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Comparison of one week of oral terbinafine (250 mg/day) with four weeks of treatment with clotrimazole 1% cream in interdigital tinea pedis.

Author(s): Barnetson RS, Marley J, Bullen M, Brookman S, Cowen P, Ellis D, Williams T

Affiliation(s): Department of Dermatology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, NSW, Australia.

Publication date & source: 1998-10, Br J Dermatol., 139(4):675-8.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

Treatment of interdigital tinea pedis often involves long-term therapy with topically applied preparations. Effective oral preparations, such as the allylamine terbinafine (Lamisil), taken over a shorter period, could provide a useful therapeutic alternative. A total of 269 patients from five centres with clinically diagnosed interdigital tinea pedis were entered into this double-blind, randomized, double-dummy, parallel-group study comparing oral terbinafine 250 mg once daily for 1 week with 1% clotrimazole (Canesten) cream applied twice daily for 4 weeks. Of these, 137 patients were evaluable for efficacy (confirmed dermatophyte infection by microscopy and culture): 63 terbinafine and 74 clotrimazole. At week 4, the mycological cure rates (negative culture at week 1 and negative results on microscopy and culture at week 4 onwards) were very similar (71% for clotrimazole and 72% for terbinafine). There was a faster response rate in the terbinafine group with respect to signs and symptoms at week 1. Both treatments were equally well tolerated; adverse events occurred equally in the two groups. In conclusion, oral terbinafine in a single daily dose of 250 mg for 1 week is as effective and as well tolerated as 1% clotrimazole cream applied twice daily for 4 weeks in the treatment of interdigital tinea pedis.

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