For many severe nail fungus infections, a podiatrist or physician may prescribe an oral medication. These medications are powerful solutions that are often a necessary toenail fungus treatment for infections that are deeply entrenched. Although results from such medications still vary, medical professionals will often suggest the use of oral treatments if other solutions have been tried and not been successful.
Still the most common form or oral medication is terbinafine (Lamisil). Terbinafine is a synthetic anti-fungal that has stood the test of time and proved to be an effective treatment for nail fungus in many cases. This solution was approved by the FDA in 2008 and there are now generic versions readily available which are far less expensive than Lamisil. The one drawback to the use of Terbinafine is that is does pose a health risk to the liver and often causes gastrointestinal problems. Your physician will usually require you to run through a series of tests to be sure that you are in the right physical condition to take this medication.
Itraconazole was invented in 1984 and is known to most people as the active ingredient in Sporonox. This anti-fungal works to inhibit the growth of dermatophytes which are the fungal agents that attack a nail. Treatment is usually a 100 mg pill taken twice a day. There are also a rather lengthy list of potential side effects when taking Itraconazole so your physician should check to see that your immune system is strong before prescribing this medication.
Fluconazole is another popular member of the anti-fungal family and is marketed by Pfizer under the name Diflucan. This medication is usually only taken once a week for a period of 3-6 months. And although some studies have mentioned that patients saw less benefit from this treatment when compared with other prescriptions, it is primarily processed by the kidneys which greatly lessens the dangerous side effects to the liver.