Compare Itraconazole vs. Terbinafine

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

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Sporanox (itraconazole)

Prescription only

Lamisil (Terbinafine)

Prescription only
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.

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.
  • 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
  • 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.
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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
  • Granule
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Topical 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%
  • Dyspepsia
    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 Lamisil (Terbinafine) by mouth
  • Depression
    • Taking Lamisil (Terbinafine) by mouth
  • Skin rash
    • Taking Lamisil (Terbinafine) by mouth
  • Lupus
    • Past history of lupus
    • Taking Lamisil (Terbinafine) by mouth
See more detailed risks and warnings