Fungal toenail infections

BMJ Clin Evid. 2011 Aug 16;2011:1715.


Introduction: Fungal infections are reported to cause 23% of foot diseases and 50% of nail conditions in people seen by dermatologists, but are less common in the general population, affecting 3% to 5% of people.

Methods and outcomes: We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of oral treatments for fungal toenail infections? What are the effects of topical treatments for fungal toenail infections? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to March 2011 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Results: We found 12 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.

Conclusions: In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: amorolfine, butenafine, ciclopirox, fluconazole, griseofulvin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, mechanical debridement, terbinafine, and tioconazole.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Administration, Topical
  • Debridement
  • Humans
  • Itraconazole / therapeutic use
  • Nails* / microbiology
  • Onychomycosis* / drug therapy


  • Itraconazole