then still re-occurrences will happen.
Treatment for nail fungus start before the infection is too far advanced; it will be easier to treat.
One alternative nail fungus medication that popular right now is home remedy for nail fungus, because home remedy has been proved to give long term relieve and reduce the reoccurrences, and of course no dangerous side effect.
Sutapa Das is involved in healthcare market research since 2010. She is passionate about healthcare and loves to write on various health topics.