Onychomycosis means fungus of the nail. Toenail fungus in particular is most common, difficult to treat and is usually a recurring issue. A primary prevention and treatment step is to keep feet clean and dry at all times. Various treatments such as oral medications, topical applications and surgical procedures are necessary in order to kill the infection.
The most commonly prescribed oral medications that are itraconazole (Sporanox) and terbinafine (Laminsil). Oral medications are usually prescribed if the patient is diabetic or has a history of, or, symptoms of cellulitis.
Oral medications kill fungus resulting in the growth of infection free nails that slowly replace the infected nail. These treatments must be followed until the infected nails are non existent. The course of treatment may vary from six to twelve weeks depending on the nail’s rate of growth. Prolonged exposure to moist conditions can lead to new or returning fungal infections.
The terbinafine oral medicine for toenail fungus comes in tablet form and is often taken once every day for 12 weeks. Pulse dosing schedule is used for recommending these tablets. Pulse dosing is a method in which a medicine is for example taken daily for one week, once or twice a month and then continues until it is no longer necessary. This way the schedule is easily maintained and is actually more effective at inhibiting fungal growth.
This fungal medication is available in both capsule and tablet form and is taken daily for three to eighteen months. These are also often taken on a pulse dosing schedule.
This fungal medication is often recommended twice daily until the infection is non existent. The treatment time is approximately 12 to 18 months. The treatment period is sometimes extended if the physician wants to prevent the infection from recurring.
Both oral azoles and terbinafine medications kill fungi that cause these infections. However, killing fungi can not guarantee growth of an infection free nail. Medications such as Griseofulvin that prevent fungal growth work much better at preventing infection in the future.
Toenail fungus infections have a tendency to repeat, hence, the treatment has to be continued for days or months until the infected nail is completely replaced by a new non-infected nail. As a prevention measure, the toenail area should always be kept dry and clean always so that the infection does not recur.