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Research Article

Comparison of terbinafine and clotrimazole in treating tinea pedis.

BMJ 1993; 307 doi: (Published 11 September 1993) Cite this as: BMJ 1993;307:645
  1. E G Evans,
  2. B Dodman,
  3. D M Williamson,
  4. G J Brown,
  5. R G Bowen
  1. Department of Microbiology, University of Leeds and General Infirmary.


    OBJECTIVE--To compare the efficacy and safety of terbinafine 1% cream and clotrimazole 1% cream in the treatment of tinea pedis. DESIGN--Multicentre, double blind parallel group study. SETTING--32 general practices and one hospital. PATIENTS--256 patients with mycologically confirmed tinea pedis. Of the 211 patients evaluable, 107 were randomised to terbinafine (75 male, 32 female; mean (range) age 40 (12-81) years) and 104 to clotrimazole (79 male, 25 female; mean (range) age 36 (12-71) years). INTERVENTIONS--Terbinafine 1% cream applied twice daily for one week and inert cream applied twice daily for the next three weeks. Clotrimazole 1% cream applied twice daily for four weeks. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Mycological cure (negative results on microscopy and culture) and effective treatment (mycological cure plus no or minimal signs and symptoms) measured at weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. RESULTS--At week four rates of mycological cure were 93.5% for terbinafine and 73.1% for clotrimazole (p = 0.0001); and at week six 97.2% for terbinafine and 83.7% for clotrimazole (p = 0.001). Rates of effective treatment at week 4 were 89.7% for terbinafine and 58.7% for clotrimazole (p = 0.0001); and 89.7% for terbinafine and 73.1% for clotrimazole (p = 0.002) at week 6. CONCLUSION--These results indicate that a one week course of terbinafine 1% cream is more effective in the treatment of tinea pedis than a four week course of clotrimazole 1% cream, both in terms of mycological cure and effective treatment.