International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 679–683 | Cite as

Systematic review of severe acute liver injury caused by terbinafine

  • Jun Yan
  • Xiaolin Wang
  • Shengli ChenEmail author
Review Article


Background Terbinafine is an effective antimicrobial agent against dermatophytes, cryptococcus and other fungi. It is the preferred drug to treat onychomycosis. However, severe acute hepatitis from oral terbinafine administration has been recently reported. Aim To describe a representative case, and review the literature regarding the best evidence on treatment and prognosis of severe acute hepatitis caused by oral terbinafine. Methods The literature was searched for publications on severe hepatitis caused by terbinafine using MEDLINE, China Biology Medicine Disc, and the VIP Medical Information Resource System. Related references were searched manually. Results Seventeen English and three Chinese references of case reports were included after eliminating duplicate publications. No randomized control studies were found. Liver enzyme levels were found to have been increased significantly. Abdominal ultrasound demonstrated cholestasis. Conclusions Severe acute liver injury is a known, but unusual complication of terbinafine exposure. The prognosis is often good with appropriate treatment. Liver function assessment before treatment and periodic monitoring 4–6 weeks after initiation of treatment is recommended.


Adverse reactions Hepatitis Systematic review Terbinafine 



Lei CUI, Xiaodan LV: Jinan Infectious Disease Hospital, Liver Disease Diagnosis and Treatment Center of Shandong Province, Jinan, 250013 China.


No funding was received to support this work.

Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jinan City Hospital for Skin Diseases Prevention and TreatmentJinanChina
  2. 2.Shandong Provincial Institute of Dermatology and VenereologyShandong Acdemy of Medical SciencesJinanChina

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