Combination of oral terbinafine and topical ciclopirox compared to oral terbinafine for the treatment of onychomycosis

J Dermatolog Treat. 2005;16(5-6):327-30. doi: 10.1080/09546630500420183.


Background: Treatment of onychomycosis has recently been enhanced by the introduction of combination therapies.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of a combination therapy of ciclopirox nail lacquer and oral terbinafine compared to oral terbinafine monotherapy for the treatment of onychomycosis caused by dermatophytes.

Patients and methods: Eighty patients with onychomycosis were randomly assigned to receive either oral terbinafine 250 mg/day for 16 weeks or a combination of oral terbinafine 250 mg/day for 16 weeks and topical ciclopirox nail lacquer once daily for 9 months. Both groups were followed up for 9 months from start of treatment.

Results: After 9 months of treatment, the mycological cure rates were 22/34 (64.7%) for the terbinafine-only group and 30/34 (88.2%) for the combination therapy group (p<0.05). No significant difference was noted in the complete cure rate.

Conclusion: Combination therapy of oral terbinafine and ciclopirox nail lacquer is a safe and more effective treatment for onychomycosis than terbinafine alone, especially in younger patients and in shorter-duration onychomycosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Antifungal Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Ciclopirox
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Naphthalenes / administration & dosage*
  • Onychomycosis / drug therapy*
  • Pyridones / administration & dosage*
  • Terbinafine
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Naphthalenes
  • Pyridones
  • Ciclopirox
  • Terbinafine