Diflucan, a prescription drug also known as fluconazole, is often used to treat fungal infections. Diflucan for nail fungus, however, is not the best choice. Other oral prescription drugs result in higher cure rates, work faster, and are less expensive. Like all the oral prescription medications for fungal infections of the toe- and fingernails, fluconazole comes with the risk of side effects, including nausea, vomiting, headaches and skin rashes, but also more serious problems such as liver toxicity and extreme skin reactions. When the problem being treated is virtually never serious in terms of general health (nail fungus is usually more of a cosmetic problem), it’s wise to question whether it makes sense to use a drug that has the potential to cause serious health problems.
Diflucan for nail fungus is not unusual in its potential to cause unintended harm. All of the available prescription drugs, Lamisil (terbinafine) and Sporanox (itraconazole) come with similar risk. They are, however, less toxic than older prescription anti-fungals, such as griseofulvin, and more effective. Though none, and no other treatment for fugal nail infection, works 100 per cent of the time, many people have had success with Diflucan, or one of the other prescription drugs after trying other remedies without success.
Treatment with Diflucan for nail fungus tends to be more prolonged than that recommended with the alternative prescription drugs. During treatment, the patient can assist with the cure by taking very good care of the feet and hands. Nails should be kept clean and trimmed short. Feet, in particular, should be washed daily and dried carefully. Lots of air circulation and dry cool skin create an unfriendly environment for fungus, so bare feet or ventilated shoes are helpful. Infected nails can be filed away regularly, so that they are kept thin and any crumbling flaky pieces are promptly removed. After the infection is gone, these precautions should be continued as regular nail care habits to help prevent a recurrence.
If the cost of a prescription treatment with Diflucan for nail fungus, or other antifungal, is just too much, the possibility of side effects judged too risky, or if some preexisting health condition makes it impossible to use the drugs, there are many over the counter proprietary remedies, and traditional home remedies that seem to work for many people. These can be used instead of, or even in conjunction with, the prescription drugs, and may help to eradicate the fungus. With any treatment, conscientious hand and foot care is a must.