Compare Itraconazole vs. terbinafine

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

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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) is first-choice treatment for many types of fungal infections, but a successful treatment course ranges from weeks to months.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • Effectively treats many types of fungal infections.
  • Available in cheap, generic version.
  • Lamisil (terbinafine) comes in many different formulations that's easy to apply depending on the site of infection.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Takes weeks to months to treat an infection.
  • The pill form is not a good option if you have liver disease.
  • Lamisil (terbinafine) can interfere with how many other medicines work. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before starting any new medicines or supplements while you are on Lamisil (terbinafine).
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Used for
  • Salvage therapy for invasive aspergillosis
  • Blastomycosis
  • Oropharyngeal and esophageal candidiasis
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Onychomycosis
  • Vulvovaginal candidiasis in HIV-infected patients
  • Coccidioidal meningitis in HIV-infected patients
  • Coccidioidal pneumonia in HIV-infected patients
  • Cryptococcosis in HIV-infected patients
  • Disseminated microsporidiosis in HIV-infected patients
  • Penicilliosis in HIV-infected patients
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Cream
  • Gel
  • Spray
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
14possible side effects
  • Nausea
    11%
  • Rash
    9%
  • Vomiting
    5%
  • Swelling due to fluid retention
    4%
  • Headache
    4%
  • Diarrhea
    3%
  • Tiredness
    3%
  • Fever
    3%
  • Itching
    3%
  • High blood pressure
    3%
  • Lowered liver function
    3%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
  • Dizziness
    2%
  • Low potassium
    2%
See more detailed side effects
10possible side effects
  • Headache
    13%
  • Diarrhea
    6%
  • Rash
    6%
  • Indigestion
    4%
  • Nausea
    3%
  • Pruritus
    3%
  • Liver enzyme abnormalities
    3%
  • Taste disturbance
    3%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
  • Flatulence
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Congestive Heart Failure
    • History of congestive heart failure
  • Drug interactions
  • Liver toxicity
  • Irregular heartbeat
    • Taking other medications that can produce an irregular heartbeat
  • Do not switch between the capsules or liquid forms
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Liver damage
    • Past history of liver disease
    • Taking Lamisil (terbinafine) by mouth
  • Changes in taste and smell
    • Taking pill form of Lamisil (terbinafine)
  • Depression
    • Taking pill form of Lamisil (terbinafine)
  • Skin rash
    • Taking pill form of Lamisil (terbinafine)
  • Lupus-like symptoms
    • History of lupus
  • Bleeding and clotting disorder
    • History of hematologic or immunodeficiency issues
See more detailed risks and warnings