Itraconazole is a drug to treat fungal infections in various parts and areas of the body. This drug can also be used to prevent fungal infections in someone with a weakened immune system, for example due to HIV/AIDS or chemotherapy.
Itraconazole works by inhibiting the formation of fungal cell wall membranes and slowing their growth. This mode of action allows itraconazole to be used to treat various diseases caused by fungal infections , including blastomycosis, histoplasmosis, or aspergillosis.
Itraconazole trademarks: Fungitrazol, Forcanox, Itzol, Itraconazole, Nufatrac, Sporacid, Sporanox, Spyrocon, Trachon, Tracor.
What is Itraconazole
|Category||Azole type antifungal drug|
|Benefit||Treating fungal infections|
Itraconazole for pregnant and lactating women
Category C: Studies in experimental animals show an adverse effect on the fetus, but there are no controlled studies in pregnant women. The drug should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus.
Itraconazole is absorbed into breast milk. Consult your doctor about using itraconazole if you are breastfeeding.
Precautions Before Taking Itraconazole
Itraconazole should only be used based on a doctor's prescription. There are several things that must be considered before taking this drug, including:
- Do not take itraconazole if you are allergic to it, or to other azole class antifungal drugs, such as fluconazole or ketoconazole .
- Tell your doctor if you have heart failure or kidney failure. Itraconazole should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Do not consume alcoholic beverages while undergoing treatment with itraconazole because it can increase the risk of liver damage.
- Tell your doctor if you have or currently have liver disease, kidney disease, cystic fibrosis , chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( COPD ), heart disease, HIV/AIDS , acid production disorder, porphyria , or have had an organ transplant.
- Do not immediately do activities that require alertness after taking itraconazole, such as driving a vehicle, if this drug makes you dizzy.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Use the most effective contraceptive for you to prevent pregnancy, while taking itraconazole for up to 2 months after treatment is finished.
- Tell your doctor that you are taking itraconazole before having dental work or surgery.
- Tell your doctor if you are taking other medications, including supplements and herbal products, to avoid unwanted drug interactions.
- Immediately consult a doctor if an allergic drug reaction or overdose occurs after taking itraconazole.
Dosage and Rules for Use Itraconazole
The following is the general dose of itraconazole in adults which is grouped based on the fungal infection the patient is suffering from:
Conditions: Fungal infections affecting multiple organs (systemic)
The dose is 100–200 mg once daily for 3 weeks to 7 months. Dosage may be increased to 200 mg, twice daily, for severe to life-threatening yeast infections.
The dose is 200 mg, once daily, for 8 months. The dose may be increased gradually up to a maximum of 400 mg per day if the patient's condition does not improve or there is evidence of a severe yeast infection. Doses >200 mg per day should be divided into 2 consumption schedules.
In AIDS patients the dose given is 200 mg, 1-2 times a day, until the patient's immune system improves.
The dose is 200 mg daily, for 2–5 months. Dosage may be increased to 200 mg, twice daily, for severe to life-threatening yeast infections.
Condition: Blastomycosis The
dose is 100 mg, once daily, for 6 months. Dosage can be increased up to 200 mg, 2 times a day.
Condition: Cryptococcosis The
dose is 200 mg, once daily, for 2–12 months.
Condition: Oral candidiasis
The dose is 100 mg per day for 15 days. In AIDS patients or patients with weakened immune systems, the dose is increased to 200 mg once daily for 15 days.
Conditions: Vaginal candidiasis or vaginal yeast infection
The dose is 200 mg, 2 times a day, only to be taken for one day; or 200 mg, once daily, to be taken for 3 days.
The dose is 200 mg per day for 5-7 days. Dosage can be divided into 1-2 drinking schedules.
Conditions: Ringworm (tinea corporis) or ringworm of the groin ( tinea cruris )
The dose is 100 mg per day for 15 days or 200 mg per day for 7 days.
Conditions: Fungal infections of the hands (tinea manum) or feet ( tinea pedis )
The dose is 100 mg, 1 time per day, for 30 days.
