Toenail Fungus Medications

Sandy Getzky

Medically known as onychomycosis, toenail fungus affects an estimated 40 million Americans. It can become painful and unsightly when left untreated for too long, with a chance of recurrence despite successful initial treatment. Fortunately, there are numerous toenail fungus medications that you can use to eliminate the infection completely. This list was created to help narrow down your options in hopes that you find the right solution to combating toenail fungus.

Topical Nail Solutions

The safest and most effective toenail fungus medication, topical solutions can easily be bought online and delivered right to your doorstep. It comes in an easy-to-carry bottle and includes a brush applicator for easy application. The solution penetrates the nail bed, getting straight to the source of the infection, and eliminating the fungus. It utilizes a powerful formulation of all-natural ingredients with fungi-fighting abilities effectively combined with undecylenic acid.

Undecylenic Acid

An FDA-approved antifungal agent, undecylenic acid is typically used as an active ingredient in many topical over-the-counter (OTC) toenail fungus medication. However, it can be bought alone at a local drugstore in liquid form and is typically applied like you would nail polish or topical nail solution. Undecylenic acid treats the raw, irritated skin caused by a fungal infection.

Oral Antifungal Medication

Oral antifungal medication is, by far, the most popular option for toenail fungus medications. They are known for their speed and efficacy in restoring nails and helping the new nail grow free from infection. These drugs usually need to be taken for 6 to 12 weeks and may take longer than 4 months to completely eliminate an infection. It’s good to note that oral antifungal medication may cause adverse effects ranging from allergic reactions to liver damage. It’s recommended that you consult a medical professional prior to taking any medication.

Terbinafine (Lamisil)

Terbinafine, better known by its brand name, Lamisil is an antifungal antibiotic that can be bought OTC. It comes in various forms: cream, gel, spray, powder, or tablets. The tablets are taken once daily for 12 weeks. However, it may take longer to see results.

Itraconazole (Sporanox)

Another oral antifungal medication of choice, Itraconazole is generally used if the infection is caused by yeast or mold. However, it is advised that you do not take this toenail fungus medication if you have ventricular dysfunction or other cardiac disorders.

Medicated Nail Polish

Some doctors prescribe medicated nail polish which is relatively similar to topical nail solutions in terms of application process and packaging, coming in small bottles with a brush applicator. Simply paint the affected nail and surrounding skin once a day. The biggest downside is that you may need to use this product for almost an entire year to see any evident results.

Ciclopirox (Penlac)

This medication is used to treat fingernail and toenail fungus and is also used as part of a treatment program that includes the removal of unattached, infected nails by a healthcare professional which is done as frequently as once a month.

Medicated Nail Cream or Ointments

Antifungal creams and ointments are also prescribed by doctors to treat toenail fungus. Rub the cream into the affected nail after soaking in water and drying completely. These creams work better on thinner nails, so you might need to file the surface of the affected nail prior to application. This ensures the product goes straight to the source of the infection.


This over-the-counter toenail fungus medication comes in cream form and is used to treat various fungal infections including toenail fungus, vaginal yeast infections, athlete’s foot, jock itch, and pityriasis. A study in the U.K found that Clotrimazole worked for most of the patients who used it as toenail fungus medication in a 12-week trial, with an average improvement of 96.2%, with the infection in 80% of the nails being completely treated.


A staple OTC toenail fungus medication, Tolnaftate also treats other fungal skin infections, including athlete’s foot, ringworm, and jock itch. It comes in various forms such as cream, powder, spray, or liquid, all of which are topically applied. 





Sandy Getzky
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