Griseofulvin is an antifungal drug that has been used for the treatment of skin infections caused by dermatophytes, a type of fungus. It is classified as an azole-type antifungal with antimicrobial activity.

Griseofulvin is not very commonly prescribed anymore as there are more effective and safer topical treatments available that have fewer side effects.
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What is Griseofulvin used for?

Griseofulvin has been used to treat tinea versicolor, corticosteroid-induced dermatophytosis, tinea corporis, tinea cruris, tinea capitis, tinea pedis, tinea barbae and Paracoccidioidomycosis.

Note that it is not used for other fungal infections like Candida, Histoplasmosis, Blastomycosis, Coccidioidomycosis, aspergillosis, cryptococcosis and other fungal infections.

Griseofulvin has also been used to prevent fungal infections in patients undergoing chemotherapy or with compromised immune systems. This includes people with HIV and transplant patients.

How does Griseofulvin work?

Griseofulvin is an azole antifungal drug that inhibits the formation of the fungal cell wall. The cell wall is the outer structure of the cell that provides structural support to the cell. This prevents the fungus from growing and reproducing.

Griseofulvin has been found to inhibit the enzyme hyaluronan synthase, which is necessary for the fungus to form its cell wall. This leads to more abnormal fungal cell walls, which makes the cell wall more fragile and causes the cell to die.

Side effects of Griseofulvin

The most common side effect of griseofulvin is an itching sensation (pruritus). Other side effects include burning, irritation, peeling and dryness of the skin, stinging and redness of the skin, blisters, rash, and acne.

Less common side effects include headache, dizziness, joint pain, muscle aches, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and black or dark brown urine.

Rare side effects of griseofulvin include increased sensitivity to sunlight and phototoxicity, kidney or liver problems, fever, and rash.

Is Griseofulvin effective?


There are conflicting data on the effectiveness of griseofulvin. Compared to other antifungals, griseofulvin is not as effective. It is less effective against tinea corporis and tinea cruris than topical azoles like clotrimazole and terbinafine.

Griseofulvin has a low cure rate for tinea capitis (only 44%) and paracoccidioidomycosis (only 7%). It has a high relapse rate for tinea corporis (about 50%) and paracoccidioidomycosis (about 50%).

Conclusion

Griseofulvin is an antifungal drug that has been used for the treatment of skin infections caused by dermatophytes, a type of fungus. It is classified as an azole-type antifungal with antimicrobial activity.

It inhibits the formation of the fungal cell wall and has been found to inhibit the enzyme hyaluronan synthase, which is necessary for the fungus to form its cell wall. This leads to more abnormal fungal cell walls and causes the cell wall to be more fragile and leads to the cell dying.

The most common side effect of griseofulvin is an itching sensation and other side effects include burning, irritation, peeling and dryness of the skin, stinging and redness of the skin, blisters, rash, and acne.

Less common side effects include headache, dizziness, joint pain, muscle aches, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and black or dark brown urine.

Rare side effects of griseofulvin include increased sensitivity to sunlight and phototoxicity, kidney or liver problems, fever, and rash.

While griseofulvin is not as effective as other antifungals, it has been used to treat a wide variety of skin infections, including fungal infections in patients undergoing chemotherapy or with compromised immune systems.


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