Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Welcome to our big nail fungus tablets test 2021. Here we present all the nail fungus tablets that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best nail fungus tablets for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy nail fungus tablets.

The most important facts in brief

  • Nail fungus tablets contain one of three possible active ingredients: fluconazole, itraconazole and terbinafine. All of the active ingredients mentioned are effective against fungi, which are also called dermatophytes.
  • There are several types of nail fungus. Depending on the active ingredient used, it is possible to combat a specific type of fungus.
  • Nail fungi are characterised by a discolouration of the toenails, which usually have a yellow tinge or white spots. The nails look unnatural and many people feel embarrassed when they are visible to the public.

The Best Nail Fungus Tablets: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying nail fungus tablets

What is meant by the term nail fungus?

Nail fungus is a disease that involves an infection of the toenails or fingernails. A distinction is made between three different types of fungus:

  • Dermatophytes (thread fungi)
  • Yeast fungi (sprout fungi)
  • Moulds (filamentous fungi)


Many people in Europe are affected by nail fungus. (Image source: / rebeccavc34)

Dermatophytes are a specific type of fungus that are triggered by the fungal infection dermatophytosis. Yeasts are considered unicellular fungi and spread mainly by sprouting or dividing. Moulds, on the other hand, act like classic mould and are filamentous.

Nail fungi are basically caused by impurities. Public swimming pools where people walk barefoot or in gyms where already used towels are used or fitness equipment with sweat stains is used are particularly known for their increased risk of fungal infections. In addition, diseases such as diabetes or AIDS favour infection. The reason for this is the weakening of the immune system.

The harder it is for the body to defend itself against foreign bodies, the more susceptible it is to all pathogens. In addition, warm and humid conditions favour infection. Shoes that have absorbed sweat due to prolonged wear and also accumulate warm air are a frequent trigger of nail fungus. In addition, prolonged antibiotic therapy is also a common cause.

Nail fungus itself is an extremely common disease; 5 -12 % of European citizens are affected by nail fungus.

How can nail fungus tablets help?

Nail fungus tablets contain active ingredients that can effectively fight nail fungus. The intake varies from product to product, but in most cases it takes several weeks. The infected nail must then be replaced with a new healthy nail. In some cases, the treatment can take several months.

A heavy infestation of nail fungus is also suitable for taking nail fungus tablets. However, you should also be aware that successful treatment with tablets is always accompanied by appropriate hygiene measures. You can think of it this way; if you want to do something good for your body (taking the tablets), it is a bad idea to expose your body to dangers at the same time. Poor hygiene measures include using sweat-stained towels or walking barefoot in public swimming pools.

The tablets are taken orally and then dissolved in the intestinal tract. The active substances contained in the tablets are absorbed by the body and distributed throughout the body via the bloodstream. This makes it possible to fight the pathogens from the inside, which is why this is also called systemic therapy in medical circles.

What are the side effects of nail fungus tablets?

Nail fungus tablets must be prescribed by a doctor because they can seriously damage the body if taken incorrectly. In addition, the tablets can cause side effects even if taken correctly. These depend, among other things, on the active ingredients contained in the tablets. The following three active ingredients are used against nail fungus:

  • Fluconazole
  • Itraconazole
  • Terbinafine

The active ingredient fluconazole is considered to be well tolerated. Nevertheless, side effects such as headache, nausea, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and stomach discomfort are a common accompaniment. In addition, other blemishes such as insomnia and a reduction in red blood cells are the result. Allergies and skin rashes are rare but possible.

Itraconazole is in principle harmless. However, side effects cannot be ruled out with this active substance either. Problems in the gastrointestinal tract are not uncommon. This can lead to abdominal pain and nausea, for example. Extremely rare are severe consequences such as extreme allergic reactions or considerable liver damage.

When taking terbinafine, side effects such as headaches can also result in loss of appetite, for example. In a few cases, liver dysfunction, muscle and joint pain and allergic reactions may also occur.

Are nail fungus tablets compatible with alcohol consumption?

Medical experts have different opinions on whether and to what extent alcohol consumption during the period in which nail fungus tablets are taken is harmless to health. The reason for this is that the trigger of nail fungus infections can have different causes.

Therefore, some experts recommend a special diet. Nevertheless, especially the reduction of glucose-containing drinks is said to play an important role. Consequently, this can curb the multiplication of nail fungus pathogens. Therefore, it is advisable to completely stop alcohol consumption during the intake phase. Not to mention, alcohol consumption can limit the effect of the tablets.

Decision: What types of nail fungus tablets are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between four different types of nail fungus remedies:

  • Nail fungus varnish
  • Nail fungus tablets
  • Nail fungus cream/ointments
  • Nail fungus capsules

In the following, we explain the different types and their respective advantages and disadvantages. In this way, we want to help you find the best nail fungus remedy for you.

What is nail fungus varnish and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

A nail fungus varnish is, as the name already suggests, a nail varnish that has the task of combating nail fungus. Such a nail polish is available in every pharmacy and numerous drugstores, as it is not subject to prescription. It is also available on online sales platforms such as Amazon or eBay.

