Nail fungus can be a source of social embarrassment. The ugly look that the infected nails project to others and the pain and irritation that they cause, can force one to opt for nail fungus treatment soon after they suspect an infection. When it comes to anti-fungal drugs that treat nail fungus, there are two popular medications for patients – Penlac and Lamisil. While Penlac is a topical solution that can be applied on the infected nail externally, Lamisil is an oral prescription drug that has to be consumed every day. There are several pros and cons to both the drugs and this article intends to throw light on a few of them.
Penlac Nail Lacquer: Penlac nail lacquer is the only topical solution available for nail fungus treatment. The active ingredient in the drug is ciclopirox which works to effectively combat fungus in infected nails. The pack comes with a little paintbrush (which looks like a nail polish). The application is pretty much like that of a nail polish wherein you apply the solution on the infected nail area. Penlac takes an average of about 48 weeks to heal the infected area.
Lamisil: Lamisil is an oral prescription medication which has the active ingredient terbinafine. Believed to be very active against fungus, Lamisil takes about six to twelve weeks to completely cure the infection.
Penlac vs. Lamisil: There are three factors that affect the choice between Penlac and Lamisil. They are:
1. Length of treatment, 2. Your body’s response to oral drugs and 3. Cost of drugs.
Length of treatment: This depends on the intensity of the infection. If the fungus has invaded the lunula or the base of the nail, it is better to prefer Lamisil to Penlac as the former works better. Though Penlac is a much safer drug, Lamisil acts quickly and clears the fungus in a short period of time. Penlac may take about 48 weeks or more than that to fight the fungus, whereas Lamisil will take less than half of those weeks. So, if your infection is severe and if you are looking for a quick-action drug, Lamisil is always better.
Your body’s response: Some people respond very badly to oral prescription drugs. Lamisil, being an oral drug, can cause moderate to critical side effects in patients. Liver and kidney disorders are common with Lamisil. Penlac is a much safer alternative compared to the pain of oral drugs and their side effects. With Penlac, there is also no question of overdose or interaction with other drugs.
Cost of drugs: Penlac is much cheaper than Lamisil. But this depends on how many nails you need to treat. If you have more than two nails with fungus, better to opt for Lamisil as it cures the whole thing internally. On the other hand, if you are looking for a cooler and cost-effective alternative to Lamisil, swear by Penlac. However, you need to have the patience to see the drug work on your nail.
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