Generic Name: itraconazole (IT-ra-KON-a-zole)
Brand Name: Sporanox
Itraconazole has been shown to cause decreased heart function. 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 along with certain other medicines may increase your risk of serious and sometimes fatal heart problems, including irregular heartbeat. Do not take itraconazole if you are also taking cisapride, pimozide, quinidine, dofetilide, or levacetylmethadol (levomethadyl).
Itraconazole is used for:
Treating fungal infections. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Itraconazole is an azole antifungal. It kills sensitive fungi by interfering with the formation of the fungal cell membrane.
Do NOT use itraconazole if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in itraconazole
- you have severe kidney problems or kidney failure
- you are taking an aldosterone blocker (eg, eplerenone), alprazolam, astemizole, cisapride, conivaptan, dofetilide, an ergot alkaloid (eg, ergotamine), certain HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (eg, lovastatin, simvastatin), levacetylmethadol (levomethadyl), oral midazolam, nevirapine, nisoldipine, pimozide, a quinazoline (eg, alfuzosin), quinidine, rifabutin, rifampin, terfenadine, triazolam, or certain 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:
Some medical conditions may interact with itraconazole. 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 are allergic to other azole antifungals (eg, ketoconazole)
- if you have HIV infection, a weakened immune system, kidney or liver problems, abnormal liver function tests, lung or breathing problems (eg, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD]), low stomach acid (eg, hypochlorhydria), nerve problems, or problems with swelling or fluid retention
- if you have an irregular heartbeat or other heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, heart valve problems)
- if you have had serious liver problems caused by itraconazole or other medicines
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with itraconazole. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Many prescription and nonprescription medicines (eg, used for infections, HIV, seizures, anxiety, sleep, heartburn, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart problems, high blood pressure, allergies, irregular heartbeat, pain, blood thinning, asthma, migraines, mood or mental problems, cancer, prostate problems, immune system suppression, erectile dysfunction, urinary problems, or birth control [eg, birth control pills]), multivitamin products, and herbal or dietary supplements may interact with itraconazole, increasing the risk of serious side effects
- Nevirapine, rifabutin, or rifampin because they may decrease itraconazole's effectiveness
- Astemizole, cisapride, dofetilide, levacetylmethadol (levomethadyl), nisoldipine, pimozide, quinidine, or terfenadine because the risk of severe heart effects may be increased
- Alprazolam, midazolam, or triazolam because their actions and the risk of their side effects may be increased by itraconazole, resulting in increased risk of sedation and breathing difficulties
- Aldosterone blockers (eg, eplerenone), calcium channel blockers (eg, verapamil), conivaptan, ergot alkaloids (eg, ergotamine), certain HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (eg, lovastatin, simvastatin), 5-HT receptor agonists (eg, eletriptan), or quinazolines (eg, alfuzosin) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by itraconazole
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if itraconazole 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:
Use itraconazole as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Itraconazole is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using itraconazole at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
- Do not use itraconazole if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
- Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
- To clear up your infection completely, use itraconazole for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days. Do not miss any doses.
- Itraconazole works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
- If you miss a dose of itraconazole, use 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 use 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use itraconazole.
Important safety information:
- Itraconazole may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use itraconazole with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Rarely, itraconazole has been associated with serious, sometimes fatal liver damage. Contact your doctor right away if you notice dark urine, pale stools, a swollen or tender stomach, or yellowing of the skin or eyes.
- Itraconazole only works against fungi; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
- Be sure to use itraconazole for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The fungus could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
- Do not switch between the capsule and oral solution forms of itraconazole without checking with your doctor. Effectiveness and side effects of these forms of itraconazole may be different even at the same dose.
- Diabetes patients - Itraconazole may increase the risk of low blood sugar from your diabetes medicine. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills) may not work as well while you are using itraconazole. To prevent pregnancy, use an extra form of birth control (eg, condoms).
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take itraconazole before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Lab tests, including liver function, may be performed while you use itraconazole. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use itraconazole with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially loss of hearing.
- Itraconazole should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if itraconazole can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using itraconazole while you are pregnant. Itraconazole is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use itraconazole, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of itraconazole:
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; runny nose; stomach pain or upset; vomiting.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloating; chest pain; confusion; coughing up white or pink mucus; dark urine; decreased sexual ability; depression; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; hair loss; increased or uncontrolled urination; joint pain; loss of appetite; loss of hearing; muscle pain, weakness, or cramping; numbness, burning, or tingling of the hands, arms, legs, or feet; pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; pale stools; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; ringing in the ears; sensitivity to sunlight; severe or persistent nausea or vomiting; severe stomach or back pain; shortness of breath; sudden weight gain; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; swollen or tender stomach; trouble sleeping; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or fatigue; vision changes (eg, blurred vision, double vision); yellowing of the skin or eyes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of itraconazole:
Itraconazole is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using itraconazole at home, store itraconazole as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep itraconazole out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about itraconazole, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Itraconazole is 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.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about itraconazole. 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.
More about itraconazole
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- Drug class: azole antifungals
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- Itraconazole (Advanced Reading)