Naftifine. A review of its antimicrobial activity and therapeutic use in superficial dermatomycoses

Drugs. 1991 Oct;42(4):659-72. doi: 10.2165/00003495-199142040-00008.


Naftifine is an allylamine derivative for topical administration with a mechanism of action distinct from that of other classes of antifungal agents. It inhibits squalene epoxidase and may have certain anti-inflammatory properties, but its precise mechanism of action is as yet unclear. In vitro, naftifine has potent fungistatic and fungicidal activity against dermatophytes. This correlates well with its clinical and mycological activity in patients with dermatophytoses. There is improvement in clinical symptoms and overall therapeutic success after a 2- to 5-week course of therapy in a high percentage of patients (usually over 80%) with tinea cruris or corporis, and in a slightly smaller percentage of those with tinea pedis. Naftifine is moderately active in vitro against moulds, but is generally less active against yeasts, including Candida albicans. However, it has proved reasonably effective in the treatment of patients with cutaneous candidiasis, although further studies are necessary to establish its place in therapy for this indication. In view of its good local tolerability, absence of systemic adverse effects, novel mechanism of action and effectiveness with once-daily application, naftifine offers a useful addition to available pharmaceutical options in patients with dermatomycoses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allylamine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Allylamine / pharmacology
  • Allylamine / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dermatomycoses / drug therapy*
  • Dermatomycoses / microbiology
  • Humans


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Allylamine
  • naftifine