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tolnaftate (tol-naf-tate)

imagePitrex, Podactin, Q-Naftate, Tinactin, Ting


Therapeutic: antifungals (topical)

Pharmacologic: thiocarbamates


Treatment of a variety of cutaneous fungal infections, including tinea pedis (athlete's foot), tinea cruris (jock itch), and tinea corporis (ringworm).


Distorts the hyphae and stunts mycelial growth in fungi.


Therapeutic Effects: ↓ in symptoms of fungal infection.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

Local: burning, itching, local hypersensitivity reactions, redness, stinging.


Examination and Evaluation

  • Assess healing of skin lesions to help document drug effectiveness.


  • Avoid contact with cutaneous lesions when treating patient.

  • Always wash hands thoroughly and disinfect equipment (whirlpools, electrotherapeutic devices, treatment tables, and so forth) to help prevent the spread of infection.

Patient/Client-Related Instruction

  • Advise patient to report any increased local sensitivity to this drug (pain, burning, itching, swelling).

  • Instruct patient about proper hygiene; e.g., thoroughly wash and dry the affected area, wear clean socks and ventilated shoes for tinea pedis, and so forth.

  • Advise patient to apply the drug as directed for the full course of treatment even if feeling better.

  • Inform patient that early relief of cutaneous symptoms may be seen in 2–3 days. Full therapeutic response may take 2 wk for tinea cruris and tinea corporis and 4 wk for tinea pedis.

  • Advise patient to seek medical help if infections persist or recur after the full treatment. Recurrent fungal infections may be a sign of systemic illness.


Absorption: Absorption through intact skin is minimal.

Distribution: Distribution after topical administration is primarily local.

Metabolism and Excretion: Systemic metabolism and excretion not known following local application.

Half-life: Not applicable.

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Topical 24–72 hr unknown unknown


Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity to active ingredients, additives, preservatives, or bases; Some products contain alcohol and should be avoided in patients with known intolerance.

Use Cautiously in: Nail and scalp infections (may require additional systemic therapy); OB/Lactation: Safety not established.


Drug-Drug: Not known.


Topical (Adults and Children ≥2 yr): Apply bid for up to 2 wk for tinea cruris and for up to 4 wk for tinea pedis or tinea corporis.

Availability (generic available)

Cream: 1% OTC. Powder: 1% OTC. Solution: 1% OTC. Spray liquid: 1% OTC. Spray powder:...

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