Itraconazole - One Nail Fungus Treatment

There are many prescription medicines used today to treat toe nail fungus.  One of these is called Itraconazole with the brand name Sporanox.  It is an oral drug that combats fungal infections for the fingernails and toenails.

How Does Itraconazole Work?

Itraconazole is taken as a pill or tablet once or twice a day.  When taken for several weeks it generally gets rid of the fungal problem.  There is about a 20% relapse rate.  One new idea that seems to be effective is to take one 200 mg tablet two times a day for one week each month.  Continue doing this for three or four months.  This seems to be effective in getting rid of the fungal problem and not relapsing.  It is important to remember to take the drug each day, and not to end up skipping doses.  It's also very important, as with most treatments for nail fungus, to be patient.  This medicine takes time to work.

What Are the Risks?

This medicine is recommended to be taken with a full meal.  The major concern with this drug is liver problems.  Often times, the doctor will recommend having liver tests to periodically monitor the patient, especially if the drug is taken for more than one continuous month.  This drug is used with great caution for anyone who already has liver dysfunction problems.  For patients with normal liver functions, it's important to pay attention to liver problems that could occur as a result of this medicine.  Such problems include extreme exhaustion and little appetite, nausea or vomiting, jaundice or yellow eyes and dark urine.

Who is Not Eligible?

This drug is not used on children at this time, since no testing has been done on the effects for kids.  Similarly, there have been no studies done on pregnant women.  Itraconazole is, therefore, only used for pregnant women with systemic fungal infections if the doctor deems that the benefits greatly outweigh the potential risks.  Similarly, Itraconazole does show up in a mother's milk and is, therefore, not given to nursing mothers. 

Side effects to watch for with this drug include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, fatigue and dizziness.  Much less common, but more serious problems would include liver elevation and hypertension.

As with any other prescription drug for fungal infections, the doctor will explain even more of the advantages and disadvantages of taking this medicine.  Many people have found that fungal infections are best eradicated with prescription pills such as Itraconazole.  Become educated and look into all of your options to make the best decision for your situation and your needs.