Hypothetically speaking...
June 12, 2006 9:11 PM   Subscribe

Lamisil pills are extremely expensive. Lamisil cream is very reasonably priced. Lamisil cream applied topically does nothing for a fungal toenail infection; one needs to ingest the drug to cure that type of infection. Could someone eat Lamisil cream for the same effect as the pills? What kind of dosage and preparation would be required?
posted by thirteenkiller to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I would not recommend eating the cream. Just because they have the same does not, in any way, mean that they contain the same ingredients or work in the same manner.
posted by fenriq at 9:19 PM on June 12, 2006


Given that taking lamisil tablets 'can cause hepatotoxicity, or liver damage, as well as other serious side effects, so those taking Lamisil tablets often have blood screenings every month' (corrected wikipedia link), I would suggest self-medicating orally would be very bad idea.
posted by beniamino at 9:20 PM on June 12, 2006


The tablets are 250 mg of the stuff. The creams are 1%. So you would need to eat 25000 mg, or 25 grams. A 24 gram tube of cream is $15 at Amazon. Doesn't seem cost-effective to me, even if you could stomach a tube full of topical cream every day.
posted by smackfu at 9:42 PM on June 12, 2006


Even if you did eat the cream (ew) and did the dosage right, you might not get the benefit because it would get hammered by the GI tract. Big Pharma spends a lot of money figuring out how to navigate the drug into your bloodstream via the GI tract when they offer a drug in pill form.
posted by intermod at 10:01 PM on June 12, 2006


According to medline, lamisil treatment garners the 1 in 45,000 risk of "hepatobiliary dysfunction" (i.e., liver damage). There are a lot of things that are far more dangerous. Still, it would be a good idea to go for some sort of liver-enzyme blood test, which will put you back about $20 (no prescription needed).

Plus, there's probably a low-cost medical provider (free clinic, teaching hospital, community college clinic, etc.) in your area that can properly diagnose a fungal infection and medicate appropriately.

plus, the topical stuff is 1%, and a big tube of it is 24 grams... if anything, it's cheaper to get the pills and make your own darned cream, not the other way around.
Inexpensive terbinafine tablets can be procured from our neighbors to the north...
posted by LimePi at 10:03 PM on June 12, 2006


Most of that cream is the base, which is more than likely white petrolatum -- the same stuff as in Vasoline.

So, you'd be eating highly refined crude oil. You know, the stuff from the ground. Mmm. Tasty.
posted by frogan at 10:53 PM on June 12, 2006


If you have a toenail fungus problem spend six bucks on a bottle of 100% tea tree oil and apply it twice daily. Works just as well as the expensive pills, without the potential for liver damage.
posted by COD at 4:32 AM on June 13, 2006


The nail folks around here (and the doctor) are recommending Vicks. I've heard good things about tea tree oil also.
I'm using some expensive anti-fungal toenail polish, and it's working fine. (50$ a bottle, but goes a long way.) It's transparent and kills the stuff, without taking your liver out. They will tell you to paint it about a half inch around the nail, and you really have to, or it won't get the stuff growing out of the nail bed. My skin turned red in an alarming fashion, but it never got worse and never did anything else, hurt or peel or whatever. Once a week, you strip it all off with rubbing alcohol and start over.
YMMV, and the stuff is prescription only, so you'll have to see the Toenail Fungus Doctor to get it. You should know it takes about a year to grow a whole new toenail and get rid of it, if it's a big toe.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 5:10 AM on June 13, 2006


I second (or third) the tea tree oil recommendation. Give that a go, it's inexpensive and good for lots of antiseptic like things.
posted by 10ch at 5:44 AM on June 13, 2006


As a side note, I had bad toe-nail fungus on just one nail.

I went to the doctor and we talked options.

I had the toenail removed. Cheap, immediate, and a 99.99 percent chance of erradicating the fungus.

There is a 10% chance or so for a nail to grow back after such a thing. It is also then possible for said nail to have the fungus again. That hardly ever happens.

Now I have 10 toes, 9 toenails, and 0 toe-fungus.

He did the procedure right then and there. Local anesthetic into the toe, cut the skin along both sides of the toe-nail, then he basically took a vice grips and bent the nail back and pulled it out.

He then cauterized the area. You'd be amazed how far back under the skin a toe-nail gos. He said there was 50/50 chance for the cauterization to take out the pain nerve. If he got the nerve, pretty much no pain.

He didn't get the nerve. It did hurt like hell for about 24 hours. Then it was fine until a week later when, during a check up, he cleaned out the wound by scraping around insdie there with a metal stick. Yikes.

Then it hurt like hell again for a day.

It looks prety normal, actually. People were much more likely to notice a funky nail than a complete lack of one.

Ok, I know this has little to do with your original question, but if you're looking to get rid of nail-fungus, I would totally recommend this as an option.
posted by killThisKid at 7:18 AM on June 13, 2006


Tea tree oil wiped it out for me too. I soaked mine in the oil for 20 minutes on 3 separate days and it went away. Had it for 3 years before that.
posted by slavlin at 10:04 AM on June 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


For everyone who used tea tree oil, how did you apply it. I have tried diluting a few drops with hot water and soaking for 5-10 minutes, and haven't had any luck. Is it best to use it in more concetrated doses? And how do you keep it in contact with the toe?
posted by joshmiller at 9:08 PM on June 13, 2006


Don't dilute it. Use 100% on a cotton boll or swab and rub it on the nail and toe (or finger, depending). Let it dry. Repeat QD or BID.
posted by 10ch at 6:10 AM on June 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


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