Ciclopirox lacquer has been shown to have a 30% success rate with Nail Fungus Infections. It probably works as well as fluconazole pills. So if you’d rather put something on your nails than take pills, you may prefer ciclopirox, especially if your infection is mild.
But ciclopirox doesn’t seem to work as well as itraconazole pills or terbinafine pills. Ciclopirox is a chemical that you paint onto your infected nails like nail polish.
The brand name is Penlac Nail Lacquer. You can get it only with a prescription from your doctor.It may take a while before you see any results. Sometimes it takes as long as six months. If your infection is very bad, you may have to keep using ciclopirox for up to a year.
You may also need to see a health care professional every month or so to have the infected part of your nail removed.
Ciclopirox stops the fungus from making the chemicals it needs to grow. This may eventually get rid of the fungus, so your infection goes away. Then the dry or split skin and other symptoms of infection may be able to heal.
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24 thoughts on “Ciclopirox Penlac Nail Lacquer Reviews”
After several months–Ciclopirox Penlac Nail Lacquer did not work for me. It was also very inconvenient to use, and sometimes nail felt uncomfortable after applying and noticed poor circulation in my feet and hands. Actually, it made some nails worse!
Snow Angel says:
I was trying for at least a year to remove my own infected nails by filing them every night, so when I started using Ciclopirox (Penlac), my nails were already filed very thin. This lacquer appears to soak down into the infected nail, with reapplications nightly for a week, then remove with alcohol, and remove as much of the nail as possible. I use the expensive sharp Made-in-Germany two-handled nail clippers and remove the nail by grabbing and pulling a layer off, being careful not to make it bleed. So far, I am very pleased and I am only on my second bottle, but again, I had already removed most of my nail before I started. I believe this is going to cure my condition, and it was not merely a “mild” case, but was very unsightly. Now my nails are beginning to look great. My prescription is for 2 refills, and I believe the 3rd bottle will be sufficient to completely cure my case.
I had an extremely severe infection – much worse than in any of the pictures.
I took a few months and alot of Penlac, but I started noticing some improvement.
After about 3 years of obsessively using Penlac, along with a cicloporox cream,
my nails appeared normal.
It’s not a cure. The infection returned after I stopped using it. One side effect
I noticed was that it made my nails turn black – the cure was almost worse than
My three smallest nails on my right foot had the fungus all the way to the root. I started by removing the dead detached nail with a dremel and small sander bit on it. I’m pretty handy with tools so it wasn’t a problem though areas I was too vigorous I did bleed a little. After a day I started with penlac, very generous each night across the nail bed and extended about 1/8″ outside the nail area. After about 4 months and half way through the second bottle Penlac, I gave up. To my surprise the smallest toe grew a normal nail, pink and healthy from tip to root. The next toe in from the smallest had no change, still the fungus, the next toe seems to be cured but not grown out all the way yet. I’m getting some more penlac to try again but I really want to get the laser treatment (Noveon) when it meets FDA approval.
I have a mild fungus case and tried the laser treatment with no success. I’m going back to trying penlac with a little more patience.
i had a mild nail fungus due to pedicures,and penlac worked wonders.all u need is to have have patience
terry gipson says:
I have been using the nail laquer, but quit using it several weeks ago. My nails look horrible and I cannot get the lacquer off! I have tried the alcohol but it does not remove the lacquer. It has bonded to the actual nail and is chipping from the bottom. Has anyone got any suggestions as to how to get the lacquer off?
Acetone or nail polish remover was suggested by my doctor. I doesn’t take off all the laquer but softens it. Then a warm bath turns it into a gummy substance that pulls off like taffy with the help of a metal file. It seems to be a temporary fix for me but I’ll try it again with a lot more trimming. If I didn’t have the nails curling in at the sides, trimming would be easier.
I have had this horrible problem for 3 years now. No sandles or open toed shoes. I would love just to be able to wear a pair of flip flops without someone starring at my ugly toenails. I am filing the nails every night and generously appying lacquer. Maybe that will work.
for some reason i got the fungus on my big toe. two weeks before I noticed it
it, i had gone to the salon to get a pedicure. I thinks it might have been at the
gym’s shower when I picked it up. To my surprise after taking off my nail polish two weeks
later when I was to get my next pedicure, i noticed it. I went to the doctor the
next day to see what he could prescribe to cure it . He said either this lacque or
a very expensive pill to take orally. I opted for the lacquer as he said it could work
as it had worked on his wife. My case was very mild and after using it for 1 month, it
dissapeared :0). now a year later, it has come back. However,this time it does not look as mild.
