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Lamisil is prescribed to treat fungal infections of the toenails or fingernails.

In clinical trials, 70 percent of patients had eradicated fungus from toenails after 12 weeks of treatment; 79 percent had no fungus detectable in fingernails after 6 weeks.

Complete cure rates were lower.

Side Effects and Interactions

Most side effects reported with Lamisil are mild.

They include headache, diarrhea, indigestion, and stomach pain. Liver enzymes occasionally become elevated.

Other side effects may include rash, itching, and changes in the sense of taste.

Contact the physician regarding rash, since some severe skin reactions start as rash.

Serious allergic reactions including trouble breathing and shock (anaphylaxis) have occurred rarely.

Alterations in white blood cell counts have been observed.

Some patients have experienced eye changes and visual disturbances. Any symptoms should be reported to the physician promptly.

Seldane slows metabolism of Lamisil slightly, and Tagamet slows it more (33 percent). This could lead to somewhat higher blood levels of Lamisil.

Rifampin dramatically increases the clearance of Lamisil from the body, leading to lower blood levels.

Lamisil can decrease circulating levels of cyclosporine modestly.

Check with your physician and pharmacist to make sure Lamisil is safe in combination with any other drug you may take.

Special Precautions

Lamisil is not recommended for people with kidney or liver disease.

Liver function tests are appropriate for all patients taking Lamisil for more than 6 weeks.

Taking the Medicine

Lamisil is taken once daily, with or without food.

Fingernail infections are treated for 6 weeks; toenails are treated for 12 weeks.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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