Schäfer-Korting, Monika; Schöllmann, C.; Korting, Hans Christian
Fungicidal activity plus reservoir effect allow short treatment courses with terbinafine in tinea pedis.
In: Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, No. 4: pp. 203-210
Terbinafine, a synthetic allylamine, exerts fungicidal activity against dermatophytes, the causative pathogens of tinea pedis. As proven in numerous clinical trials, tinea pedis can be effectively and safely treated by topical terbinafine. In fact, a 1-week application of terbinafine 1% cream eradicated fungal pathogens at least as effectively as 4-week treatment courses with topical azole derivative antifungals and showed lower relapse rates. A new innovative single-application formulation of terbinafine 1% in a film-forming solution produces a high concentration gradient on the skin surface and enables a prolonged (up to 13 days) exposure of the skin to terbinafine. High drug penetration into the skin results in an otherwise not obtained drug reservoir in the horny layer, the location of dermatophytes in tinea pedis. Although azole antimycotics can also effectively penetrate into the horny layer of the skin, short-term therapy might not be feasible due to its primarily fungistatic activity against dermatophytes. Thus, we conclude that the high efficacy of short-term treatment with terbinafine in patients with tinea pedis is possible due to its fungicidal activity coupled with a distinct reservoir formation in the upper layers of the epidermis. Copyright (C) 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.