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Generic Name:

griseofulvin, Oral tablet

Generic Name:
Fulvicin P/G,Fulvicin U/F,Grifulvin V,Gris-Peg,Grisactin

griseofulvin, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Fulvicin P/G (Discontinued)
  • Fulvicin U/F (Discontinued)
  • Grifulvin V
  • Gris-Peg
  • Grisactin (Discontinued)
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for griseofulvin

Oral tablet
1

Griseofulvin is used to treat fungal infections of your hair, nails, and skin.

2

This drug comes as a tablet and liquid suspension that you take by mouth.

3

The oral tablet is available as the brand-name drug Gris-PEG. It’s also available as a generic drug. The suspension is only available as a generic drug.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Serious skin reactions

This drug can cause skin reactions. These may be serious and life-threatening. Symptoms can include hives, fever, swelling of your tongue and face, and peeling or blistering of your skin. If you have signs of a skin reaction, stop taking the drug and call your doctor right away.

Liver damage

This drug can cause serious liver damage. This effect is more likely if you use the drug at high doses or for long periods of time. Symptoms can include bruising that happens easily, tiredness, weakness, stomach pain, lack of appetite, and yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

Pregnancy warning

You should not take this drug during pregnancy. There have been two cases of conjoined twins in women who took this drug during pregnancy. Women should use effective birth control during treatment with this drug. Men shouldn’t get a woman pregnant during treatment with this drug. Men should use birth control during treatment and for 6 months after stopping treatment with this drug.

What is griseofulvin?

Griseofulvin is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet and as an oral liquid suspension.

The suspension is only available as a generic drug. The oral tablet is available as the brand-name drug Gris-PEG. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version.

Why it's used

This drug is used to treat fungal infections that can affect different parts of your body. These include your hair, nails, and skin.

How it works

Griseofulvin belongs to a class of drugs called antifungal agents.

See Details

How it works

Griseofulvin belongs to a class of drugs called antifungal agents. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

This drug works by binding to a part of the fungus causing the infection in your body. This stops the fungus from multiplying. This drug also prevents fungus from spreading to new cells. These actions cause the infection to die off.

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SECTION 2 of 4

griseofulvin Side Effects

Oral tablet

More common side effects

The more common side effects of griseofulvin can include:

  • rash

  • numbness or tingling in your hands or feet

  • yeast infections in your mouth

  • stomach pain

  • diarrhea

  • heartburn

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • dizziness

  • headache

  • trouble sleeping

  • confusion

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Severe skin allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

    • swelling of your face or tongue
    • hives
    • skin blisters or peeling
    • fever
  • Liver damage. Symptoms can include:

    • bruising more easily than normal
    • tiredness
    • weakness
    • stomach pain
    • loss of appetite
    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

griseofulvin May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Griseofulvin can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Alcohol interaction

This drug may make you more sensitive to the effects of alcohol. You should not drink alcohol while you’re taking this drug. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Interactions that can make your drugs less effective

When other drugs are less effective: When certain drugs are used with griseofulvin, they may not work as well. This is because the amount of these drugs in your body may be decreased. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Warfarin
    • Your doctor may increase your dosage of warfarin while you’re taking griseofulvin.
  • Birth control pills
    • Your doctor may have you use a second form of birth control that works better. You should not get pregnant during your treatment with this drug.
  • Cyclosporine
    • Your doctor may increase your dosage of cyclosporine while you’re taking griseofulvin.
  • Salicylates such as aspirin and magnesium salicylate

When griseofulvin is less effective: When you take griseofulvin with certain drugs, it may not work as well to treat your condition. This is because the amount of griseofulvin in your body may be decreased. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Barbiturates such as phenobarbital, mephobarbital, and butabarbital
    • Your doctor may increase your dosage of griseofulvin.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
porphyria warning
People with porphyria (a genetic blood disease)

You should not take this drug. It can make your condition worse.

liver problem warning
People with liver problems

This drug can make your condition worse. If you have liver failure, you should not take this drug. If you’re taking other drugs that can cause liver issues, you’re at increased risk of liver problems from this drug. Ask your doctor if this drug is safe for you.

lupus warning
People with lupus

This drug may make your condition worse. Ask your doctor if this drug is safe for you.

pregnancy warning
Pregnant women

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t assigned a pregnancy category to the tablet form of griseofulvin. However, there have been two cases of conjoined twins in women who took this drug during pregnancy. The suspension form of griseofulvin is a category X pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Category X drugs should never be used during pregnancy.
  2. Women of childbearing age should use reliable birth control while taking this drug.

