Some over-the-counter medicated creams to treat toenail fungus are terbinafine and clotrimazole, which are the generic names for the brands Lotrimin AF and Lamisil, states Walgreens's Ask the Pharmacist. These are topical antifungal medications used on the affected nail or the skin around it. However, these products tend to work only on mild fungal infections that affect the nail surface.
When someone has a mild nail fungal infection, nails can have white marks. Before using an over-the-counter antifungal product, it is important to file away these marks, notes Mayo Clinic. Additionally, nails should be soaked in water and dried prior to applying the topical antifungal.
When the fungal infection goes beyond the nail surface and involves the nailbed, these over-the-counter medications may not work, and doctors can prescribe stronger and more effective medications, such as itraconazole or terbinafine, states MedicineNet. The medication terbinafine must be taken every day for a duration of 12 weeks.