Get access

Terbinafine in fungal infections of the nails: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials


B.J.Cribier. E-mail:


SummaryBackground Historically, there has been a general resistance to treating onychomycosis on the basis that such treatments were protracted and of uncertain outcome. However, modern treatments act more promptly and reliably.

Objectives To carry out a meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy and safety of terbinafine in comparison with placebo, itraconazole and griseofulvin.

Methods The analysis used data from published trials, supplemented where necessary by reference to the original trial reports.

Results Three trials were included in which terbinafine was compared with placebo. From four trials comparing terbinafine with itraconazole, a statistically significant advantage in favour of terbinafine was observed for negative culture and microscopy at the end of the trials. Furthermore, both patients and physicians reported terbinafine to be better tolerated than itraconazole. From two trials comparing terbinafine with griseofulvin, a significantly higher rate of negative microscopy and culture was observed with terbinafine.

Conclusions A significant advantage in favour of treatment with terbinafine was observed.