I will try the lacquer again and hopefully it will work as summer is around the corner and i
love to wear sandals. In the meantime, i will wear a bandaid over it with my
lacquer underneath as no one has to know. it could just be a boo boo! keeping my
fingers crossed…. ;0/
Nail fungus is passed around, quite often, in nail salons. This treatment works for some, and you can also try Amoresse Thymol if it is not a fungus, but instead, a yeast or bacteria. Google the words and read the reviews.
And remember that you can get rid of it, and getting it again is probably from the nail salon or public gym/pool bathroom (or old shoes you need to throw away)
To completely stop re-occurrence, you absolutely must throw away all
previously worn shoes and probably socks before you discontinue use
of the product or you risk reinfection. The fungus is not easily
removed from the inside of shoes. This is the most expensive part of
the treatment that many physicians fail to tell you.
Also, you should continue to use the treatment for 30 days past the
last visible sign of infection or risk a relapse. Hope this helps!
Liz Games says:
A friend of mine have used this treatment before and she told me that it is effective as long as you use it continuously. I, myself, have dreaded toenail fungus for years and I have tried using almost all the solutions available. I kept my nails trimmed and clean and I also wash my feet regularly. Yet, the fungal infection is still there. It’s very embarrassing to have discolored nails, especially for a clean freak like me. Unlike my friend though, I haven’t used this product. I took a different route and used zetaclear instead. Perhaps the effect of anti-fungal products vary from one person to another because zetaclear worked well for me. You just have to be really patient in addressing the problem because toenail fungus is difficult to treat.
The problem with Ciclopirox 8% topical is the cost: $119 for 6.6 milliliters. Yes, that’s milliliters. That translates to about $69,000 per gallon (yes, that’s sixty-nine thousand!). You’re better off soaking your feet nightly in apple cider vinegar. It’s a lot cheaper and works just as well.
A regular bottle of clear nail lacquer is $1.99 (for .45 ounces; 6.6 ml is 0.223 ounces)). Add enough of a fungicide to make it 8% of the solution. How much would that cost? If my doctor had told me how much it would cost I would not have gotten it.
What a total ripoff.
I drill my nails with a Dremel tool. Cleans the nails up for a couple of weeks. Some of my nails have actually been cured because of how deep I was able to get.
I completely agree with Bob from Nov 2011.
This product seems to do nothing if used as directed. It’s costly and frustrating.
However, with a lot of effort, I can report success, using a different approach with an alternate product that contains the same active ingredient for about 1/10th the price.
A couple of years ago, I went to the foot doc to see what I could do to get rid of the fungus under a big toe. That visit cost me only $5 insurance co-pay but the prescription of this mini-bottle of clear nail polish with fundacide cost me 100 bucks. Alright I thought, expensive but it will work.
I applied it religiously to the nail over a couple of months, to no effect. Apparently, a complete waste of money and effort.
Now, I refuse to take pills for this problem, considering the possibility of serious medical consequences, which would no doubt be worse than toe fungus.
So I looked elsewhere. I found that for just over 22 bucks on eBay, you can get two little bottles of Ciclopirox, from UK or Thailand, depending on the vendor. That’s more than twice as much product and it’s likely the minimum amount you’ll need. You’ll likley need 4 bottles if you have multiple affected toes.
It is water-like liquid and applies with a cheap plastic stick with a flat end with holes in it, extending from the cap (where a brush should really be). The applied layer on your toe dries in the air in a few minutes and, unlike the laquer form, if you put your foot into a sock before it’s completely dry, it won’t glue your foot to the cloth. I suspect the same is true for stockings, but I don’t wear nylons — at least I won’t admit it. lol.
I’ve been using this stuff daily for a year now, and just about exhausted the two little bottles (8 ml each). I have been pretty agressive cutting the nail back to the point where I can remove all dead material below. You learn to take your time doing that, because you will bleed if you make a mistake and cut into the quick. It’s difficult to tell the difference between live “you” and the invader material, because the surface is rough, not like your outer skin. And, you’re bent over in an unnatural position to do this. I suppose this is the “worse” in “for better or worse” and if you have a spouse who has taken vows, you can test his or her love by putting him or her to the test. It’s like one of the Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel.
You apply the medicine as close as possible to the affected area, and unlike the laquer form the medicine, it doesn’t sting if you get any on exposed quick.
Long story long, I can report that the fungus is finally gone and the nail growing normally.
