Butenafine (Topical)

Butenafine is a topical solution that is prescribed to treat various fungus infections, such as athlete's foot, or ringworm of the body, groin or chest.

Overview

Butenafine is available as a prescription from a doctor in the form of a cream that is applied directly to the affected area.

Butenafine works by destroying the fungus that has caused the infection and prevents the growth of further fungus.

Ringworm – also known as tinea – is a common infection that affects various parts of the body. Although it is not a serious condition, it is highly contagious, so treatment should be sought for it as soon as possible. In the meantime, those affected with the condition should refrain from contact with others, and should prevent the infection spreading by not sharing towels or clothing, and washing bed linen regularly. The condition is characterized by its appearance of round, silvery or red patches of skin. It can resemble tracks left by worms – hence its name – although it has nothing to do with worms.

Ringworm conditions can be unpleasant and irritating, and sufferers may experience symptoms such as itchiness, inflammation, scaly skin and soreness of the affected area. It is caused by contact with other infected people, as well as through contact with household pets such as dogs and cats. It is commonly contracted in public areas such as swimming pools and changing rooms, particularly in the feet (athlete's foot).

Ringworm is often first treated with a topical cream such as butenafine. If it persists and the patient does not respond to the cream, tablets can also be prescribed.

Butenafide is also known by its brand name Mentax in the United States.

Conditions treated

  • Fungus infections
  • Athlete's foot (ringworm in the feet)
  • Tinea corporis (ringworm in the body)
  • Jock itch (ringworm in the groin)
  • Tinea versicolor (fungus infections on the back, chest and shoulders)

Type of medicine

  • Topical – cream

Side effects

As with any cream, there may be various side effects that you experience as a result of taking this medication. Severe side effects are very rare in those taking butenafine. However, patients should report any that are persistent or uncomfortable. These side effects are rare, and most people can take this medication without any uncomfortable implications. Side effects that may occur include:

  • Skin rashes, to any part of the body
  • Blistering of the skin
  • Burning, itching or irritation of the skin
  • Swelling in any part of the body
  • Oozing at the area of the infection
  • Stinging
  • Redness of the skin

You should always monitor your body closely for any changes when taking any medication, including mild topical creams such as this one. If you notice any unpleasant or uncomfortable changes, do not ignore them. Instead, report them to your doctor as soon as possible, as the treatment may not be suitable for you. In these rare cases, there are other medications that may be more suited to you.

Dosage

Butenafine contains one percent of its active ingredient and should be applied to the affected area once or twice every day for a period of two weeks – for average cases of the condition. If there are no improvements in the condition after this period, you should tell your doctor and an alternative treatment may be sought, including the possibility of an antibiotic tablet.

Some cases of ringworm are more persistent or severe, depending on the area of the body that is affected. In the case of tinea pedis (athlete's foot), the condition is usually more persistent and therefore the treatment should be carried on for a total of four weeks. The cream should be applied to the affected area of the foot, and in the areas between the toes, twice per day throughout this period. It should be applied once in the morning and once at night. To aid the healing process, patients should wear footwear that is well-fitted and well-ventilated. Shoes and socks should not be worn consecutively for more than one day at a time. Shoes should be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent the infection from returning or spreading.

The dosage recommended of butenafine is usually the same for children as it is for adults.

Patients should continue to take the full treatment of butenafine, even if they notice that their symptoms have improved or gone away completely. Even if the infection appears to have gone away, there can still be traces of it on the skin. The full treatment cycle of four weeks for athlete's foot and two weeks for fungal infections on other parts of the body needs to be adhered to in order to fully eradicate the condition and stop it spreading to other people.

Major drug Interactions

Butenafine is a fairly mild medication and therefore there are no known interactions with the cream. An interaction occurs when one drug reacts with another to cause unwanted or unknown side effects. You should always be upfront with your doctor about any other medications you are taking. This will help to prevent interactions taking place between the medicines you are taking.

Although there are no known interactions with this topical cream, it doesn't mean that there are none that exist. You can help to reduce the risk of interactions by telling your doctor your full medical history, including any other conditions you suffer from, and any potentially negative lifestyle habits you may have (such as drinking alcohol, drug abuse or smoking).

Warnings

Children under 12 years old

The safety of using this product for children under the age of 12 is not known. Therefore, doctors should proceed with caution when prescribing it to this age group. The side effects on younger patients may be more severe, and therefore a smaller amount may be recommended instead of the regular adult dose.

Usage

This cream is only intended for application directly onto the affected area of skin. Patients must not consume it orally or insert it into any other parts of the body. If you consume any of the cream via the mouth, urgent medical attention should be sought.

Storage

This cream should be stored at any temperature between five and 30 degrees centigrade. It should always be kept in its original tube and that tube should be regularly cleaned after applications. Do not touch the skin with the nozzle of the tube; instead, apply a small amount to a clean finger and apply onto the skin with the finger. Wash your hands thoroughly after use to prevent the fungal infection from spreading; you should use an anti-bacterial hand wash as well as a hand sanitizer after touching the affected area.

Always keep your medication out of the reach of children. This drug is extremely harmful to children if consumed orally and should be kept ideally in a locked medicine cabinet or on a high shelf.

Disposal

Do not use your cream if it becomes out of date. You should throw the tube away after you have finished your course of treatment. The safest way to dispose of unwanted medicines is through a designated medicine take-back scheme, run by the FDA. However, when no such scheme is available to you, you can dispose of the cream in the regular trash. You should mix it with an undesirable substance like cat litter or dirt, place it in a sealable plastic bag and then throw straight away.

Summary

Butenafine is generally a safe and effective drug with little to no side effects in the vast majority of patients. Just one percent of patients experience any side effects, and those that do experience any often only suffer from mild skin irritations. Controlled clinical trials have been carried out on human patients, at which none have had to be withdrawn from the treatment.

In cases of extreme fungal infection, this medication may not be strong enough to eradicate all symptoms and prevent the disease from returning. In these cases, oral methods of drug administration may be sought and strong drugs may be prescribed to prevent the spread of infection.

Patients can help to aid the effectiveness of their butenafine prescription by adopting rigorous hygiene and application regimes. In order for the drug to have maximum effect, it is very important that the affected area is cleaned and dried before application. It is also equally important for the patient to wash hands thoroughly before and after application, and also keep the nozzle of the tube away from the affected area of skin.

This medication is popular as a first treatment for fungal infections, due to its low risk, mild side effects and ease of application. There is little to no need of monitoring or intervention by a health care professional, except if the drug is misused by being taken orally, or being inserted into other areas of the body for which it is not intended.

The use of this medication, along with personal hygiene advice for a health care professional, is usually enough to get rid of a bout of fungal infections. The majority of people who follow the usage instructions and their doctor's advice will not see their infection return. However, those patients that are prone to picking up fungal infections may benefit more from a stronger treatment method.

Although this medication produces very few side effects and adverse reactions, it should still only be used by the patient for which it was intended. Fungal infections are very easily spread, so any bacteria on one person's prescription cream can easily cause infection in another person. Topical cream can reach an expiry date soon after it is opened, so patients must not attempt to recycle it for their own use or others'.

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Last Reviewed:
December 23, 2017
Last Updated:
April 04, 2018
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