Your doctor says you have a fungal nail infection and you want to get rid of it fast. But that’s easier said than done since the disease is difficult to treat and repeated infections are common. Compounding the problem is the fact that most oral medications are expensive, may not work, and ...Your doctor says you have a fungal nail infection and you want to get rid of it fast. But that’s easier said than done since the disease is difficult to treat and repeated infections are common. Compounding the problem is the fact that most oral medications are expensive, may not work, and have serious side effects.

“There is no guarantee that oral medication will work or that the fungal infection will not come back. Of people successfully treated with antifungal pills, 15 to 20 percent develop another infection in the next year. Advanced age (older than 60) decreases the likelihood of a cure to about 65 percent,” according to WebMD.

So what’s the right thing to do? To help you decide what’s best for you, here’s a rundown of common oral antifungal drugs and what to expect from them. If you have any doubts about a specific drug, always ask your doctor for guidance. Your physician will make recommendations based on your medical history and the severity of your condition.

Terbinafine – is the first line of defense for fungal infections caused by dermatophytes. Studies show that it kills 40 to 90 percent of fungi and produced a normal-looking nail in 35 to 50 percent of the people using it. Treatment time is eight weeks for fingernail fungus and 12 weeks for toenail fungus.

Itraconazole – is prescribed if the disease is caused by molds or yeasts. It is taken in “pulse” doses – one week a month for two to three months. Itraconazole is effective in 45 to 70 percent of people using it. A normal-looking nail was produced in 35 to 80 percent of users. However, drug interactions are common, especially with antibiotics and asthma medicines.

Fluconazole – is often used if the infection is caused by Candida and is given once a week for several months. Research shows it can improve the appearance of an infected toenail by over 75 percent in 72 to 89 percent of people using it. When taken in high doses once a week over three months for fingernail infection, oral fluconazole produced a normal-looking fingernail in 90 percent of people using it. Caution is advised in patients with impaired kidney function and in those taking other medications.

Ketoconazole and griseofulvin - are rarely used today because of their low cure rates and high recurrence rates (in the case of ketoconazole). Griseofulvin is safe and was once the mainstay of oral antifungal therapy but it has been replaced by newer and more effective drugs.

If you decide to take oral antifungal drugs, be aware that there are rare but serious side effects associated with their use. These include dangerous drug interactions, liver damage, and liver and heart failure. To monitor your condition, you may have to undergo blood testing every four to six weeks during treatment. Minor side effects include headache, stomach upset, diarrhea, itchiness, and rashes.

A safer option is Somasin AFS, an all-natural herbal formula that destroys nail fungus in just seven days. Unlike traditional oral antifungal medications, Somasin uses a twin approach in attacking nail fungus. The oral complex works from within to strengthen your immune system, fight the infection, and resist further attacks. This effect is bolstered by the topical solution that penetrates the nail to stop the fungus dead in its tracks. Check out http://tinyurl.com/8jkw6ma for details.

Author's Bio: 

Janet Martin is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premier online news magazine http://www.thearticleinsiders.com .