Fungal Infections: Risks of Oral Antifungals

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Fungal Infections: Risks of Oral Antifungals

Topic Overview

Before you decide to take an oral antifungal medicine to treat a fungal infection such as athlete's foot or a fungal nail infection, you and your doctor will want to consider the possible risks. Depending on the medicine and your risk factors, some antifungal medicines may:

  • Affect liver or kidney function.
  • Cause liver damage or failure, particularly when combined with alcohol or certain medicines.
  • Weaken the heart's ability to contract, leading to heart failure.1
  • Cause dangerous side effects when combined with many different common medicines.

During oral antifungal treatment, your doctor may require blood tests to check your kidney and liver function.

Possible mild side effects caused by antifungal medicines include stomach upset, headaches, and skin rash.

References

Citations

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2001). FDA issues health advisory regarding the safety of Sporanox products and Lamisil tablets to treat fungal nail infections. FDA Talk Paper T01-22. Available online: http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/answers/2001/ans01083.html.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Alexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology
Last Revised September 2, 2010

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.