Both Lamisil (terbinafine) and Lotrimin (clotrimazole) are topical anti-fungal medications that are used for the treatment of a variety of fungal infections including:
- Ringworm (Tinea corporis)
- Athlete's foot (Tinea pedis)
- Jock itch (Tinea cruris)
Although similar and both available over the counter without a prescription, they are in different classes of medication and work via different mechanisms. Below, we discuss the differences between Lamisil and Lotrimin.
Lamisil is classified as a "allylamine" anti-fungal and is fungicidal, meaning that it directly kills parasitic fungus. Allylamine anti-fungal medications are generally considered the most effective topical medications with the shortest treatment times.
Depending on the type of infection being treated, treatment time is generally only one to two weeks of continuous use.
Lamisil, in most cases, is more expensive than other topical anti-fungal medications but is still affordable. Lamisil products are available in a variety of dosage forms including:
Lotrimin is classified as an "imidazole" antifungal and is fungistatic, mening that it inhibits growth of parasidic fungus but does not directly kill it, unlike Lamisil. Since Lotrimin is fungistatic, treatment times tend to be longer than other treatments. Depending on the type of infection being treated, it generally takes two to four weeks of continuous treatment to eliminate the fungus.
Lotrimin is generally less expensive than other topical anti-fungal medications. Lotrimin products are available in a variety of dosage forms including:
Summary Of Differences Between Lamisil & Lotrimin
- Lamisil is an allylamine anti-fungal and is fungicidal
- Lotrimin is an imidazole anti-fungal and is fungistatic
- Lamisil generally requires shorter treatment times than Lotrimin (~1 to 2 weeks)
- Lotrimin generally requires longer treatment times than Lamisil (~2 to 4 weeks)
- Lamisil and associated generic products (terbinafine) are generally more expensive than Lotrimin
- Lotrimin and associated generic products (clotrimazole) are generally less expensive than Lamisil
Applying Lotrimin Or Lamisil
Proper application of topical anti-fungal products is important.
- Apply the anti-fungal product to the affected area as well as one to two inches around the visibly infection area.
- Anti-fungal products should be continued for at least one week after the affected area looks clear to prevent recurrence.
- To treat itching, refrain from using steroid (e.g. hydrocortisone) products as these can prolong healing time. Non-steroid products such as Sarna work well.