Antifungal drugs are a range of medication that is used to treat infection caused by a fungus. This includes athletes foot, ringworm, and nail fungus (read more about these types of fungus infections, as well as the rest here). You can get this over the counter or by prescription.
The four main types of antifungal medicines are:
- Topical: Apply directly on the surface of the infected area as a cream, gel, spray, or ointment
- Oral: Taken in the form of a capsule, tablet, or liquid
- Intravenous: Injected into your arm, and administered by a professional usually in a hospital
- Intravaginal: Inserted into the vagina in the form of a soft tablet
Antifungal medicines kill the cells of the fungus by penetrating the cell wall and causing the cells’ death. Also, they prevent already present fungal cells from growing. It’s important to speak to a doctor before taking these pills, as they can cause further health complications in your body. For instance, if you have allergies or already existing conditions such as diabetes.
Additionally, the medication also comes with a set of side effects. It is highly recommended that if you have liver or heart problems, that you stay away from antifungal pills to treat your nail fungus. This is because these pills cause serious damage to these organs in your body significantly, which might even lead to heart and liver failure which requires hospitalization. It is also important to discuss whether antifungal medication is the best option for treatment if you are pregnant or currently breastfeeding.
Side effects of antifungal medication include:
- Skin irritation including itchiness, redness, rash, and/or burning sensation. More severe symptoms include peeling or blistering
- Feeling nauseous or sick
- Abdominal pain in the stomach area
- Allergic reaction
- Liver damage which includes symptoms of vomiting, nausea, dark urine and/or pale feces, fatigue, and loss of appetite
If you are experiencing these extreme side effects it is important to see a doctor immediately.