What is griseofulvin?

Griseofulvin is used to treat fungal infections of the scalp, skin and nails.

The usual dosage is 10 to15 mg per kg. Griseofulvin is best absorbed when taken with a meal. For children, the tablets are usually crushed into the child’s food. The duration of treatment varies depending on the infection. Skin infections usually take about 3 to 6 weeks to clear, fingernails take about 6 months, but toenails can take 12 months or longer.

Precautions when taking griseofulvin

  • Let your doctor know if you are allergic to griseofulvin, penicillin or any other drugs.
  • Certain medications can affect griseofulvin. These include prescription and non-prescription medications including blood thinning medications such as warfarin, oral contraceptives (‘the pill’), cyclosporin, phenobarbital and vitamins. Let your doctor know if you are taking these medications.
  • You should not take griseofulvin if you have a history of liver disease, porphyria, lupus or a history of alcohol abuse.
  • You should avoid pregnancy and breast-feeding while you are taking griseofulvin.
  • Males should not father a child for 6 months after stopping griseofulvin.
  • Women must not fall pregnant for 1 month after stopping griseofulvin.
  • You should limit alcohol intake.
  • You should plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and wear protective clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen. Rarely griseofulvin may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.

What to expect whilst taking griseofulvin and potential side effects

Griseofulvin may cause the following side effects:

  • Headache
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or loose stools
  • Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Faintness.

Severe reactions to griseofulvin are rare. If you experience fever or a rash, stop taking the medication and contact your doctor immediately.

What monitoring is required?

Blood tests are not usually required unless you are having a prolonged course of griseofulvin.

Before taking this medication, please ensure you have read and understood the product information provided with the medication. If you have any questions or unusual symptoms, please notify your doctor.

This information has been written by Dr Kavita Enjeti


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