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Griseofulvin (Fulvicin)

What is griseofulvin?

Griseofulvin is an oral medication in either liquid or tablet form used to treat fungal infections. These fungal infections can include athlete’s foot, ringworm, jock itch, or fungal infections in the nails or scalp. Griseofulvin is also known by the FDA approved drug brand names of Fulvicin, Grifulvin, Grisactin, Griseofulicin, and Griseofulvic.


How do I take griseofulvin?

Griseofulvin is a prescription drug, it is an oral medication. It either comes in liquid or tablet form.

Liquid

If taking griseofulvin as a liquid medication, ensuring the proper dosage is extremely important. Be sure to read all medication guides and directions before beginning your regimen.

The medication will likely come with a dosing syringe, and if not, you can ask your doctor to provide one for you or pick one up at any drugstore. If a syringe is not desired for some reason, you may use another measuring device specifically for medicine. Do not use kitchen measurements, as these can be less exact.

Tablet

If taking griseofulvin in tablet form, ensure that you are able to swallow it whole. Otherwise, your doctor may allow you to crush it into a fine powder and mix it into applesauce.

Under no circumstances should you chew the tablet. Swallow whatever it is mixed with right away; if left in the mouth, it could cause nausea and a bitter taste.

Griseofulvin also comes in a capsule, which should obviously be swallowed whole and not broken open.


Other Considerations

As always, read all directions and medication guides before starting the regiment. Use the medication for the full prescribed dosage length. The length can vary depending on the type and severity of the infection.

Just because symptoms improve does not mean the infection is fully healed, and stopping the regimen before the recommended length of time is up may cause another infection resistant to the medication and therefore much harder to get rid of.

Dosages vary based on aspects like medical conditions and weight in children suffering from fungal infections. Also, the medicine should be taken at the same time every day, or at consistent intervals, in order to increase efficacy.


What do I need to tell the doctor?

There are several precautions you should take, and conversations you should have with your doctor, before starting a griseofulvin regimen.

Tell your doctor:

  • Allergies to griseofulvin or any medications at all, including homeopathic medicines
  • ALL medications you are currently taking○ Be extra sure to inform the doctor if you are taking any blood thinners, oral contraceptives, vitamins, phenobarbital, or cyclosporine.
  • Any personal history of liver disease, lupus, or porphyria
  • If you drink alcohol or have abused alcohol in the past, since griseofulvin could exacerbate liver issues
  • If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant○ Taking griseofulvin while pregnant, especially during the first trimester, can cause harm to the fetus.

Make sure you answer the doctor’s questions fully and honestly, and give them all the information with special regard to the points above to help avoid complications.


Should I avoid anything?

Like many antifungal medications, griseofulvin increases the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. Use higher SPF sunscreen and cover yourself more fully when outdoors, and absolutely avoid tanning beds.

Additionally, avoid tight-fitting, synthetic clothing that covers the area of concern. Tight-fitting materials like nylon, polyester, leggings, etc. are not breathable enough to allow air to get to the affected area. Cotton and other loose-fitting, natural fabrics are preferable.

Along with paying more attention to sun exposure and clothing choices, drinking alcohol while taking griseofulvin can cause additional issues.


Griseofulvin Side Effects

Unsurprisingly, griseofulvin has several side effects, most of which are minor and will pass within a few days. However, it is still important to be cognizant of them because continuous symptoms or a more severe experience of these symptoms is cause for concern.

Minor Side Effects

  • Minor side effects of griseofulvin can include:
  • fatigue / tiredness or low energy
  • dizziness/faintness
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea or loose stools
  • headache
  • thirst beyond what is normal for you
  • indigestion or upset stomach

If any of these symptoms last more than a few days or a week at most, call your doctor. Likewise, call your doctor if the symptoms are severe, meaning that they strongly interfere with your ability to go about your daily activities.

Major Side Effects

If any of the following symptoms, allergic reactions or adverse effects appear, you must promptly seek medical advice and call your doctor:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Skin Rash or further irritation of the skin
  • Soreness/sensitivity in the mouth
  • Irritation in the mouth

As always, use caution when taking the medication and pay close attention to any symptoms, especially those listed above as major causes for concern.

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