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Keywords:

  • Onychomycosis;
  • terbinafine;
  • pulse therapy

Summary

We assessed the safety and efficacy of pulse therapy with terbinafine tablets in 55 patients with dermatophytic onychomycosis. One pulse consisted of oral terbinafine tablets (500 mg day−1) given for 1 week usually followed by a 3-week interval. This regimen was repeated twice. Topical 1% terbinafine cream was applied daily. Efficacy was assessed based on both clinical and mycological examinations 1 year after treatment initiation. We observed a complete cure in 41 patients (74.5%), marked improved in three patients (5.6%), slight improvement in three patients (5.6%) and drop out in six patients (10.7%). Two patients (3.6%) discontinued terbinafine because of gastrointestinal disturbance (one patient) and drug-induced eruption (one patient). No patient had abnormal laboratory findings, including liver function tests. In summary, a regimen of three pulses of terbinafine therapy given daily for 1 week in combination with topical application of terbinafine cream appears to be safe and effective in treating dermatophytic onychomycosis and offers advantages in convenience and cost-effectiveness compared with continuous dosing.