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A Look at Terbinafine Mechanism of Action, Uses, and Side Effects

ECHEMI 2021-12-09

Terbinafine mechanism of action is used to treat certain skin or nail fungal infections, such as tinea pedis, tinea cruris, tinea corporis, and tinea versicolor. A doctor may prescribe terbinafine tablets if other treatments have not worked or if these infections are severe or difficult to treat.


It belongs to a group of medicines called antifungal agents, which kill fungi that infect the body. It has been used successfully to treat ringworm in humans for many years. Here are some tips on how you can use terbinafine for your infection:


Mechanism of Action


Terbinafine works by interfering with producing a substance called ergosterol, a building block of a fungus's cell membrane. Terbinafine mechanism of action does not affect the membrane of a person's cells. Ergosterol is also important for producing other substances, such as hormones and vitamin D, so stopping its production can have other effects on the body.


The different uses for terbinafine include:


  • Treating fungal infections of the skin or nails
  • Used to prevent recurrence of tinea versicolor
  • Used to treat yeast infections


Skin infections


Terbinafine mechanism of action is used to treat certain fungal skin infections such as ringworm. It is typically only prescribed if other treatments have not worked or if the infection is severe or difficult to treat.


Terbinafine tablets contain a low dose of terbinafine and should be taken once a day for one to two weeks for skin infections. The tablets should be swallowed whole and cannot be broken, chewed, or crushed.


People with mild infections can take terbinafine once a day for two weeks, but those with more severe infections may need to take it three times a day for four to six weeks. For tinea versicolor, it may be prescribed up to four times per day for six weeks.


Side effects are not common but may include itching, burning, dry skin or skin rash, headache, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, dizziness, swollen lymph nodes, joint pain, sore throat, or hyperactivity in children.

Contact your doctor if you are experiencing any side effects that are bothersome or don't go away after a few days of treatment.


Nail Infections


The most common symptom of nail infection is a yellow or white streak under the nail. This is often called "whitlow." Other symptoms include pain, redness, and swelling around the nail.


Treatment for nail infections usually starts with taking oral antibiotics to help combat the infection and ease inflammation. Your doctor may also prescribe a cream to be applied directly to the nail and surrounding skin.


In some cases, your doctor will recommend you soak your feet or hands in a solution of vinegar and water to help dry out the skin and nails. It may also be necessary to trim the infected nail down. Sometimes, topical fungicides are also prescribed as an additional treatment.




Terbinafine comes as a tablet and liquid. It may be taken once a day, and it can be taken with or without food. Terbinafine may interact with other medicines, such as antacids or other medicines that contain aluminum, such as diazepam.


So, be sure to tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including those bought without a prescription. If you are breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before using terbinafine.


Side Effects


It is not known whether the terbinafine mechanism of action will be harmful to an unborn baby, so you should use it during pregnancy only if the benefit to you outweighs the risk to your unborn baby.


Terbinafine can cause serious side effects, including:


  • Irritation of the mouth or throat
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Skin redness
  • Sudden, severe itching of the skin
  • Burning sensation of the skin
  • Blisters on the skin
  • Acne
  • Dry skin
  • Dizziness
  • Flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling)
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness


If you notice any of these side effects, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately.


Allergic Reaction


The most common side effects reported while taking terbinafine are:


· Headache

· Dizziness

· Nausea

· Vomiting

· Diarrhea


Less common side effects reported while taking terbinafine are:


· Hives

· Rash

· Itching

· Sleeplessness


Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:


· Rash, hives, or itching

· Swelling of the face, mouth, or throat

· Breathing problems


Seek emergency medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms. In case of a severe allergic reaction, call your local emergency services immediately.


Can this be found in food supplements?


No, it cannot be found in food supplements. Terbinafine is not found in food supplements. You can find this medication on the shelves of your local pharmacy, grocery store, or pharmacy.


To learn more about the terbinafine mechanism of action, its use, and the side effects, you can go to and ask their personnel about this!


Final thoughts


Now that you know the terbinafine and its mechanism of action, make sure to use it right, and read every ingredient used in food and food supplements that you are taking to prevent complications. As such, some people use it as a food additive. Watch out and go to if you want to buy medicine or seek help with such drugs.

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