Condition: Fungal nail
infection The dose is 200 mg per day for 3 months. Alternate dose of 200 mg, twice daily, for 7 days. Drug administration must be repeated after 21 days free of drug consumption. For the treatment of fingernails, drug administration is repeated 1 time. For the treatment of toenails, drug administration is repeated 2 times.
Conditions: Prevention of fungal infections in HIV/AIDS patients or patients with low white blood cells ( neutropenia ).
The dose is 200 mg per day. If needed, the dose can be increased to 200 mg, 2 times a day.
Condition: Cryptococcal meningitis . The
dose is 200 mg, twice daily, for 2–12 months.
How to Take Itraconazole Correctly
Follow the doctor 's recommendations and read the instructions for use found on the itraconazole packaging before starting to consume it. Do not stop treatment before the time determined by the doctor, because it can cause the infection to recur.
Take itraconazole immediately after eating. Swallow the capsule whole with water, without opening or chewing it first. If you are also taking antacids, you should give a break of at least 2 hours before or after taking itraconazole.
If you forget to take itraconazole, take this medicine immediately if it is not close to the next consumption schedule. If it is close, ignore it and do not double the dose.
Store itraconazole in a closed container in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Keep medicine out of reach of children.
Interaction of Itraconazole with Other Drugs
Interactions that can occur if itraconazole is used with certain drugs are:
- Increased risk of arrhythmias when used with cisapride , halofantrine, dofetilide, quinidine, methadone, mizolastine, pimozide, domperidone, or terfenadine
- Increased risk of developing ergotamine poisoning (ergotismus) when used with drugs containing ergot alkaloids, such as methylergometrine or ergotamine
- Increased risk of side effects from itraconazole when used with clarithromycin , ciprofloxacin, erythromycin , ritonavir, ritonavir-darunavir, or ritonavir-fosamprenavir
- Increased risk of serious side effects from midazolam , felodipine, lercanidipine, ivabradine, ranolazine, lovastatin, simvastatin , atorvastatin, avanafil, ticagrelor, colchicine, or solifenacin, especially in patients with liver or kidney disease
- Increased risk of side effects from tamsulosin, fentanyl , digoxin, repaglinide, docetaxel, imatinib, busulfan, risperidone, alprazolam, haloperidol, verapamil , nadolol, aliskiren, budesonide, fluticasone , methylprednisolone, ciclosporin, tacrolimus, tadalafil, sildenafil, or darifenacin
- Decreased effectiveness of itraconazole when used with rifampicin , rifabutin, isoniazid, carbamazepine , phenytoin, phenobarbital, nevirapine, or efavirenz
- Decreased absorption of itraconazole when taken simultaneously or in close proximity to antacids ; proton pump inhibitor class drugs , such as omeprazole; or H2 receptor antagonist class drugs , such as ranitidine
Apart from drugs, consuming itraconazole with herbal products or certain foods and drinks can also cause interactions. Interaction effects that can occur are:
- Decreased effectiveness of itraconazole when taken with the herbal product John's wort
- Reducing the risk of side effects if consumed with grapefruit or juice drinks containing the fruit
- Increased absorption of itraconazole if taken with acidic foods or drinks
Side Effects and Dangers of Itraconazole
Side effects that may arise after consuming itraconazole are:
- Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, bloating, or heartburn
- Headache, dizziness, drowsiness, weakness
- Diarrhea or even constipation
- Muscle pain or joint pain
- Bleeding gums
- Runny nose and other cold symptoms
- Decreased sex drive
Check with your doctor if the side effects mentioned above do not go away or get worse. Immediately consult a doctor if an allergic drug reaction or more serious side effects occur, such as:
- Blurred or double vision
- Ringing ears
- Sudden deafness
- The body feels increasingly weak or very tired
- No appetite
- Dark urine
- Tingling , numbness, or burning sensation in the skin
- Pale stools
- Yellowing of skin and eyes ( jaundice )
- Confused, or dizzy like you might pass out
- Infrequent urination or pain when urinating
- Heart beat
- Impotence or erectile dysfunction