  • Non-prescription
  • wide variety of products
  • relatively low threat of possible side effects
  • Effect is low as only the nail surface is treated
  • Treats only the nail, not the surrounding skin

What are nail fungus tablets and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Nail fungus tablets are tablets with the active ingredients fluconazole, itraconazole or terbinafine. The tablets must be prescribed by a doctor because they can cause moderate to severe side effects if used incorrectly and generally some pre-existing conditions. Nail fungus tablets are extremely effective against nail fungus because they fight the infection from the inside.

  • Highly effective
  • Quick to take
  • Also effective against severe nail fungus
  • May cause moderate to severe side effects
  • Prescription only

What are nail fungus creams/ointments and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Nail fungus ointments are applied to the surface of the affected nail and thus fight the pathogens on the applied surface. Creams have a little more water, which is why they have a somewhat cooling effect. However, the ointments/creams are only recommended in cases of minor spreading.

  • Non-prescription
  • Treats surrounding skin as well
  • Wide variety of products
  • Effect often not strong enough for severe nail fungus

What are nail fungus capsules and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Nail fungus capsules are taken orally and are very similar to tablets in their effect. The capsule shell is usually made of gelatine, which protects the ingredients until they reach the stomach. They are then distributed via the bloodstream. In contrast to tablets, the substances only unfold after a certain time.

  • Highly effective
  • Also effective against severe nail fungus
  • Tasteless
  • Associated with moderate to strong side effects
  • Prescription required
  • Cannot be taken without liquid

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate nail fungus tablets

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to compare and evaluate nail fungus tablets. This will make it easier for you to get an overview and decide on a suitable and effective product.

In summary, these are the following criteria:

  • Dose
  • Ingredient(s)
  • Quantity

In the following, you can read about the respective criteria and find out why it makes sense for you to purchase a product based on the criteria or not.


The dose tells you how much of the active ingredient is present in a single tablet. In principle, the higher the dose, the more effectively the nail fungus can be combated.

However, a relatively high dose may be inadvisable for some people, for example in the case of certain pre-existing conditions or a weak immune system. The reason for this is the possible side effects, which, as already mentioned, are more likely in such cases and are in principle more intense.

As the tablets are prescription-only anyway, it is essential to seek advice from your doctor. He or she can best judge which dose is optimal for you.


Depending on whether you have any pre-existing conditions, and if so, which ones, the doctor will decide which of the three active ingredients mentioned above is best for you. The reason for this can be explained in two points:

  • Possible pre-existing conditions and the state of the immune system
  • The type of nail fungus infection

To address the former; the three different agents can be accompanied by different side effects. Itraconazole, for example, is known for side effects that specifically affect the gastrointestinal tract. In the case of terbinafine, for example, joint and muscle problems are particularly typical.

To address the second point; in most cases, dermatophytes are responsible for the spread of the disease. In very few cases, the cause is yeasts and moulds. In these cases, terbinafine is useless. However, the two other active substances are suitable here.


Quantity is an important criterion for the optimal treatment of nail fungus. Since, especially in cases of intensive spreading of the pathogens, the tablets are sometimes administered for several months, a certain supply is necessary.

For most products, the doctor recommends taking one tablet per day. In some cases, a period of administration of up to six months is necessary to completely eliminate the nail fungus. In such cases, a product with the largest possible quantity is recommended.

Facts worth knowing about nail fungus tablets

Nail fungus tablets in combination with nail polish and co.

Nail fungus tablets can also be used in combination with other products against the infection, such as varnish, creams and ointments. However, you should discuss the extent to which this makes sense with your doctor. In general, these have a reduced potential for side effects, but these can be quite serious in combination with the tablets.

Nail fungus on the finger

Nail fungus is not only a disease that can affect the feet. Fingers can also be affected, and the disease is also considered highly contagious. The most common trigger of nail fungus on the fingers belongs to the genus "Trichophyton rubrum". The nail plate is colonised with these fungi.

The most common substance to which the pathogens cling is the so-called keratin. This substance is mainly found on the hair and the skin surface, which is why rapid spreading is not uncommon.

These pathogens settle particularly in warm, moist regions of the body. Interestingly, the infestation of fungal colonisation is often only recognised when it has already spread to the majority of the nail. Typical symptoms are a nail bed with a white-yellowish discolouration, a thickening of the nail plate and a dull and brittle nail.

At what point are nail fungus tablets recommended?

If the fungal infection is not yet so intense, experts recommend preparations with a lower degree of effectiveness such as varnish, creams or ointments as the first remedy. These are less harmful from a health point of view and are often sufficient to contain the infection. The widely used guideline is:

  • As long as the nail root has not been infected
  • Only individual nails are affected
  • No more than half of the nail has been affected by the infection

In addition, experts always advise against taking nail fungus tablets in childhood. The background to this is, among other things, the relatively thin nails that are common in children. Therefore, the use of creams or ointments is recommended. In addition, children have a higher chance of success than adults.

In the case of a high spread of the infection, in most cases only medication such as nail fungus tablets will help. If the nail root is also affected, tablets are often the only option.

Picture source: / markusspiske

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