> Western Medicines > Terbinafine


Used for: Athlete’s foot, Fungal infection of the arms legs and nails, Jock itch
Chinese name:

What is Terbinafine for?

Terbinafine is an antifungal agent that treats fungus on the skin, hair and nails. It inhibits the synthesis of ergosterol which is an important component of the fungal cell membrane, hence leading to the death of the fungus. Terbinafine is used for the treatment of nail fungus (onychomycosis) and athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), as well as other fungal skin infections.

How to use it?

Terbinafine can be either taken in conventional tablets or applied in cream, spray or gel. If you are taking Terbinafine orally, it is important to check your liver and renal function with your doctor before initiating therapy. It will take several weeks to see the full effect of oral Terbinafine. It is important to apply sunscreen and avoid tanning beds while taking oral Terbinafine, as sensitivity to the sun is a side effect.


The suggested doses used in different infections are listed below:



The usual dose is 250 mg once daily. The suggested treatment duration varies with different conditions:

  • 2-4 weeks for fungal infection around genitals
  • 4 weeks for fungal infection around the arms and legs
  • 2-6 weeks for Athlete’s foot
  • 6-12 weeks for fungal infection on nails. Usually 6 weeks of treatment for fingernail and 12 weeks for toenail infection.



Apply the topical product one to two times daily to the affected area. The usual treatment duration varies with different conditions:

  • 1 week for Athlete’s foot
  • 1-2 weeks for fungal infection around genitals, arms and legs
  • 1-2 weeks for cutaneous candidiasis and tinea versicolor (also known as pityriasis versicolor)

What are the side effects of Terbinafine?

If you are taking oral Terbinafine, the most common side effects are diarrhoea, taste alteration, nausea, vomiting, increased liver enzymes and headache. If you are applying Terbinafine topically, common side effects are rash and itchiness.

Who should not take Terbinafine?

  • Patients with chronic or active liver diseases should not take oral Terbinafine.
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Where to buy Terbinafine in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, 1% Terbinafine cream, spray or gel is an over-the-counter medicine and can be purchased without a prescription from any retail outlet in Hong Kong. This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, medicine shops, and pharmacies. 


However, oral tablets of Terbinafine are a prescription only medicine. Terbinafine tablets require a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy, or they can obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.


For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Terbinafine in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.

Brands in Hong Kong
Available dosage
  • 1% (Cream)
  • 10% (Spray)
  • 250mg (Tablets)
Drug class
Antifungal Agents
Sub class
Other drugs in same class
Used for: Fungal infection of the arms legs and nails, Jock itch, Athlete’s foot
Chinese name: