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What is Itraconazole?
Itraconazole is an antifungal antibiotic that is used against infections caused by fungus, which can affect any part of the body including mouth, throat, esophagus, toenails, and fingernails. Itraconazole is sold under various trade names, a couple of which are Sporanox and Itaspor (made by Intas Pharmaceuticals).
Important Information about Itraconazole
Itraconazole antifungal medicine (Sporanox, Itaspor) should not be taken if you are allergic to it or to similar drugs like clotrimazole, econazole, ketoconazole, miconcazole, sertaconazole, sulconzole, terconazole, tioconazole, or voriconazole. This medicine should not be taken along with other medicines like cisapride, dofetilide, lovastatin or simvastatin, methadone, midazolam or triazolam, felodipine or nisoldipine, pimozide, quinidine, or ergot medicines like dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, or methylegonovine.
Prior to taking Itraconazole, notify your doctor if you have liver disease, kidney disease, a heart rhythm disorder, or a history of Long QT syndrome. You must take this medicine for the entire prescribed period, even after all the symptoms have disappeared. The infection may still not be wiped out from your body. Not taking this medicine as prescribed can worsen your condition and cause an infection which is drug resistant.
Itraconazole is an FDA pregnancy category C drug. It is not known whether it can harm an unborn baby if taken while being pregnant. This medicine can pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. Consult your doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breast feeding.
Before taking Itraconazole
Before taking Itraconazole antifungal medicine (Sporanox, Itaspor), take care of all precautions mentioned above. Discuss them with your doctor and clear all doubts which you may have about this drug.
How should I take Itraconazole?
Take Itraconazole antifungal medication (Sporanox, Itaspor) strictly according to your doctor’s direction or according to the instructions on the medication label. Do not alter the dosage unless your doctor advises you to do so. Also, do not take this medication after the prescribed period is over. All medications come with a patient leaflet. Refer the instructions in them for detailed information on that particular medication. Take Itraconazole capsules after a full meal. Always store Itraconazole medicine in a cool and dry place.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Itraconazole, take it as soon as you remember. Don’t take the missed dose if the time to take the next dose is almost up. Taking multiple doses near to each other can lead to excess medication in your body which can be harmful.
What if I overdose?
In case of an overdose of Itraconazole, get emergency medical attention or call the Doctor immediately.
Things and Activities to avoid while taking Itraconazole
Follow your doctor’s advice on any food or activity restrictions while taking Itraconazole. Do not take antacids or stomach acid reducers within 1 hour prior to or 2 hours after taking this medicine. They can make absorption of Itraconazole harder for the body.
Itraconazole Side Effects
Some common side effects of Itraconazole are nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, headache, and dizziness. If any of these side effects continue for long time or deteriorate, seek medical attention right away.
Itraconazole may rarely cause a serious liver disease or other serious side effects. Signs of liver damage are severe stomach or abdominal pain, persistent nausea or vomiting, yellowing of eyes or skin, dark urine or unusual tiredness. Call your doctor right away if you experience any serious side effects due to Itraconazole.
The side effects mentioned above are not the only ones that you may experience or witness due to Itraconazole. If you get any serious side effects due to this medication, contact your doctor right away.
Itraconazole Dosing Information
Itraconazole dosage may depend on a range of factors like age, sex, drug allergies, or seriousness of the condition among several other factors. Your dosage will be determined by your doctor after examining you properly. Remember to follow your doctor’s advice properly for best results.
Interaction with other drugs
Many other drugs can interact with Itraconazole. Let your doctor know in advance if you use any of the following drugs: a blood thinner like warfarin or clopidogrel, alfentanil, cyclophosphamide, cyclosporine methadone pimozide prednisone saquinavir, sirolimus, tacrolimus, theophylline, voriconazole, antidepressants, cancer medicines, cholesterol lowering medicines, heart or blood pressure medicines, NSAIDs, oral diabetes medicines, rifabutin, sedative drugs, or seizure medicines.
However, these are not the only medicines that can interact with Itraconazole. There may be others as well. Inform your doctor about all other medicines and related products which you may be using. Never start a new medication without consulting your doctor first.
- If you are taking an antiacid, take it 1 hour before or 2 hours after taking itraconazole.
- Do not take Itraconazole, if you are pregnant, think that you might be pregnant, or are breast-feeding.
- Itraconazole may make you feel dizzy, or have blurred/double vision, or affect your hearing. Do not drive or use machines if you feel dizzy, or if your eyesight or hearing are affected.
- Stop taking itraconazole and consult your doctor immediately, if you experience severe allergic reactions such as red and itchy skin rash, difficulty breathing, swelling of face, mouth, lips or eyelids, unexplained high temperature (fever) and feeling faint.
- Inform your doctor immediately, if you experience loss of hearing or hearing disturbances or ringing in the ears, blurred or double vision or sensitivity to light or inability to control urine or increased urination or diarrhea.
- Inform your doctor, if you have or have had liver or kidney problem, as the dose of itraconazole may have to be changed, and the liver function will have to be tested periodically.
- Inform your doctor before taking itraconazole, if you are suffering from HIV/ AIDS, or any other disease where your immune system is compromised.