Compare Itraconazole vs. Terbinafine

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Sporanox
(itraconazole)

Lamisil
(terbinafine)

Treats fungal infections. Sporanox (itraconazole) is effective oral medication that treats many different kinds of fungal infections. However, it has the potential to interact with a lot of other medications and has a few serious but rare side effects.Treats fungal infections. Lamisil (Terbinafine) has the highest cure rate of all antifungal medications, but you need to take it for a few weeks or months to see if it'll work for you.
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Have you used Sporanox (itraconazole)?
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Have you used Lamisil (terbinafine)?
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Side effects
ItraconazoleTerbinafine
  • Nausea 11%
  • Rash 9%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Swelling due to fluid retention 4%
  • Headache 4%
  • Itching 3%
  • Fever 3%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • High blood pressure 3%
  • Tiredness 3%
More Itraconazole side effects »
  • Headache 3%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Rash 4%
  • Indigestion 1%
  • Itching 1%
  • Liver enzyme abnormalities 2%
  • Taste disturbance 2%
More Terbinafine side effects »
How it works
ItraconazoleTerbinafine
Sporanox (itraconazole) kills fungus by preventing it from making its protective cell wall.Lamisil (Terbinafine) is an antifungal medication that prevents the fungi from creating the protective layers it needs to survive. It treats scalp, toenail, and fingernail infections.
Type of medication
ItraconazoleTerbinafine
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ItraconazoleTerbinafine
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Granule
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Topical spray
Used for
ItraconazoleTerbinafine
Risk factors for serious side effects
ItraconazoleTerbinafine
  • History of congestive heart failure
  • Taking other medications that can produce an irregular heartbeat
Detailed Sporanox (itraconazole) risks & warnings »
  • Past history of liver disease
  • Taking Lamisil (Terbinafine) by mouth
Detailed Lamisil (terbinafine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Interactions
ItraconazoleTerbinafine
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) has many drug interactions and can't be used together with a lot of other medications. Let your doctor or pharmacist know about all of your medications before starting Sporanox (itraconazole).
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) has a lot of drug interactions. Let your doctor or pharmacist know about all of the medications you're taking.
No interactions related info.
Kidneys and liver
ItraconazoleTerbinafine
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) can be used by people who have kidney problems.
  • There have been reports of liver damage in people taking Lamisil (Terbinafine). Your doctor will do some blood tests to make sure you don't have liver damage before taking this medication. Call your doctor immediately if you have pain in your abdomen, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, have dark urine, or light colored stool. All of these can be signs of changes to your liver.
Upsides and benefits
ItraconazoleTerbinafine
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) is effective in treating infections caused by many different types of fungi.
  • Available as a generic in the capsule form.
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) can be used by people who have kidney problems.
  • Recommended as a first-choice treatment for fungal infections. It has a high cure rate and very few side effects.
  • Available as a generic medication, so it's cheap.
  • It's the only antifungal medication that is available in different oral forms and can be used by children.
Downsides and risks
ItraconazoleTerbinafine
  • The liquid solution is especially likely to cause stomach upset like nausea and diarrhea.
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) is not a good choice for simple fungal infections (like nail infections) in people who have congestive heart failure because it can cause high blood pressure and swelling of the limbs.
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) isn't absorbed in the same way by everyone. You'll likely need to get lab tests done to check on its levels in the blood.
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) can cause serious side effects like allergic reactions, liver toxicity, nerve pain, or hearing loss.
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) has a lot of drug interactions. Let your doctor or pharmacist know about all of the medications you're taking.
  • It can take weeks to months to see any changes in the infection.
  • While Lamisil (Terbinafine) has the highest cure rate of all antifungal medications, there's still a chance it may not work.
  • Can cause headache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ItraconazoleTerbinafine
  • If you are taking the pill form, take it after the same meal at the same time each day. If taking the liquid form, take it on an empty stomach with an an accurate measuring device.
  • If you're taking Sporanox (itraconazole) for an infection in the mouth or esophagus, swish the liquid solution in your mouth before swallowing.
  • To make sure that the medicine is effective, be sure to take the full course of this medication, even if you are feeling better.
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) should not be taken with any heartburn medications - especially proton pump inhibitors like Nexium or Prilosec.
  • Be sure to use a reliable form of birth control while taking Sporanox (itraconazole).
  • It can take a few months for improvements to be seen, especially for finger and toenail infections.
  • You can be more likely to get a sunburn, so put on sunblock when you go outside.
  • If you're taking the oral granules, mix them in a spoonful of mashed potatoes or pudding, and then swallow it whole without chewing. Don't use fruit-based soft foods.
  • Your doctor will have you get regular blood work done to make sure Lamisil (Terbinafine) isn't causing side effects.
  • If you forget your daily dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it's less than 4 hours to your next dose, then skip it. Don't take two doses at once.
Learn more
More about ItraconazoleSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Sporanox (itraconazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about TerbinafineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lamisil (terbinafine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it