Although superficial fungal infections of the skin often respond to topical agents, systemic therapy is sometimes necessary. This article gives a review of the effectiveness of the oral antifungal agents fluconazole, itraconazole, and terbinafine in the treatment of pityriasis versicolor, tinea corporis/cruris, and tinea pedis. Four hundred milligrams fluconazole as a single dose and 200 mg itraconazole daily for 5 to 7 days were effective in the treatment of pityriasis versicolor; terbinafine taken orally appears to be ineffective in pityriasis versicolor. Tinea corporis and tinea cruris were effectively treated by 50 to 100 mg fluconazole daily or 150 mg once weekly for 2 to 3 weeks, by 100 mg itraconazole daily for 2 weeks or 200 mg daily for 7 days, and by 250 mg terbinafine daily for 1 to 2 weeks. Tinea pedis has been effectively treated with pulse doses of 150 mg fluconazole once weekly, with 100 mg itraconazole daily for 2 weeks or 400 mg daily for 1 week, and with 250 mg terbinafine daily for 2 weeks.
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