Ok so I won’t go into detail, but I’ve had a little infection on my big toenail of my right foot for about… 3 years! (no pictures of toenails – I promise! – not even for before and after purposes!) 😉
The infection isn’t too bad, just the nail is a bit crumbly, thin and not normal looking. It isn’t sore, and hasn’t affected any other parts of my feet… so I’ve kind of just let it be. I noticed it when we came back from a holiday in the Dominican Republic … ahem… here are some pics…
Anyway… 3 years on and I’ve been to my Drs twice about it. The first time I went to my GP, he gave me an anti fungal lacquer to put on it once a week. I did this, but the it didn’t seem to make any difference.
So about a year later I went back to him and he gave me the same treatment. He asked me to provide a nail clipping sample too so we could confirm if it was in fact a fungal infection.
A few months on and the lacquer hasn’t helped again, and the nail clipping confirmed that it’s a fungal infection. So what are the next steps?
My Dr has prescribed me with a months course of Terbinafine tablets (brand name Lamisil): 250g, once a day for a month. The medicine can sometimes affect the liver and has a list of possible side effects as long as your arm. So I’m hoping I won’t be affected by any of them! (I started my course of treatment today).
He took a blood sample from me now to test my liver function to make sure it’s ok for me to take Terbinafine tablets and will retest my liver in a month. If I’m ok and have no side effects I’ll continue treatment for between 6-12 months to clear up the infection. Hopefully (with my lack of drinking etc) my liver should be ok.
Here’s a bit of background info on Terbinafine:
Terbinafine kills fungi by interfering with their cell membranes. It works by stopping fungi from producing a substance called ergosterol, which is an essential component of fungal cell membranes. The disruption in production of ergosterol disrupts the cell membrane and causes holes to appear.
The cell membranes of fungi are vital for their survival. They keep unwanted substances from entering the cells and stop the contents of the cells from leaking out. As terbinafine causes holes to appear in the cell membranes, essential constituents of the fungal cells can leak out. This kills the fungi and hence clears up the infection.
Terbinafine is taken by mouth to treat a wide range of fungal skin infections that require oral treatment due to either the severity, site, or extent of the infection. Terbinafine tablets are also used to treat fungal nail infections, which can be difficult to treat topically with creams etc.
- Disturbances of the gut such as indigestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or abdominal pain.
- Loss of appetite.
- Headache, Fever, Body aches.
- Joint pain, Swollen glands.
- Runny or stuffy nose, sore thoat, cold symptoms.
- Allergic skin reactions such as rash and itch.
- Pain in the muscles and joints.
- Alteration in taste.
- Weight loss due to loss of appetite.
- Pins and needles sensations (paraesthesia).
- Serious skin reactions: fever, sore throat, swelling in face or tongue, burning in your eyes, red or purple rash that spreads. (consult your doctor if you experience a worsening skin rash).
- Raised, silvery flaking of the skin.
- Liver disorders.
- Blood disorders.
- Anxiety, Change in mood or behaviour