Terbinafine: novel formulations that potentiate antifungal activities

Drugs Today (Barc). 2015 Mar;51(3):197-208. doi: 10.1358/dot.2015.51.3.2295906.


Terbinafine, an orally and topically active antifungal agent, has been available for the treatment of dermatophytic infections and onychomycosis for more than a decade. In addition, oral administration has been shown to be associated with drug-drug interactions, hepatotoxicity, low concentration at the infected sites, gastrointestinal and systemic side effects and other adverse effects. Since topical drug delivery can provide higher patient compliance, allow immediate access to the infected site and reduce unwanted systemic drug exposure, an improved topical drug delivery approach with high permeability, sustained release and prolonged retainment could overcome the limitations and side effects caused by oral administration. Conventional topical formulations cannot keep the drug in the targeted sites for a long duration of time and hence a novel drug delivery that can avoid the side effects while still providing sustained efficacy in treatment should be developed. This brief review of novel formulations based on polymers and nanostructure carriers provides insight into the efficacy and topical delivery of terbinafine.

Keywords: Novel formulations; Onychomycosis; Terbinafine; Transdermal.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dermatomycoses / drug therapy
  • Dermatomycoses / metabolism
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Humans
  • Iontophoresis
  • Naphthalenes / administration & dosage*
  • Naphthalenes / pharmacokinetics
  • Naphthalenes / therapeutic use
  • Terbinafine


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Drug Carriers
  • Naphthalenes
  • Terbinafine