Penlac (Ciclopirox) – 8% Nail Lacquer

Overview of Penlac

Penlac Nail Lacquer is a topical treatment for nail fungus. The active ingredient is Ciclopirox and is only available with a prescription.

Reported success rates vary widely, with studies of Ciclopirox nail lacquer showing effective treatment of nail fungal infections between 12-30% of cases. Penlac is recommended for mild to moderate cases rather than for serve conditions and fungal infections that have been present for a long period of time.

As with many of the treatments, treated nails take time to grow out and be clear of infection. This can take over a year for toenails and around 6 months for finger nails.

Application for fungal infections of the nail

Penlac should only be used under medical supervision with frequent checks on progress.

Penlac is applied daily much the same way as a nail polish using the applicator brush provided. Care must be taken to apply the Penlac nail lacquer to the entire nail that is affected. New coats are applied over the previous coat daily and once a week the built-up layers are removed with alcohol.

It is recommended not to use nail polish or other nail cosmetics on nails undergoing treatment with Penlac. As with all medications read the information provided with the product carefully. If you suffer from Diabetes or are taking any other medications, you must inform your doctor prior to any usage.

Penlac reviews: pros and cons


  • Ciclopirox is a known anti-fungal agent.
  • Approved by the FDA in the US.
  • Topical treatment that targets the fungal infection directly and is not a systemic medication.


  • Daily treatments are required making the treatment time intensive.
  • May not be effective for severe cases or when the nail fungus has penetrated the crescent shaped lighter area at the base of the nail.
  • Penlac relies on direct contact with the fungus, but in some cases it may not always be able to penetrate the nail to reach the infection.
  • There is a risk of side-effects associated with Penlac (but these are likely to be less severe than with oral medications.)

Purchasing Penlac

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