Antifungal (Oral)
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Patient Guide

 Antifungal (Oral)

 Antifungal (Oral)

About your medicine


Your doctor has prescribed the following medicine for you:
  • Griseofulvin
  • Nystatin
  • Terbinafine
  • Itraconazole
  • Fluconazole
  • Ketoconazole


What is this medicine used for?

This medicine is used to treat infections caused by fungus. These organisms can infect the skin, scalp, fingernails, toenails, mouth, intestinal tract and vagina.

This medicine may also be used for conditions as determined by your doctor.

How should I take this medicine?

This medicine should be taken with meals to increase absorption in your stomach.

For effective treatment, you should complete the full course of medication prescribed, even though there are signs of improvement. This is because fungal infections usually take some time to clear up. If you stop using this medicine too soon, your symptoms may return.

For patients taking nystatin:
  • Shake the suspension well before measuring a dose.
  • Use a dose-measuring dropper to measure the specified dose of the suspension.
  • Swish the suspension around in your mouth, then either spit it out or swallow it, depending upon the instructions given by your doctor.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose.

Do not double the next dose to make up for the missed dose.

What possible side effects may it cause?

Some side effects of this medicine are not unusual. If any of the following effects persist or are severe, consult your doctor:

  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach upset. Taking this medicine with food usually relieves these effects
  • Diarrhoea

For patients taking griseofulvin:
  • Headaches, if you are taking this medicine for the first time. If it is mild, you may continue taking the medication and the symptoms may improve over time. If the headache is severe, stop the medication and consult your doctor.
  • Griseofulvin may affect sperm and sperm production. It is recommended that you avoid fathering a child during treatment with griseofulvin and for 6 months following therapy
  • This medicine may reduce the effectiveness of your oral contraceptives and increase the chance of unwanted pregnancy. You should use a different or additional means of birth control while you are taking griseofulvin and for one month after stopping griseofulvin.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks while you are taking this medicine. The combination of alcohol and griseofulvin may cause flushing and a fast heart rate.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. Griseofulvin increases sensitivity to sunlight, and severe burning may result. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when exposure to the sun is unavoidable.


For patients taking terbinafine:
  • Taste disturbances or a loss of taste may occur
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks while you are taking this medicine. Alcohol and this medicine can both affect the liver. It is important that you check with your doctor immediately if you persistently experience any discomforts of liver disease (e.g., nausea or vomiting, lack or loss of appetite, general feeling of tiredness or weakness, stomach pain, yellow eyes or skin, dark urine, or pale stools).


For patients taking itraconazole or ketoconazole:
  • Heart failure. Inform your doctor if you have a history of heart disease or if you are on heart medication, such as calcium channel blockers, as these medications can weaken the pumping action of the heart when taken concurrently.
  • Effective contraception is recommended for any women who could potentially become pregnant during treatment with itraconazole and for 2 months following the end of treatment.
  • There are potential interactions when taken with other medication. The blood concentration of warfarin, digoxin, midazolam and ciclosporin may be increased when taken with itraconazole or ketoconazole; there is a risk of muscle weakness if combined with cholesterol lowering drugs such as simvastatin or atorvastatin. Medications such as phenytoin and rifampicin can decrease the blood level of itraconazole and ketoconazole, making them less effective.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks while you are taking this medicine. Alcohol and this medicine can both affect the liver. Alcoholic beverages may also cause stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, or flushing or redness of the face when taken with ketoconazole.


Consult your doctor as soon as possible if you develop a new rash soon after starting the medication or if these additional effects occur, as they may indicate more serious side effects:

  • high fever
  • dark colored urine
  • pale colored stool
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • yellow eyes or skin

What precautions should I take?

  • For women: Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.
  • Inform your doctor of any other medications that you are taking.
  • Inform your doctor if you are taking over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.
  • Do not allow anyone else to take this medication.

How do I store this medicine?

  • Keep this medicine away from heat and direct sunlight in a cool, dry place, out of reach of children.
  • Do not keep this medicine with other medications in the same container. Keep each medicine separately in labeled containers.

When in doubt, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
National Skin Centre (Singapore)
1 Mandalay Road, Singapore 308205
Tel: 63508454

Last updated on 28 Oct 2013

Last updated on 28 Oct 2013