Font Size

Allylamines for Ringworm of the Skin


Cream or gel (topical, applied directly to the skin)

Generic NameBrand Name
butenafineMentax, Naftin, Lamisil, Lamisil
naftifineMentax, Naftin, Lamisil, Lamisil
terbinafineMentax, Naftin, Lamisil, Lamisil

Pills (oral) and granules (little grains that can be sprinkled over food and easily swallowed)

Generic NameBrand Name

Allylamines are a class of antifungals used to treat ringworm of the skin.

Terbinafine, naftifine, and butenafine creams and gels are applied to infected areas of the skin. Some types of terbinafine cream and naftifine cream are available without a prescription. You apply these creams 1 to 2 times a day for up to 4 weeks.

How It Works

Allylamines kill fungi.

Why It Is Used

Allylamines are used to treat ringworm of the skin. If an antifungal cream does not clear up the infection or if the infection is widespread or severe, your doctor may prescribe antifungal pills.

How Well It Works

Allylamines are an effective treatment for ringworm of the skin.

Side Effects

Side effects are rare when you use allylamine creams to treat ringworm.

Side effects of pills may include:

  • Stomach upset.
  • Headaches.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

If you are taking antifungal pills, your doctor may monitor your blood count and liver function during treatment to watch for any bad side effects. This may not be needed in people who are otherwise healthy.

What To Think About

  • Women who are nursing a baby should not take allylamine pills.
  • Do not drink alcohol while taking terbinafine pills, because this may increase the risk of liver damage.
  • Allylamine pills should not be taken with some other medicines, such as an excessive amount of acetaminophen (Tylenol). Let your doctor know what other medicines you are taking.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF)Click here to view a form.(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerAlexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology
Last RevisedMarch 21, 2011

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

To learn more visit

© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Medical Dictionary