NZ Formulary

Terbinafine (tablet)


What does it do?

Terbinafine is used to treat fungal infections of the skin and nails.

How should you take it?

Take terbinafine regularly as directed with food and a glass of water. Keep taking it until the course is finished.

What if you forget a dose?

If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with terbinafine including:

  • cold and flu medicines containing dextromethorphan (e.g. Robitussin Dry Cough Forte®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

Important information continues on next page.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Symptoms of liver problems including: yellow skin or eyes, itching, dark urine, pale bowel motions, abdominal pain

Reduced number of blood cells that fight infections or help your blood to clot - symptoms include: fever, chills, sore throat or generally feeling unwell, or easy or unusual bruising or bleeding

Symptoms of a serious muscle problem such as: ongoing muscle weakness or pain, dark urine

Tell your doctor immediately

Hearing loss

Changes in smell

Tell your doctor

Nausea, diarrhoea, indigestion

Changes in taste


Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver problems, or have a condition called psoriasis or lupus erythematosus.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • You may not see an improvement until after you have finished all of your medicine.
  • You will need regular blood tests while taking terbinafine to check if it is causing problems with your liver.