Molecule Description

Griseofulvin is an antifungal agent. It kills the fungi that cause infections of...
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Uses of Griseofulvin

  • It is used in the treatment of athlete’s foot (tinea pedis)
  • Griseofulvin can also be used for treatment of similar ‘tinea infections’ such as:
  • Tinea capitis (fungal infection of the skin of the scalp, eyebrows)
  • Tinea corporis (ringworm infection of the hands and legs)
  • Tinea cruris (also called jock itch – affects the skin of the genitals, thighs, buttocks)
  • Tinea ungium (fungal infection of the nails or onychomycosis)
  • Tinea barbae (fungus affects the beard and mustache areas of the face)

Contraindications of Griseofulvin

When should one not use Griseofulvin

  • If you have an allergy to Griseofulvin or any of the components of the medicine
  • If you are suffering from liver disease and porphyria (a condition where blood-forming proteins are defective and accumulate, resulting in purplish patches on the skin)
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Side effects of Griseofulvin

Common side effects of this drug are:

  • Headache
  • Nausea, vomiting, loose motions
  • Rashes, Sensitivity to light (photosensitivity)
  • Decrease in a particular type of white blood cells (granulocytopenia)
  • Blistering and peeling of the skin
  • Lumpy skin with or without a weeping liquid
  • Reddening and burning of the skin
  • Lower back pain
  • Very pale urine, yellowing of the skin

Precautions and Warnings of Griseofulvin


Can I take Griseofulvin during pregnancy?
It is not recommended in pregnancy. It may harm your body.

Breast Feeding

Can I take Griseofulvin while breastfeeding?
It is not advised to breastfeed during the treatment. It may harm the newborn baby.


Can I drive if I have consumed Griseofulvin?
Griseofulvin may not affect your ability to drive. But if you have any symptoms like dizziness, spinning of the head, weakness of hands and legs, or any rashes that are causing discomfort, you are advised not to drive.


Can I consume alcohol with Griseofulvin?
Consumption of alcohol while taking Griseofulvin is not recommended as it can cause s potential side effects such as feeling very sick, red skin, and giddiness.

Other General Warnings

Talk to your doctor if
  • You are suffering from a rare painful skin and tissue disease called Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
  • You experience severe skin reactions because your skin may become more sensitive to sunlight or ultraviolet (UV) light when taking this medicine
  • You consume alcohol during the treatment, you may feel sick, may be ill, an irregular heartbeat, and chest or abdominal pain

Mode of Action of Griseofulvin

How Does It Work?

Griseofulvin works by stopping the growth and multiplication of the fungus (trichophyton) that causes athlete’s foot, and thus cures the disease.

Interactions of Griseofulvin

Interactions with other medicines

  • Medicine used after organ transplantation (Ciclosporin)
  • Medicines to thin your blood like Warfarin
  • Medicines used to treat addiction (Methadone)
  • Pain killers (Phenyl Butazone)
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Medicines used to treat convulsions (Primidone)
  • Doxecalciferol, a vitamin D supplement
  • Medicines used for sedation, or relief of anxiety

Interactions with food items

Use Griseofulvin with a meal, as it will increase absorption.

Dosage of Griseofulvin


Accidental overdose may not be harmful. But inform your doctor if you develop any side effects like skin rashes, sensitivity to light, spinning of the head, weakness, and numbness of hands and feet.

Missed a Dose

Take the missed dose as early as you remember. Skip the missed dose and do not take extra medicine to compensate for the missed dose.

Content Details


Dr. Ritu Budania

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: How long should I take Griseofulvin?

A: Duration of treatment with Griseofulvin depends upon the condition and may vary from 2-4 weeks to 4-6 months. In case of athlete’s foot, Griseofulvin may have to be used for 4-8 weeks.

Q: Is there anything else I should know while using Griseofulvin?

A: Griseofulvin may render hormonal contraceptives less effective. Hence seek advice from your doctor as you may have to use condom, loop, etc. (instead of pills) to avoid pregnancy while you are taking Griseofulvin. Griseofulvin must not be given to a child younger than 2 years of age or a child weighing less than 18 kg.
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)

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