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Antifungal, azole (Oral route, parenteral route)

Brand Names:

  • 2 in 1 Dandruff
  • 3 Day Vaginal Cream
  • Abelcet
  • Ambisome
  • Amphocin
  • Amphotec
  • Ancobon
  • Bio-Statin
  • Blis-To-Sol
  • Caldesene
  • Cancidas
  • Derma Cidol 2000
  • Diflucan
  • Eraxis
  • Ertaczo
  • Exelderm
  • Fulvicin P/G
  • Fungoid
  • Grifulvin V
  • Gynazole-1
  • Lamisil
  • Loprox
  • Mentax
  • Monistat 1
  • Monistat I.V.
  • Mycamine
  • Myco-Nail
  • Naftin
  • Natacyn
  • Nizoral
  • Noxafil
  • Oxistat
  • Spectazole
  • Sporanox
  • Terazol 3
  • Tinactin
  • Vfend
  • Vusion
  • Mycostatin Suspension
  • Nadostine
  • Nadostine Sucrose-Free
  • Nilstat Drops
  • Nilstat Powder
  • Nyaderm
  • Pms-Nystatin

Dosage Forms:

  • Capsule
  • Solution
  • Tablet
  • Packet
  • Suspension
  • Powder for Suspension

Uses of This Medicine:

Azole antifungals are used to treat serious fungus infections that may occur in different parts of the body. These medicines may also be used for other problems as determined by your doctor.

These medicines are available only with your doctor's prescription.

Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, azole antifungals are used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:

  • Cryptococcosis
  • Cushing's syndrome
  • Fungus infections in newborns
  • Hirsutism
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Paronychia (infection of the tissue surrounding the nail)
  • Penicillium marneffei infection
  • Pneumonia caused by fungus
  • Prostate cancer
  • Ringworm of the beard, hand, or scalp
  • Septicemia (infection of the blood) caused by fungus
  • Skin infection (including leishmaniasis and sporotrichosis)

Before Using This Medicine:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to medicines in this group or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children

A small number of children have been safely treated with azole antifungals. Be sure to discuss with your child's doctor the use of these medicines in children.

Older adults

Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of azole antifungals in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Pregnancy

Studies have not been done in pregnant women. However, studies in some animals have shown that azole antifungals, taken in high doses, may cause harm to the mother and the fetus. They have caused birth defects in animals. During clinical practice of itraconazole, cases of birth defects including skeletal, GI tract, heart, and eye malformations and genetic malformations have been reported. Itraconazole should not be given to pregnant women or women who may become pregnant for the treatment of onychomycosis. Women who could become pregnant should use birth control while taking itraconazole and for 2 months after itraconazole treatment is stopped. Before taking these medicines, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

Breast-feeding

Azole antifungals pass into breast milk. Mothers who are taking these medicines and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctors.

Other medicines

Using medicines in this class with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with a medication in this class or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Alfuzosin
  • Alprazolam
  • Amobarbital
  • Aprobarbital
  • Astemizole
  • Bepridil
  • Butabarbital
  • Carbamazepine
  • Cisapride
  • Conivaptan
  • Dihydroergotamine
  • Dofetilide
  • Eplerenone
  • Ergoloid Mesylates
  • Ergonovine
  • Ergotamine
  • Eterobarb
  • Halofantrine
  • Heptabarbital
  • Hexobarbital
  • Levomethadyl
  • Lovastatin
  • Mephobarbital
  • Mesoridazine
  • Methylergonovine
  • Methysergide
  • Midazolam
  • Pentobarbital
  • Phenobarbital
  • Pimozide
  • Quinidine
  • Ranolazine
  • Rifabutin
  • Rifampin
  • Ritonavir
  • Secobarbital
  • Simvastatin
  • Sirolimus
  • St John's Wort
  • Terfenadine
  • Thioridazine
  • Triazolam
  • Ziprasidone