Women who are pregnant should not take any form of griseofulvin. Men also shouldn’t get a woman pregnant during treatment with this drug. Men should use birth control during treatment and for 6 months after stopping treatment with this drug.

breast feeding warning
Women who are breast-feeding

Griseofulvin may pass into breast milk and cause side effects in a child who is breastfed.

Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

childrens warning
For children

This medication has not been studied in children younger than 3 years. It should not be used in people younger than 3 years.

call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor right away if you become pregnant or get a woman pregnant while taking this drug.

allergy warning
Allergies

Griseofulvin can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take griseofulvin (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Fungal infections

Brand: Griseofulvin ultramicrosize

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 125 mg, 250 mg

Brand: Griseofulvin microsize

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg/5 mL

Brand: Gris-PEG ultramicrosize

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 125 mg, 250 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

Griseofulvin and Gris-PEG ultramicrosize:

  • Typical starting dosage: 375 mg in one dose or in divided doses. This dosage is common for infections that are not too severe. These include infections of your scalp, hair, and body.
  • Dosage adjustments: If you have an infection that is harder to treat, such as a foot or nail infection, your doctor may tell you to take 750 mg per day in divided doses.
  • Length of treatment: 2 weeks to more than 6 months. The length of your treatment depends on how severe your infection is and where it’s located.

Griseofulvin microsize:

  • Typical starting dosage: 500 mg in one dose or in divided doses. This dosage is common for infections that are not too severe.
  • Dosage adjustments: If you have an infection that is harder to treat, your doctor may give you 750–1000 mg per day in divided doses. Your doctor may slowly decrease your dosage as your infection clears.
  • Length of treatment: 2 weeks to more than 6 months. The length of your treatment depends on how severe your infection is and where it’s located.
Child dosage (ages 3–17 years)

Griseofulvin and Gris-PEG ultramicrosize:

  • Typical dosage: 3.3 mg/lb. of body weight per day
    • For children who weigh 35–60 lbs.: 125–187.5 mg per day
    • For children who weigh more than 60 lbs.: 187.5–375 mg per day
    • Children with an infection on their scalp may only need one dose to treat their infection.
  • Length of treatment: 2 weeks to more than 6 months. The length of your child’s treatment depends on how severe the infection is and where it’s located.

Griseofulvin microsize:

  • Typical dosage: 10 mg/kg of body weight per day
    • For children who weigh 30–50 lbs: 125–250 mg per day
    • For children who weigh more than 50 lbs: 250–500 mg per day
  • Length of treatment: 2 weeks to more than 6 months. The length of your child’s treatment depends on how severe the infection is and where it’s located.
Child dosage (ages 0–2 years)

This medication has not been studied in children younger than 3 years. It should not be used in people younger than 3 years.

Warnings

If you take a higher dosage of this drug or use it for a long time, you may have a higher risk of more severe side effects. These can include skin reactions and liver problems.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Griseofulvin comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all

Your infection will continue to grow. It may also spread to other parts of your body.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. This can increase your risk of side effects. These side effects could become serious.

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. If you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

The symptoms of your infection should clear up.

Griseofulvin is used for short-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking this drug

Take this drug with food

Take it with milk or a fatty food, such as peanut butter or ice cream. This will help your body absorb the drug better. It will also reduce stomach upset.

Store this drug carefully

  • Store griseofulvin at room temperature.
    • Keep the tablets between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).
    • Keep the suspension between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
  • Keep this drug away from light.
  • Don’t store the tablets in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Self-management

Make sure you shake the oral suspension well before you measure your dose.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor should monitor certain health issues while you take this drug. This helps make sure you stay safe during your treatment. These issues include:

  • Kidney function. Your doctor will do blood tests to check your kidney function. If your kidneys aren’t working well, your doctor may reduce your dosage or stop your treatment with this drug.
  • Liver function. Your doctor will do blood tests to check your liver function. If your liver isn’t working well, your doctor may stop your treatment with this drug,
  • Blood cell levels. Your doctor will check your red blood cell counts and white blood cell counts during your treatment. If these tests show that you’re having side effects, your doctor may stop your treatment with this drug.

Sun sensitivity

This drug can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. This effect increases your risk of sunburn. Avoid the sun if you can. If you can’t, be sure to wear protective clothing and sunscreen.

Insurance

Some insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor may need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.


Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on May 6, 2016

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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