Topical antifungal drugs for the treatment of onychomycosis: an overview of current strategies for monotherapy and combination therapy


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Background  Onychomycosis is a relatively common disease accounting for up to 50% of all nail disorders and its prevalence rises with age. As onychomycosis is an important medical disorder affecting both patient's health and quality of life, it requires prompt and effective treatment.

Objective  Topical antifungal nail lacquers have been formulated to provide efficient delivery to the nail unit. As both amorolfine and ciclopirox have proved useful as monotherapy for onychomycosis that does not involve the nail matrix area, the purpose of this article is to check if, when combined with oral agents, the effectiveness and scope of treatment can be improved further.

Methods  Combining data for mycological cure with clinical success (nail morphology) provides a more exacting efficacy measure.

Results  Clinical investigations have shown that the combination of oral therapies with antifungal nail lacquer can confer considerable advantage over monotherapy with either drug type.

Conclusion  The improved effectiveness and economic advantages of combined topical/oral therapies benefit both patients and health providers; these treatment regimens therefore have an important role to play in the modern management of onychomycosis.