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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.

Related Information

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

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerAlexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology
Last RevisedJuly 20, 2010

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