Hey there! Wholesomealive is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission from affiliate links at no extra cost to you. Your support helps us create great content. Thank you!

How Long Does It Take for Lamisil to Work? Get Your Facts Right

You are taking Lamisil to treat your fungal infection in the toenail and it’s been some weeks already. Yet you can not see any improvement there.

That left you wondering how long does it take for Lamisil to work?

Depending on the type of infection you have and the kind of drug form you are using, the time needed for Lamisil to work may vary. For skin infections, you can expect to see changes within a week, and for nails, it takes some months to start working. 

Curious to know more about it? Then what are you waiting for? We have a detailed discussion on things you need to know about Lamisil right here. Take a look.

Table of Content

What Is Lamisil?

Lamisil is an antifungal drug that acts against fungal infections in humans. Lamisil is a brand or trade name for Terbinafine which is a potent antifungal and is a prescription drug worldwide. 

Your physician might prescribe you Lamisil for skin infections like fungal nail infection, Ringworm, Athlete’s foot, Jock itch or Pityriasis Versicolor. If you are suffering from any of that, chances are you are already on Lamisil.

Different Formulations For Lamisil or Terbinafine

Lamisil is marketed in different formulations or dosage forms because it has versatile use. What you will commonly see in the stores are tablets, cream, gel, spray and even liquid forms.


These different forms have different duration of action and are prescribed according to the problem you are facing. If you have a fungal nail infection, then your doctor will suggest taking the Lamisil tablet. 

Whereas, if you are suffering from Athlete’s foot, Jock itch or Pityriasis Versicolor, then you are likely to use the cream, gel or spray form of Lamisil. If you have Athlete’s foot (it’s a disease) then there’s a liquid solution that you can use as well, named Lamisil Once.

How Long Does It Take For Lamisil to Work?

If you are taking Lamisil in any form, you might have already noticed it does not start working overnight. Or even after a week of using, you may notice no change in your fungi infected skin.

It is because Terbinafine is a drug that starts working later than other drugs. All antifungals in general start working late, but terbinafine is more so. It is still being prescribed as the drug of choice because of its potency. 

Although being a bit slower than the rest, terbinafine works better than other antifungals when it comes to skin infections.

Then when should you expect your antifungal to kick in and work its magic? Well, that depends on the kind of infection you have and the kind of drug form you are using. Hence, have a glance at them: 

If You Have General Skin Infections

If you are suffering from fungal skin infections in sites other than your fingernails and toenails, then you should expect the medicine to start working within a week.

Since the keratin layer in your skin is thinner than that of nails, it would take a much shorter time to show signs of improvement.

If You Have Fingernail or Toenail Infections 

You might injure your nails in various ways which can lead to fungal infections later. Because damaged nails mean easier access. 


In case of fungal infestations in your fingernails or toenails, it might take a longer time than usual to see any difference. 

But even then, you should see a change appear within two months. And in three months, your infection should heal itself.

If You Are Using the Tablet Form of Lamisil

If you are taking the Lamisil tablet, then it takes a bit more time than other forms. It’s because the Lamisil tablet is prescribed in case of fungal infections in the nails. 

And naturally, nail infections need more time to heal. You can expect your Lamisil tablet to work on your fingernails within 2 months. And in the case of toenails, it can take up to 3 months in general. 

If You Are Using Lamisil/Terbinafine Cream, Gel or Spray

If you are using cream, gel or spray formulations of Terbinafine, then it is because of the fungal infection in your skin.

Since these infections are more superficial, they will take much less time to heal. You can expect them to start working within the first week.

If You Are Using Lamisil Once

Lamisil Once is a liquid solution that is used for Athlete’s foot disease, which is a special kind of fungal infection found in your foot. 

And it arises mostly in athletes because they have to wear socks and shoes all the time. So when their feet sweat, it stays there and makes an ambient environment for fungal growth.

If you are using this special solution, you can expect to start working within the first few days.

Who Can Not Use Lamisil?

Although Lamisil is the drug of choice for fungal infections in the skin, in some special cases your doctor will tell you to not take the medicine

Here are some of those conditions listed below.

Children Below 1

Lamisil tablets, cream, gel and spray are very safe to use and you can use them regardless of your age. But keep in mind that children below 1 year of age should not take this medication. 

