backup og meta
Health Screening
Ask Doctor
Table of Content

Griseofulvin (antifungal agent)

Written by Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD · Pharmacology

Updated Jun 29, 2021

Griseofulvin is an antifungal medication that fights skin infections caused by dermatophytes.


Know the basics

What is griseofulvin used for?

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

How should I take griseofulvin?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

To make swallowing easier, you may crush the Gris-PEG tablet and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. It may take up several weeks before your symptoms improve. Nail infections can take several months to clear completely.

Griseofulvin will not treat a bacterial or fungal infection, or a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.

If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests at your doctor’s office.

How do I store griseofulvin?

This product is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer. 

There may be different brands of this drug that may have different storage needs. So, it is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, it is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using griseofulvin?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Taking any other medicines. This includes any prescription, OTC, and herbal remedies.
  • An allergy to any of the ingredients of this product.
  • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Is it safe to take griseofulvin during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There is strong evidence that shows this drug can cause harm during pregnancy and breastfeeding. This drug is contraindicated (not allowed). In addition, men and women must use contraception (e.g. pills, condoms) to avoid pregnancy. Men should avoid impregnating a women for at least 6 months after therapy. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking any medication.

This medication is pregnancy risk category X according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown
  • Know the side effects

    What are the side effects of griseofulvin?

    Like all drugs, this product may have side effects. If they occur, side effects are generally mild and resolve once treatment is finished or the dose is lowered. Some reported side effects include:

    • Photosensitivity
    • Skin rash or irritation
    • Fatigue
    • GI distress
    • Diarrhea
    • Dry mouth
    • Oral thrush
    • Headache
    • Dizziness
    • Loss of coordination
    • Insomnia
    • Drowsiness

    Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of thesesevere adverse reactions:

    • SJS, TEN
    • SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus)
    • Extreme photosensitivity
    • Liver toxicity

    However, not everyone experiences these side effects. In addition, some people may experience other side effects. So, if you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

    Know the interactions

    What drugs may interact with griseofulvin?

    This medication may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. 

    To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. 

    Drugs with known interactions:

    • Coumarin anticoagulants
    • Oral contraceptives
    • Cicosporin
    • Salicylates (e.g. aspirin)
    • Phenylbutazole
    • Barbiturates
    • Other sedative-hypnotics (e.g. antihistamines)

    If you experience an adverse drug interaction, inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Approaches include dose adjustment, drug substitution, or ending therapy.

    Does food or alcohol interact with griseofulvin?

    This drug may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this drug because it will worsen the side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

    What health conditions may interact with griseofulvin?

    This drug may interact with underlying conditions. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. Therefore, it is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

    • Liver impairment
    • SLE
    • Porphyria

    Understand the dosage

    The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

    What is the dose for an adult?


    Oral dosage forms: Take 0.5 to 1 gram per day. Duration of treatment depends on the causative agent.

    • Tinea corporis (ringworm): 2 to 4 weeks
    • T. capitis (scalp ringworm) or T. pedis (athlete’s foot): 4 to 8 weeks; 8 to 12 weeks for refractory cases
    • T. unguium (onychomycosis, nail infection): 4 to 6 months

    For topical dosage forms, apply 1 spray (0.4 mg) up tp 3 sprays (1.2 mg) once a day to treat T. pedis. Continue the treatment for 10 days after the last lesion has appeared, up to 4 weeks.

    What is the dose for a child?


    Oral dosage forms: Give 10 mg per kg of body weight per day, in divided doses.

    • Tinea corporis (ringworm): 2 to 4 weeks
    • T. capitis (scalp ringworm) or T. pedis (athlete’s foot): 4 to 8 weeks; 8 to 12 weeks for refractory cases
    • T. unguium (onychomycosis, nail infection): 4 to 6 months

    What dosage form does Griseofulvin come in?

    • Oral suspension: 125 mg/5 mL
    • Tablet: 125 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg
    • Topical spray: 1%

    What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

    In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

    What should I do if I miss a dose?

    If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Written by

    Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD


    Updated Jun 29, 2021

    advertisement iconadvertisement

    Was this article helpful?

    advertisement iconadvertisement
    advertisement iconadvertisement