Health Guide

Terbinafine (By mouth)

Terbinafine (TER-bin-a-feen)

Treats fungal infections.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to terbinafine.

How to Use This Medicine:

Packet, Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed. Take it at the same time every day.
  • Tablets: Take it with or without food.
  • Oral granules:
    • Take it with food.
    • Sprinkle the oral granules on a spoonful of pudding or other soft, non-acidic food such as mashed potatoes. This mixture must be swallowed immediately without chewing. Do not use applesauce or fruit-based foods. If you need 2 packets of oral granules with each dose, you may sprinkle the content of both packets on 1 spoonful or 2 spoonfuls of non-acidic food.
  • Take all of the medicine in your prescription to clear up your infection, even if you feel better after the first few doses. It may take several months for your infection to clear up completely and for healthy nails to grow out and replace the infected nails.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose. If you miss a dose of terbinafine tablets, take it as soon as you can. If your next regular dose is less than 4 hours away, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some foods and medicines can affect how terbinafine works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Caffeine (coffee, soda, chocolate)
    • Cimetidine, cyclosporine, dextromethorphan, fluconazole, ketoconazole, rifampin
    • Blood pressure medicine
    • MAO inhibitor
    • Medicine for heart rhythm problems (including amiodarone, flecainide, propafenone)
    • Medicine to treat depression

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, blood problems, lupus, or a weak immune system (such as HIV infection or AIDS).
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Liver problems
    • Changes to your sense of taste or smell
    • Depression or other changes in your mood or behavior
    • Serious skin reactions
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse. You may need to take this medicine for several weeks or months before your infection gets better.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, scaly, or red skin rash
  • Changes in mood or behavior, depression
  • Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Change in or loss of taste or smell
  • Headache
  • Stuffy or runny nose

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

All rights reserved