- Bacterial Infections 101 Pictures Slideshow
- Take the Tummy Trouble Quiz
- Hepatitis C Slideshow Pictures
- What is itraconazole, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for itraconazole?
- Is itraconazole available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for itraconazole?
- What are the side effects of itraconazole?
- What is the dosage for itraconazole?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with itraconazole?
- Is itraconazole safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about itraconazole?
What is itraconazole, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Itraconazole is an anti-fungal drug in the same class of drugs as fluconazole (Diflucan), ketoconazole (Nizoral), and miconazole (Micatin, Monistat). It prevents growth of several types of fungi by preventing the fungi from producing the membranes that surround the fungal cells. The FDA approved itraconazole in September 1992.
What are the side effects of itraconazole?
The most common side effects of itraconazole are:
Other important side effects include:
It is important to report any signs or symptoms that may suggest liver dysfunction so that the appropriate laboratory testing can be done. These signs include:
- unusual fatigue,
- poor appetite,
- nausea and/or vomiting,
- yellowing of the eyes (jaundice),
- dark urine or
- pale stool.
Itraconazole should not be used for treatment of onychomycosis in patients with a history of heart failure. It should be discontinued if signs and symptoms of heart failure occur. Symptoms of heart failure include fatigue, edema (fluid retention), shortness of breath, nausea, abdominal pain, and inability to sleep unless sitting upright. Use of calcium channel blockers may increase the risk of heart failure associated with itraconazole (see drug interactions).
What is the dosage for itraconazole?
The usual recommended dose is 200-400 mg daily as a single dose or two divided doses. Capsules should be taken with a full meal because food improves absorption. The capsule and liquid are not interchangeable, and only the liquid form is used for treating oral candidiasis.
Which drugs or supplements interact with itraconazole?
Itraconazole reduces the liver metabolism (breakdown) of some drugs, resulting in increased blood levels and side effects from the affected drugs. Life-threatening adverse effects occurred when itraconazole was combined with cisapride (no longer available in the U.S.), pimozide (Orap), quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex), dofetilide (Tikosyn), or levomethadyl (Orlaam). Therefore, itraconazole should not be combined with these drugs.
Other drugs whose blood levels are increased by itraconazole include warfarin (Coumadin), tolbutamide, glyburide (Micronase, Diabeta, Glynase), glipizide (Glucotrol), protease inhibitors (for example, indinavir [Crixivan], ritonavir [Norvir], saquinavir [Invirase, Fortovase]), midazolam (Versed), triazolam (Halcion) and several others.
Itraconazole increases blood levels of certain calcium channel blockers, for example, nisoldipine (Sular) and verapamil (Calan). Such combinations increase the occurrence of congestive heart failure due to itraconazole. Itraconazole increases blood levels of tacrolimus, sirolimus, and cyclosporine. It may also increase blood levels of fentanyl or prolong elimination of fentanyl, potentially leading to fatal respiratory depression. Clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin, indinavir (Crixivan) or ritonavir (Norvir) increase blood levels of itraconazole by reducing its elimination from the liver, resulting in increased side effects of itraconazole.
Carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), rifampin (Rifadin), rifabutin (Mycobutin) and isoniazid reduce the blood concentration of oral itraconazole, probably by increasing the elimination of itraconazole by the liver. This may reduce the effectiveness of itraconazole. Itraconazole tablets require acid from the stomach to dissolve. Therefore, itraconazole should be administered at least two hours before taking antacids or other acid reducing medications such as cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac) or omeprazole (Prilosec).
Is itraconazole safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Itraconazole has not been adequately studied in pregnant women. Cases of congenital abnormalities have been reported. Itraconazole should not be used to treat nail fungal infections (onychomycosis) in pregnant patients. Women of child bearing age undergoing treatment for fungal infections of the nails must use adequate contraception measures while receiving itraconazole and for two months after treatment.
What else should I know about itraconazole?
What preparations of itraconazole are available?
Capsules: 100 mg; Oral Solution: 10 mg/ml; Injection: 10 mg/ml
How should I keep itraconazole stored?
Capsules should be stored at room temperature, 15 C - 25 C (59 F - 77 F) and protected from light and moisture. Oral and injectable solutions should be stored below 25 C (77 F) but not frozen.
Itraconazole (Sporanox) is a medication used to treat fungal infections such as fungal nails, aspergillosis, blastomycosis, histoplasmosis, and candidiasis, as well as HIV and non-HIV infected individuals. Side effects, warnings and precautions, drug interactions, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Related Disease Conditions
Athlete's foot (tinea pedis) is a skin infection caused by the ringworm fungus. Symptoms include itching, burning, cracking,...
Sporotrichosis is a skin infection caused by a fungus called Sporothrix schenckii. The fungus, which may be present in sphagnum...
Fungal nails (onychomycosis) may be caused by many species of fungi, but the most common is Trichophyton rubrum. Distal subungal...
Tinea versicolor is a fungus infection that mainly affects the skin of young people. Recognized by light or reddish brown spots,...
The term "ringworm" or "ringworms" refers to fungal infections that are on the surface of the skin. A physical examination of...
Thrush (Oral Candidiasis)
Thrush is an infection of the mouth caused by the Candida fungus. Symptoms of thrush include pain or difficulty swallowing, a...
Jock itch is an itchy red rash that appears in the groin area. The rash may be caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. People...
Histoplasmosis (Cave Disease)
Histoplasmosis (cave disease) is a disease caused by a fungus called Histoplasma capsulatum. The symptoms are similar to those of...
Valley fever (coccidioidomycosis) is a disease caused by the inhalation of the Coccidioides immitis or C. posadasii fungus....
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.