Generic Name: itraconazole (i-tra-KOE-na-zole)
Brand Name: Examples included Sporanox and Sporanox PulsePak
Itraconazole capsules should not be used to treat certain fungal infections (onychomycosis) in patients with heart problems (eg, history of congestive heart failure). Contact your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms of congestive heart failure such as swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or abdomen; bloating; shortness of breath; fast or irregular heartbeat; severe or persistent nausea; or confusion.
Use of itraconazole capsules along with certain other medicines may increase your risk of serious and sometimes fatal heart problems, including irregular heartbeat. Do not take itraconazole capsules if you are also taking cisapride, pimozide, quinidine, dofetilide, or levacetylmethadol (levomethadyl).
Itraconazole capsules are used for:
Treating fungal infections. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Itraconazole capsules are an azole antifungal. It kills sensitive fungi by interfering with the formation of the fungal cell membrane.
Do NOT use itraconazole capsules if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in itraconazole capsules
- you are being treated for a certain type of fungal infection (onychomycosis) and you also have a history of heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure) or are pregnant or may become pregnant
- you are taking aldosterone blockers (eg, eplerenone), cisapride, dofetilide, ergot alkaloids (eg, ergotamine), erythromycin, H1 antagonists (eg, astemizole, terfenadine), HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (eg, lovastatin, simvastatin), levacetylmethadol (levomethadyl), midazolam, nevirapine, pimozide, quinazolines (eg, alfuzosin), quinidine, rifabutin, rifampin, triazolam, or 5-HT receptor agonists (eg, eletriptan)
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using itraconazole capsules:
Some medical conditions may interact with itraconazole capsules. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of a weakened immune system, kidney or liver disease, heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure, irregular heartbeat), lung or breathing problems (eg, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD]), stomach problems (eg, low levels of stomach acid), nerve problems, HIV, or swelling
- if you are on dialysis
- if you are allergic to other azole antifungals (eg, itraconazole)
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with itraconazole capsules. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Carbamazepine, H2 antagonists (eg, famotidine), nevirapine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifabutin, or rifampin because effectiveness of itraconazole capsules may be decreased
- Antiarrhythmics (eg, disopyramide, quinidine), cisapride, dofetilide, H1 antagonists (eg, astemizole, terfenadine), halofantrine, HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (eg, lovastatin, simvastatin), levacetylmethadol (levomethadyl), macrolide antibiotics (eg, erythromycin), pimozide, or quinolones (eg, ciprofloxacin) because the risk of severe heart effects may be increased
- Benzodiazepines (eg, alprazolam, midazolam, triazolam), methadone, or narcotics (eg, codeine, morphine) because actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased, resulting in increased risk of sedation and breathing difficulties
- Aldosterone blockers (eg, eplerenone), anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), aripiprazole, buspirone, calcium channel blockers (eg, nifedipine, verapamil), cilostazol, corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), cyclophosphamide, digoxin, ergot alkaloids (eg, ergotamine), erlotinib, gefitinib, imatinib, or immunosuppressants (eg, cyclosporine, sirolimus) because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased
- Muscarinic receptor antagonists (eg, darifenacin), phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (eg, sildenafil), quinazolines (eg, alfuzosin), sulfonylureas (eg, glipizide), trimetrexate, vinca alkaloids (eg, vincristine), or 5-HT receptor agonists (eg, eletriptan) because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased
- Hormonal contraceptives (eg, birth control pills) because effectiveness may be decreased by itraconazole capsules and pregnancy may occur
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if itraconazole capsules may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use itraconazole capsules:
Use itraconazole capsules as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take itraconazole capsules after a full meal.
- Itraconazole capsules may come with an additional patient leaflet. Read it carefully and reread it each time you get itraconazole capsules refilled.
- If you are using the Pulse Pak, itraconazole capsules should be taken in "pulses." Take itraconazole capsules for 1 week, and then do not take itraconazole capsules for 3 weeks, and then repeat the same cycle, unless directed otherwise by your doctor. This pack contains enough medicine for 1 week. Be sure to refill itraconazole capsules before your next "pulse" begins.
- Do not take antacids within 1 hour before or 2 hours after taking itraconazole capsules.
- Take itraconazole capsules at least 2 hours before proton pump inhibitors (eg, omeprazole).
- To clear up your infection completely, continue taking itraconazole capsules for the full course of treatment even if you feel better in a few days. Do not miss any doses.
- Itraconazole capsules works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
- If you miss a dose of itraconazole capsules, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use itraconazole capsules.
Important safety information:
- Itraconazole capsules may cause dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to itraconazole capsules. Using itraconazole capsules alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
- Itraconazole capsules has been known to cause rare cases of serious liver damage, including death, mainly in patients with serious medical conditions. Liver damage caused by itraconazole capsules has not been attributed to total daily dose, length of therapy, or sex or age of the patient. This type of liver damage may or may not be reversible when itraconazole capsules are stopped. If you notice any of the following, contact your doctor immediately: swollen or tender abdomen, yellowing of the skin or eyes.
- Itraconazole capsules are effective only against fungi. It is not effective for treating viral infections (eg, the common cold).
- It is important to use itraconazole capsules for the full course of treatment. Failure to do so may decrease the effectiveness of itraconazole capsules and may increase the risk that the fungus will no longer be sensitive to itraconazole capsules and will not be able to be treated by this or certain other antibiotics in the future.
- Long-term or repeated use of itraconazole capsules may cause a second infection. Your doctor may want to change your medicine to treat the second infection. Contact your doctor if signs of a second infection occur.
- Diabetes patients - Itraconazole capsules may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely and ask your doctor before adjusting the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Do not switch between the capsule and oral solution forms of itraconazole capsules without checking with your doctor. Effectiveness and side effects of these forms of itraconazole capsules may be different even at the same dose.
- Itraconazole capsules may decrease the effectiveness of your birth control pill. To prevent pregnancy, use an additional form of birth control.
- If you are using itraconazole capsules to treat a certain type of fungal infection (onychomycosis), you should use an effective form of contraception while you are on itraconazole capsules and for 2 months after you have stopped treatment. Talk with your doctor about effective forms of contraception.
- LAB TESTS, including liver function tests, may be required to monitor therapy. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use itraconazole capsules with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using itraconazole capsules during pregnancy. Itraconazole capsules are excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using itraconazole capsules.
Possible side effects of itraconazole capsules:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Diarrhea; dizziness; gas; headache; nausea; stomach pain or upset; stuffy nose.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloating; chest pain; confusion; dark urine; diarrhea; depression; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever; loss of appetite; numbness or tingling of the hands or feet; pale stools; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; severe or persistent nausea; shortness of breath; sudden weight gain; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; swollen or tender abdomen; unusual tiredness or fatigue; vomiting; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include changes in behavior; hallucinations; seizures; slowed breathing.Proper storage of itraconazole capsules:
Store itraconazole capsules at room temperature, between 59 and 77 degrees F (15 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep itraconazole capsules out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about itraconazole capsules, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Itraconazole capsules are to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about itraconazole capsules. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.