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Intermittent therapy with terbinafine and nail abrasion for dermatophyte toe onychomycosis: a pilot study


I. Succi, Hospital Universitário Pedro Ernesto, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Av. 28 de Setembro, 77, Vila Isabel – Rio de Janeiro/RJ, Brazil.
Tel.: +55 (21) 2868 8203. Fax: +55 (21) 2513 3370


Onychomycosis constitutes up to 50% of all nail disorders. Toenails are generally affected, mostly due to dermatophytes. Terbinafine is the most potent antifungal agent in vitro against dermatophytes. There are few randomised controlled trials using a non-continuous dose of terbinafine. The aim of this open-label pilot study was to reduce the total drug amount, the collateral effects and, specially, the costs; albeit maintaining the same efficacy of the standard regimens. Compare the outcomes of two different intermittent regimens with the same total amount of the medication (42 tablets in 6 months). Forty-one patients were divided into the following groups: terbinafine 250 mg day−1, for 7 days, monthly or terbinafine 500 mg day−1, once daily, for 7 days, every 2 months, both plus nail abrasion during 6 months. The efficacy was evaluated at months 6, 12 and 18 using the disease free nail criteria. Total cure = group I: eight patients (44.4%) and group II: eight patients (44.4%). Partial cure = group I: five patients (27.8%) and group II: four patients (22.2%). Treatment failure = group I: five patients (27.8%) and group II: three patients (16.7%). Recurrence = group I: zero patients (0.0%) and group II: three patients (16.7%). Two intermittent dosing regimens of terbinafine plus nail abrasion proved to be an alternative statistically effective, safe and with reduced drug costs for dermatophytes toenail onychomycosis.