Griseofulvin side effects in children

Medically reviewed by on Oct 15, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

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What is griseofulvin?

Griseofulvin is an antifungal medicine that is used to treat infections such as ringworm, athlete’s foot, jock itch, and fungal infections of the scalp, fingernails, or toenails.

Griseofulvin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not use griseofulvin if you have porphyria or liver failure.

Taking griseofulvin during the first 3 months of pregnancy may harm the unborn baby.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use griseofulvin if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • liver failure;

  • porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system); or

  • if you are pregnant or may become pregnant.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • liver disease;

  • lupus; or

  • an allergy to penicillin.

Taking griseofulvin during the first 3 months of pregnancy may cause birth defects. Do not take griseofulvin if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine.

Griseofulvin can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormonal birth control (condom, diaphragm, cervical cap, or contraceptive sponge) to prevent pregnancy.

You should not breastfeed while using griseofulvin.

Griseofulvin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 2 years old.

How should I take griseofulvin?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose as your infection improves. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Tell your doctor if you cannot swallow a tablet whole. You may be able to crush the tablet and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow the mixture right away without chewing. Do not save it for later use.

While treating a fungal skin or nail infection, keep the skin areas as clean and dry as possible.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication.

Griseofulvin will not treat a bacterial or viral infection such as the flu or a common cold. Griseofulvin also will not treat certain types of fungal infections, including yeast infections.

It may take up several weeks before your symptoms improve. Nail infections can take several months to clear completely.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.

If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking griseofulvin?

Avoid covering affected skin areas with tight-fitting, synthetic clothing (such as nylon or polyester clothing, or plastic pants) that does not allow air to circulate to your skin. If you are treating athlete’s foot, wear clean cotton socks and sandals or shoes that allow for air circulation. Keep your feet as dry as possible.

Griseofulvin could make you sunburn more easily. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Drinking alcohol with griseofulvin can cause side effects.

Griseofulvin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands or feet;

  • confusion, trouble with daily activities;

  • fever, chills, flu symptoms, white patches or sores inside your mouth or throat;

  • liver problems–loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • kidney problems–little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath, foamy urine;

  • lupus-like symptoms–muscle or joint pain, flu symptoms, chest pain, and a rash or patchy skin color that worsens in sunlight; or

  • signs of stomach bleeding–bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea;

  • headache, tiredness;

  • rash;

  • sleep problems (insomnia); or

  • dizziness.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Griseofulvin dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Onychomycosis — Fingernail:

Microsize formulation: 1000 mg/day orally in 2 to 4 divided doses
Ultramicrosize formulation: 660 to 750 mg/day orally in 2 to 4 divided doses

Usual Adult Dose for Onychomycosis — Toenail:

Microsize formulation: 1000 mg/day orally in 2 to 4 divided doses
Ultramicrosize formulation: 660 to 750 mg/day orally in 2 to 4 divided doses

Usual Adult Dose for Tinea Pedis:

Microsize formulation: 1000 mg/day orally in 2 to 4 divided doses
Ultramicrosize formulation: 660 to 750 mg/day orally in 2 to 4 divided doses

Usual Adult Dose for Tinea Barbae:

Microsize formulation: 500 mg/day orally in single or 2 divided doses
Ultramicrosize formulation: 330 to 375 mg/day orally in single or divided doses

Usual Adult Dose for Tinea Capitis:

Microsize formulation: 500 mg/day orally in single or 2 divided doses
Ultramicrosize formulation: 330 to 375 mg/day orally in single or divided doses

Usual Adult Dose for Tinea Corporis:

Microsize formulation: 500 mg/day orally in single or 2 divided doses
Ultramicrosize formulation: 330 to 375 mg/day orally in single or divided doses

Usual Adult Dose for Tinea Cruris:

Microsize formulation: 500 mg/day orally in single or 2 divided doses
Ultramicrosize formulation: 330 to 375 mg/day orally in single or divided doses

Usual Pediatric Dose for Dermatophytosis:

Microsize formulation:
1 year or older: 10 to 20 mg/kg/day orally in single or divided doses, not to exceed 1000 mg/day
Ultramicrosize formulation:
2 years or younger: Dosage has not been established.
Greater than 2 years: 5 to 15 mg/kg/day in single or divided doses, not to exceed 750 mg/day

What other drugs will affect griseofulvin?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Other drugs may affect griseofulvin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.01.

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More about griseofulvin

  • Side Effects
  • During Pregnancy
  • Dosage Information
  • Drug Images
  • Drug Interactions
  • Pricing & Coupons
  • En Español
  • 14 Reviews
  • Drug class: miscellaneous antifungals
  • FDA Alerts (1)

Consumer resources

  • Griseofulvin Microsize Tablets
  • Griseofulvin Ultramicrosize Tablets
  • Griseofulvin Microsize Oral Suspension
  • Griseofulvin (Advanced Reading)

Other brands: Grifulvin V, Fulvicin P/G, Fulvicin U/F, Gris-PEG

Professional resources

  • Griseofulvin (AHFS Monograph)
  • … +4 more

Related treatment guides

  • Onychomycosis, Fingernail
  • Dermatophytosis
  • Onychomycosis, Toenail
  • Tinea Barbae
  • … +4 more

About griseofulvin

Type of medicine Antifungal
Used for Fungal infections
Available as Tablets and oral liquid medicine, skin spray

Griseofulvin is a medicine which is used to treat fungal infections. It is mainly prescribed for infections occurring on the skin or scalp. It is prescribed in particular for an infection called scalp ringworm (also called tinea capitis). It is also used to treat some nail infections, especially when other more frequently prescribed treatments are not suitable for some reason.

