Griseofulvin for fungal infections

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Griseofulvin for fungal infections

This leaflet is about the use of griseofulvin for fungal infections of the hair, skin or nails.

Information Standard quality markThis leaflet has been written specifically about the use of this medicine in children. The information may differ from that provided by the manufacturer. Please read this leaflet carefully. Keep it somewhere safe so that you can read it again.

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Why is it important to take this medicine?

Griseofulvin stops fungus cells from infecting new hair, skin or nails, which helps to get rid of the fungal infection. This process is slow, so it may take several weeks for a skin or hair infection to clear up, and up to a year for a nail infection to clear up.

What is griseofulvin available as?

  • Tablets: 125 mg, 500 mg

When should I give griseofulvin?

Griseofulvin is usually given once each day. This can be in the morning OR the evening.

Give the medicine at about the same time each day so that this becomes part of your child’s daily routine, which will help you to remember.

How much should I give?

Your doctor will work out the amount of griseofulvin (the dose) that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label. 

Your doctor may reduce the dose as the infection gets better. Do not reduce the dose unless your doctor tells you to.

It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions about how much to give.

How should I give it?

TabletsTablets should be swallowed with a glass of water, milk or juice. Your child should not chew the tablet.

When should the medicine start working?

Griseofulvin starts to work straight away but it may take a few days or even weeks before you see a difference. As your child’s hair, skin or nails grow you will be able to see that the new part is not infected.

It is important that your child takes the whole course of the medicine that has been prescribed, until your doctor says they should stop. Do not stop early.

What if my child is sick (vomits)?

  • If your child is sick less than 30 minutes after having a dose of griseofulvin, give them the same dose again.
  • If your child is sick more than 30 minutes after having a dose of griseofulvin you do not need to give them another dose. Wait until the next normal dose.

If your child is sick again, seek advice from your GP, pharmacist or hospital. They will decide what to do based on your child’s condition and the specific medicine involved.

What if I forget to give it?

If you usually give it once a day in the morning
Give the missed dose when you remember during the day, as long as this is at least 12 hours before the next dose is due.

If you normally give it once a day in the evening
If you remember before bedtime, give the missed dose. You do not need to wake up a sleeping child to give a missed dose. You can give the missed dose in the morning, as long as this is at least 12 hours before the evening dose is due.

What if I give too much?

You are unlikely to do harm if you give an extra dose of griseofulvin by mistake. If you are concerned that you may have given too much, contact your doctor or local NHS services (111 in England and Scotland; 0845 4647 in Wales). Have the medicine or packaging with you if you telephone for advice.

Are there any possible side-effects? 

We use medicines to make our children better, but sometimes they have other effects that we don’t want (side-effects). 

Side effects you must do something about

If your child’s skin starts to turn red then blister or peel, contact your doctor straight away, as they may be having a reaction to griseofulvin.

If your child gets a yellowish tinge to the skin or whites of the eyes, contact your doctor straight away, as (very rarely) there may be a problem with your child’s liver.

  • If your child seems to be getting more infections than usual and takes longer than usual to fight these off, contact your doctor, as (very rarely) there may be a problem with your child’s blood.
Other side-effects you need to know about
  • Your child may feel sick or be sick (vomit) or have diarrhoea when they first start to take griseofulvin, and they may get headaches or feel dizzy. If these side-effects are still a problem after about 2 weeks, contact your doctor.
  • Your child may seem less alert than normal, and may say that they cannot think clearly, or their coordination may be affected. It may help to give the medicine in the evening rather than the morning.
  • Your child’s skin may become more sensitive to sunlight. Keep them out of strong sun. When outdoors, they should wear a long-sleeved top, trousers and a hat and should use a high-factor sun screen (at least SPF 30).  It is particularly important to avoid sunburn.

There may, sometimes, be other side-effects that are not listed above. If you notice anything unusual and are concerned, contact your doctor. You can report any suspected side-effects to a UK safety scheme at http://www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.

Can other medicines be given at the same time as griseofulvin?

  • You can give your child medicines that contain paracetamol or ibuprofen, unless your doctor has told you not to.
  • Griseofulvin should not be taken with some medicines that you get on prescription. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about any other medicines your child is taking before giving griseofulvin.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving any other medicines to your child. This includes herbal or complementary medicines.

Is there anything else I need to know about this medicine?

It usually takes a few weeks for a skin or hair infection to clear up and it can take up to a year for a nail infection to clear up. Your child must take the medicine until your doctor says they should stop. Griseofulvin works by stopping the fungal cells growing and multiplying. If you stop giving the medicine too soon, the fungal cells that are left will start to multiply again and the infection will come back.

  • If your child takes griseofulvin for a long time, your doctor may test their blood to check that the medicine has not affected their liver or blood.
  • Griseofulvin may harm an unborn baby. If your daughter is sexually active, it is very important that she uses adequate contraception to prevent unplanned pregnancy, and continues to use it for at least 1 month after stopping the treatment. The oral contraceptive pill can be used safely in woman or girls taking griseofulvin, but it may be less effective, so your daughter must discuss this with her doctor.
  • If your daughter thinks that she may be pregnant, it is important that she sees your family doctor as soon as possible. She should keep taking her medicine until she sees her doctor.
  • If your son is sexually active, he must use barrier contraception such as condoms while taking griseofulvin and for at least 6 months after stopping treatment. This is because griseofulvin may damage sperm, which means that a baby could be harmed.

General advice about medicines

  • Try to give medicines at about the same times each day, to help you remember.
  • If you are not sure a medicine is working, contact your doctor but continue to give the medicine as usual in the meantime. Do not give extra doses, as you may do harm.
  • Only give this medicine to your child. Never give it to anyone else, even if their condition appears to be the same, as this could do harm. 

If you think someone else may have taken the medicine by accident, contact your doctor straight away.

  • Make sure that you always have enough medicine. Order a new prescription at least 2 weeks before you will run out.
  • Make sure that the medicine you have at home has not reached the ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date on the packaging. Give old medicines to your pharmacist to dispose of.

Where should I keep this medicine?

  • Keep the medicine in a cupboard, away from heat and direct sunlight. It does not need to be kept in the fridge.
  • Make sure that children cannot see or reach the medicine.
  • Keep the medicine in the container it came in.

Who to contact for more information 

Your doctor, pharmacist or nurse will be able to give you more information about griseofulvin and about other medicines used to treat fungal infections.

You can also get useful information from: 
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