In the case of the solution, Lamisil Once, children should not take it because it might be harmful to them. So you should use that specific formulation only if you are an adult.

If You Had an Allergic Reaction to Lamisil Ever

If you are allergic to Lamisil or Terbinafine in general, then you should let your physician know about it so that they do not prescribe it for you. 

If you take Terbinafine by accident or by not knowing that you are allergic, then you might experience some problems like skin rashes, itching, or urticaria. And in severe cases, an anaphylactic reaction may occur as well. 

So you should be careful before starting to take Lamisil. Although the percentage of people allergic to Lamisil is not very significant.

If You Are a Person with Liver Diseases

Lamisil is a drug that is metabolized by your liver. It simply means, your liver breaks down the drug after a particular time so that it can not persist in the body to cause some toxic effects.


If you are taking Lamisil tablets, and you already have some liver disease then talk to your physician about it. 

They will probably change Lamisil to some other hepatic friendly antifungals so that your liver condition does not worsen. 

If You Have a Compromised Kidney

The tablet form of Lamisil after ingestion is broken down to its active drug form and later passes to the kidney. There it is washed out of your system via urine.

So if you have a kidney condition, it would be tough for your kidney to excrete the wastage of the drug on top of the regular wastages.

So it would be wise of you to talk to your doctor about your health conditions before starting any drug.

If You Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding

If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant soon, then you should reconsider your decision to take Lamisil. Let your health care provider know that you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.

Although Lamisil has no proven record of harming the baby inside the womb, it is wise to switch to some other safer drugs in this condition.

And if you are lactating and breastfeeding your child, then it is safe to not use Lamisil at all because it is secreted in your breast milk. 

So again, it would be wise to consult with your doctor before starting any antifungal medications if you are pregnant or a lactating mother.

If You Are on Some Other Specific Medications 

Lamisil can interact with some other drugs you might be taking at the same time. They indirectly increase the metabolism of that said drug and ultimately cause therapeutic failure. 

So what are some of these drugs you should be careful about taking along with Lamisil? I have listed a few below so take a look.

  • Beta-blocker drugs if you have heart problems 
  • Oral contraceptive tablets
  • Antidepressant drugs
  • For heart complications amiodarone
  • Antimicrobial drug Rifampicin
  • Anticoagulant drug Warfarin 
  • Anticancer drug Tamoxifen
  • Painkiller drugs like tramadol and codeine

What you can do about it is consult with your physician before starting Lamisil. Let them know what drugs you are currently taking. They will adjust the suitable antifungal for you according to your convenience.  

Adverse Effect of Lamisil

Like every other drug, Lamisil too has its own set of adverse effects or side effects. It is considered a safe drug for people who are not contraindicated to it and the occurrence rate of side effects is less than 2%

Some of the familiar side effects of Lamisil are as follows.

  • Skin peeling or itchy feeling
  • Skin rash 
  • Mild headache
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Anorexia or diminished appetite
  • Pain in the muscle or joint
  • Problem with digestion

If you are experiencing any of the above effects and feel that things are getting out of hand, then you should go talk to your physician about it.


Question: Should I take Lamisil in the morning or at night?

Answer: It does not matter too much when you take your daily dose of Lamisil. But what is more important, is that you take it at the same time each day. For example, if you take the first one at 3 pm then take the following doses at 3 pm every day. 

Question: What kills toenail fungus instantly? 

Answer: Hydrogen peroxide can be an immediate homemade remedy to toenail fungus. It will kill the fungus in a short time. Hydrogen peroxide can be directly applied to the fungus infected nails with the help of cotton cloth or cotton swab. However, you must be careful because it may corrode your bare skin.

Question: Should I cut off my fungus toenail?

Answer: If you have a fungus-infected toenail then cutting the extra portion of the toenail will be helpful. After starting the medication with the prescription from a doctor, going to a podiatrist to help cut the infected nail gradually with time will help you with the treatment procedure.

Parting Words

I hope you have got your answer to the question -’ how long does it take for Lamisil to work’.

Lamisil (Terbinafine) is the most widely used antifungal drug and according to the nature of infection and drug formulations, Lamisil takes a few weeks to a few months to start working.

Meanwhile, if you feel any discomfort while using it or have some other health problems you should talk to your doctor.

Wholesomealive.com -a blog about Healthy Living