So, unless the vinegar approach works (I don’t know if it does) or laser treatment becomes avaiable (which wasn’t available when I asked for it), I would recommend the same approach that worked for me. The key to my success seems to be:
– Weekly, cut nail to expose affected area., then remove all non-living material in affected area.
– Daily, apply cheap Ciclopirox 8%.
(search for “ciclopirox” on eBay).
Remember, you’re not a bad person if your toes aren’t perfect. Keep your chin up.
Also, I like Mike’s dremel tool idea. It probably works much faster than a nail clipper like I used.
Women are likely to be tempted to use a nail buffer, but that will just burn out the motor. Spend $50 on a dremel tool on eBay and bet the the sanding attachments. You’ll have to find the nerve to use it youself. Unfortunately, you can’t buy that.
I have been battling this horrid fungus for over 2 years now – using the ciclopirox 8% religiously every night of my life. I am finally seeing results. I must add that at one time I got discouraged and asked for the pill form (which damages your liver). The pills seemed to make it grow so I went back to the ciclopirox 8% – have been back on it for several months now. My toenails actually are almost better, but my fingernails (both thumbs and my pointer finger) kept getting a little better – then would start growing again. I finally started using gloves when doing dishes, now they are looking much better. I would advise using gloves because this fungus likes warm moist environments – (warm dishwater with no gloves). I wish everyone luck with this fungus stuff – I just wish there was a safe and true cure!!!!
I went to the Dr and they prescribed for me Naftin Gel, Penlac and Thymol to be used twice a day. I haven’t seen any results yet but am hoping for a cure. This infection is nasty and I think I have a mild case of it. My insurance paid for two but the Naftin Gel was 4 hundred dollars and my insurance said no way. I had a coupon for two hundred off but still could not afford it. My Dr went over board and gave me samples to use. She said I would probably see a difference in six months. I don’t think I have had anything so gross as this. I think I got it from my mom’s spongy type rug after a shower. Nasty I tell ya, nasty.
Someone please reply soon says:
Can I use ZetaClear instead ?
Daniel Corbett says:
I just started using Ciclopirox 8%. Under my Medicare Part D plan, copay is $32 for a 6.6 ml bottle. I found that it can be obtained for around $22 per bottle if you go onto some discount prescription websites. All you need to do is download their discount coupon and take it to a participating pharmacy. Almost all pharmacies in my area are participating. You just need to tell them not to submit it to your insurance or the coupon cannot be used. For those paying $100 or more per bottle, I suspect it is not a covered prescription and you may be paying full price anyway.
Ann S says:
I am an RN with additional professional certification (CFCN). Part of my job in our busy wound care clinic is to VERY CAREFULLY trim and care for the thickened toenails in our very severe diabetic and vasculaly impaired patients.
I just felt the need to remind readers here that it is very important to use extreme caution in trimming and sanding diabetic and others that may have poor blood flow to your feet (which is probably the majority of older people). A damaged cuticle or sanding into the nail bed could cause an infection that is not able to heal due to poor blood flow (caused by the diabetes or the poor blood flow alone).
I find our medical system so frustrating because, unless you are diabetic, it is often impossible to have the trimming done by qualified professionals. Even if you qualify, there are not many podiatrists or health professionals willing to do this very important job as there is such poor reimbursement. Our clinic actually loses money with each nail trim we do, as the amount of reimbursement is so poor it does not cover our licensed staff and clinic fees. We do it only in the most extreme cases when a nick in our pts cuticle/nailed could lead to amputation.
Sorry to be so long winded. Just please proceed with caution when thinking of using a Dremmel or other instrument. If you are very healthy and are a “good healer” I say go for it, but if older, not so good eyesight and doing it yourself, or have diabetes or see a heart doctor for anything – please ask your doctor if he or she feels this is safe for you to do. It could lead to serious problems and even loss off toes or foot!
Ok off my soapbox …. Cuz I care about you all. Thanks for reading.
Melinda Dominguez says:
How do I get this anti fungus nail polish?
Barbara Evans says:
I got a fugus on my fingernails from a nail salon. I had it for 3 years & tried numerous over the counter products. A year ago I finally had my doctor send me to a dermatologist. She prescribed Ciclopirox Topical 8% along with Jublia (efinaconazole). I have been using both daily for almost a year. All of my nails are completely healed except for the fourth one on my right hand. I will have to go back to the dermatologist to get more prescriptions to continue treating that one finger, but I highly recommend these treatments. It does take a long time, but they do work. I will never go to another nail salon (it is NOT worth it).