Griseofulvin is also available from pharmacies as an over-the-counter skin spray. This product is sprayed directly on to the skin for the treatment of athlete’s foot. If using this product follow the pharmacist’s advice and refer to the manufacturer’s leaflet provided with the medicine.

The rest of this leaflet is about taking griseofulvin by mouth as a tablet or oral liquid medicine.

Before taking griseofulvin

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking griseofulvin it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby, or breastfeeding.
  • If you have problems with the way your liver works.
  • If you have an inflammatory condition called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Griseofulvin can make this condition worse.
  • If you have a rare inherited blood disorder called porphyria.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
  • If you, or your partner, are using hormonal methods of contraception (‘the pill’).
  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.

How to take griseofulvin

  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer’s printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The manufacturer’s leaflet will give you more information about griseofulvin and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take griseofulvin exactly as your doctor tells you to. The usual dose for adults is 500-1000 mg each day. This can often be taken as a single daily dose, although your doctor may recommend that you take it divided into smaller doses spaced throughout the day. Doses for children depend upon the weight of the child. Children may be prescribed low-strength (125 mg) tablets to take, or oral liquid medicine.
  • Swallow the tablets whole with a drink of water. It is important that you take your doses of griseofulvin after a meal or snack. This is because the presence of food in your stomach helps your body to absorb the medicine properly.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the forgotten dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed one.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress. Treatment with griseofulvin may last from a few weeks to several months. It is important that you continue to take it until the infection has completely cleared, and then for a further two weeks afterwards.
  • If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice about drinking whilst taking griseofulvin. Griseofulvin can increase the effects of alcohol and may not be recommended for you.
  • You must avoid getting pregnant or fathering a child while you are taking griseofulvin. In addition, women should avoid getting pregnant for at least a month after the treatment has finished, and men should avoid fathering a child for at least six months afterwards.
  • Make sure you discuss with your doctor which types of contraception are suitable for you and your partner. This is particularly important if you normally rely on hormonal contraception (‘the pill’), as griseofulvin reduces its effectiveness.
  • If you buy or take any over-the-counter medicines, check with your doctor or a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take with griseofulvin.
  • A few people taking griseofulvin find that their skin becomes more sensitive to sunlight. Protect your skin from bright sunlight until you know how your skin reacts, and do not use sunbeds.
  • If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking griseofulvin.

Can griseofulvin cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with griseofulvin. You will find a full list in the manufacturer’s information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Griseofulvin side-effects What can I do if I experience this?
Feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting), diarrhoea Eat simple meals – avoid rich or spicy food. Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluid
Headache Drink plenty of water and ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headaches continue, speak with your doctor
Feeling sleepy or drowsy Do not drive and do not use tools or machines until you feel better. Do not drink alcohol

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store griseofulvin

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Important information about all medicines

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

What is Griseofulvin Ultramicrosize?

It is very important that your doctor should check the progress of you or your child at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.

If your symptoms do not improve, or if they become worse, check with your doctor. You may need to take this medicine for several weeks or months before your infection gets better.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant may cause serious unwanted effects in your newborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you think you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.

Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you or your child have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin; red skin lesions; severe acne or skin rash; sores or ulcers on the skin; or fever or chills while you are using this medicine.

Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you or your child have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach; pale stools; dark urine; loss of appetite; nausea; unusual tiredness or weakness; or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.

Griseofulvin has been shown to cause liver and thyroid tumors in some animals. You and your doctor should discuss the good this medicine will do, as well as the risks of taking it.

Birth control pills containing estrogen may not work properly if you take them while you are taking griseofulvin. Unplanned pregnancies may occur. To keep from getting pregnant, use another form of birth control for up to 1 month after your last treatment. Other forms of birth control include condoms, diaphragms, or contraceptive foams or jellies.

Griseofulvin may increase the effects of alcohol. If taken with alcohol it may also cause fast heartbeat, flushing, increased sweating, or redness of the face. If you have these symptoms, do not drink alcoholic beverages while you are taking this medicine, unless you have checked first with your doctor.

This medicine may cause some people to become dizzy, drowsy, or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do other things that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or are not alert. If these reactions are especially bothersome, check with your doctor.

Griseofulvin may cause your skin to be more sensitive to sunlight than it is normally. Exposure to sunlight, even for brief periods of time, may cause a skin rash, itching, redness or other discoloration of the skin, or a severe sunburn. When you begin taking this medicine:

  • Stay out of direct sunlight, especially between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., if possible.
  • Wear protective clothing, including a hat. Also, wear sunglasses.
  • Apply a sun block product that has a skin protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Some patients may require a product with a higher SPF number, especially if they have a fair complexion. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
  • Apply a sun block lipstick that has an SPF of at least 15 to protect your lips.
  • Do not use a sunlamp or tanning bed or booth.

If you have a severe reaction from the sun, check with your doctor.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter ) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

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