Skip to Content

Ketoconazole (Systemic)

Pronunciation

Generic Name: Ketoconazole (Systemic) (kee toe KOE na zole)

  • This medicine must only be used when other drugs cannot be used or have not worked. Talk with your doctor to be sure that the benefits of ketoconazole (systemic) are more than the risks.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems like the need for a liver transplant have happened with this medicine. Some people did not have a raised chance of liver problems before taking ketoconazole. Most of the time, but not always, liver problems have gone back to normal after this medicine was stopped. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes. Blood tests will be needed to watch for any liver problems. Talk with your doctor.
  • Taking ketoconazole with certain other drugs may raise the chance of very bad and sometimes deadly heart problems like a heartbeat that is not normal. Do not take this medicine if you are taking any of these drugs: Cisapride, disopyramide, dofetilide, dronedarone, methadone, pimozide, quinidine, or ranolazine.

Uses of Ketoconazole:

  • It is used to treat fungal infections.
  • This medicine is not for use to treat fungal infections of the skin, nails, or brain. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Ketoconazole?

  • If you have an allergy to ketoconazole or any other part of ketoconazole.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have liver disease.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Alprazolam, dihydroergotamine, eplerenone, ergonovine, ergotamine, felodipine, irinotecan, lovastatin, lurasidone, methylergonovine, methysergide, nisoldipine, oral midazolam, simvastatin, tolvaptan, or triazolam.
  • If you take colchicine and have kidney or liver problems.
  • If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take this medicine.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with ketoconazole.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this medicine with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Ketoconazole?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take ketoconazole. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • Do not use longer than you have been told. A second infection may happen.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medicine.
  • This medicine may lower testosterone levels. This may cause a change in sex ability, enlarged breasts, or low sperm counts. Testosterone levels go back to normal after ketoconazole is stopped. Talk with the doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this medicine while you are pregnant.

How is this medicine (Ketoconazole) best taken?

Use ketoconazole (systemic) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take with or without food.
  • Talk with your doctor if you are also taking antacids, cimetidine, dexlansoprazole, esomeprazole, famotidine, lansoprazole, nizatidine, omeprazole, pantoprazole, rabeprazole, or ranitidine. You may need to take this medicine with an acidic drink like non-diet cola.
  • Do not take aluminum hydroxide within 1 hour before or 2 hours after you take ketoconazole.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Keep taking this medicine as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • Take ketoconazole at the same time of day.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of a weak adrenal gland like a very bad upset stomach or throwing up, very bad dizziness or passing out, muscle weakness, feeling very tired, mood changes, not hungry, or weight loss.
  • A fast heartbeat.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Dizziness or passing out.
  • Chest pain.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Enlarged breasts.
  • If bright lights bother your eyes.

What are some other side effects of Ketoconazole?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Belly pain.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Headache.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Ketoconazole?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time this medicine is refilled. If you have any questions about ketoconazole, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. 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 ketoconazole. 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 the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using ketoconazole.

Review Date: October 4, 2017

Hide