Meds and you

Updated 11 February 2013

Itraconazole

Itraconazole is an antibiotic medication used in treating infections of the vagina, skin and nails caused by sensitive fungal and yeast infections.

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Itraconazole is the active ingredient of Adco-Sporazole, Merck-Itraconazole and Sporanox.

General information

Itraconazole is an antibiotic medication used in treating infections of the vagina, skin and nails caused by sensitive fungal and yeast infections that do not respond to conventional topical treatment. It is also prescribed for severe systemic infections.

It is only effective in treating fungal infections and will not be effective in treating bacterial or viral infections.

Gastrointestinal upset is one of the most common side-effects observed with this medication, but can be overcome by taking itraconazole with meals. Absorption of the drug is also improved if taken after a meal.

How does it work?

Itraconazole inhibits the manufacturing of substances vital for fungal growth and functioning.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: Schedule 4

Available as: Capsules and as oral suspension.

What does it do? Itraconazole has an anti-fungal action

Overdose risk: Medium

Dependence risk: Low

Available as a generic? Yes

Available on prescription only ? Yes

User information

Onset of effect: The full effect of this medication may be seen only within a few days.

Duration of action: Up to 24 hours.

Dietary advice: Itraconazole should be taken prior to a meal.

Stopping : Complete the full course as directed by your doctor; even if you feel better, symptoms may recur with premature discontinuation.

Prolonged use: Itraconazole is generally not used for prolonged periods of time; liver function tests may be required periodically.

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have liver or kidney disease
  • you are taking any other medication

Pregnancy: Avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: Avoid. This medication may cause serious adverse effects. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: A reduced dose is needed when prescribed in infants and children.

Elderly: Caution is advised in the elderly in case of impaired kidney/liver function.

Driving and hazardous work: No special precautions need be taken..

Alcohol: No special precautions need be taken.

Possible side effects

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

Nausea/vomiting

x

x

Abdominal pain

x

x

Diarrhoea

x

x

Skin rash

x

x

Fever/ chills

x

x

Headache

x

x

Dizziness

x

x

Loss of appetite

x

x

Dyspepsia

x

x

Jaundice

x

x

Dark urine

x

x

Pale stool

x

x

Interactions

Drug interactions

Benzodiazepines

Increased risk of benzodiazepine toxicity

Ciclosporin

Increase risk of ciclosporin toxicity

Cisapride

Risk of heart rhythm disturbance

Corticosteroids

Risk of corticosteroid toxicity

Oral contraceptives

Possible reduced efficacy of contraceptives. Adrenal suppression enhanced

Rifampicin

Reduced effect of Itraconazole

Sulphonylurea drugs such as Tolbutamide, Glibenclamide and Glipizide

Risk of severely low blood sugar levels

Terfenadine

Risk of heart rhythm disturbance

Warfarin

Risk of warfarin toxicity

Zidovudine

Risk of zidovudine toxicity

Drugs for epilepsy

May decrease Itraconazole levels

Digoxin

Risk of digoxin toxicity

Antacids, Cimetidine, ranitidine, sucralfate

Decreased effect of Itraconazole

Disease interactions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have liver or kidney disease or if you allergic to any anti-fungal medication.

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Adults: 100-400 mg daily in a single dose or as 2 divided doses.

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 

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