Using medicines in this class with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Acecainide
  • Acenocoumarol
  • Ajmaline
  • Alosetron
  • Alprazolam
  • Amiodarone
  • Amisulpride
  • Amitriptyline
  • Amoxapine
  • Anisindione
  • Aprepitant
  • Aprindine
  • Arsenic Trioxide
  • Atorvastatin
  • Azimilide
  • Bretylium
  • Cerivastatin
  • Chloral Hydrate
  • Chloroquine
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Cimetidine
  • Clarithromycin
  • Cyclosporine
  • Darunavir
  • Dasatinib
  • Delavirdine
  • Desipramine
  • Diazepam
  • Dibenzepin
  • Dicumarol
  • Digoxin
  • Disopyramide
  • Dolasetron
  • Doxepin
  • Droperidol
  • Efavirenz
  • Enflurane
  • Eplerenone
  • Erythromycin
  • Etravirine
  • Fentanyl
  • Flecainide
  • Fluoxetine
  • Fluticasone
  • Foscarnet
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Gemifloxacin
  • Halofantrine
  • Haloperidol
  • Halothane
  • Hydroquinidine
  • Ibutilide
  • Imipramine
  • Irinotecan
  • Isoflurane
  • Isoniazid
  • Isradipine
  • Ixabepilone
  • Lapatinib
  • Levofloxacin
  • Levomethadyl
  • Lidoflazine
  • Lorcainide
  • Lovastatin
  • Mefloquine
  • Midazolam
  • Nevirapine
  • Nilotinib
  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Nortriptyline
  • Octreotide
  • Pentamidine
  • Phenindione
  • Phenprocoumon
  • Phenytoin
  • Pirmenol
  • Prajmaline
  • Probucol
  • Procainamide
  • Prochlorperazine
  • Propafenone
  • Quetiapine
  • Quinidine
  • Repaglinide
  • Rifabutin
  • Rifampin
  • Risperidone
  • Salmeterol
  • Sematilide
  • Sertindole
  • Simvastatin
  • Sirolimus
  • Sotalol
  • Spiramycin
  • Sulfamethoxazole
  • Sultopride
  • Sunitinib
  • Tacrolimus
  • Tedisamil
  • Telithromycin
  • Temsirolimus
  • Topotecan
  • Triazolam
  • Trifluoperazine
  • Trimethoprim
  • Trimipramine
  • Varicella Virus Vaccine
  • Vasopressin
  • Vinblastine
  • Vincamine
  • Vincristine
  • Vincristine Liposome
  • Vindesine
  • Vinorelbine
  • Warfarin
  • Zidovudine
  • Zolmitriptan
  • Zotepine

Other interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using medicines in this class with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use your medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

  • Ethanol

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of medicines in this class. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Achlorhydria (absence of stomach acid) or
  • Hypochlorhydria (decreased amount of stomach acid) Itraconazole and ketoconazole may not be absorbed from the stomach as well in patients who have low levels of or no stomach acid.
  • Alcohol abuse (or history of) or
  • Liver disease Alcohol abuse or liver disease may increase the chance of side effects caused by azole antifungals.
  • Congestive heart failure or
  • Other heart problems Itraconazole may make these conditions worse.
  • Kidney disease The effects of fluconazole may be increased in patients with kidney disease.

Proper Use of This Medicine:

Ketoconazole and the capsule form of itraconazole should be taken with a full meal. The oral solution form of itraconazole should be taken on an empty stomach. If you have any questions about the antifungal medicine you are taking, check with your health care professional.

For patients taking the oral liquid form of fluconazole, itraconazole, or ketoconazole:

  • Use a specially marked measuring spoon or other device to measure each dose accurately. The average household teaspoon may not hold the right amount of liquid.

If you have achlorhydria (absence of stomach acid) or hypochlorhydria (decreased amount of stomach acid), and you are taking itraconazole or ketoconazole, your doctor may want you to take your medicine with an acidic drink. You may dissolve your medicine in cola or seltzer water and drink the solution, or your may take your medicine with a glass of cola or seltzer water. Your doctor may suggest that you dissolve each capsule or tablet in a teaspoonful of weak hydrochloric acid solution to help you absorb the medicine better. Your health care professional can prepare the solution for you. After you dissolve the tablet in the acid solution, add this mixture to a small amount (1 or 2 teaspoonfuls) of water in a glass. Drink the mixture through a plastic or glass drinking straw. Place the straw behind your teeth, as far back in your mouth as you can. This will keep the acid from harming your teeth. Be sure to drink all the liquid to get the full dose of medicine. Next, swish around in your mouth about one-half glass of water and then swallow it. This will help wash away any acid that may remain in your mouth or on your teeth.

To help clear up your infection completely, it is very important that you keep taking this medicine for the full time of treatment , even if your symptoms begin to clear up or you begin to feel better after a few days. Since fungus infections may be very slow to clear up, you may have to continue taking this medicine every day for as long as 6 months to a year or more. Some fungus infections never clear up completely and require continuous treatment. If you stop taking this medicine too soon, your symptoms may return.

This medicine works best when there is a constant amount in the blood. To help keep the amount constant, do not miss any doses . Also, it is best to take each dose at the same time every day. If you need help in planning the best time to take your medicine, check with your health care professional.

Dosing

The dose medicines in this class will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of these medicines. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For fungus infections:
    • For oral dosage form (capsule):
      • Adults 150 milligrams (mg) as a single dose to treat vaginal yeast infections.
      • Children up to 18 years of age Dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For oral dosage forms (suspension and tablets):
      • Adults and teenagers 200 to 400 mg on the first day, then 100 to 400 mg once a day for weeks or months, depending on the medical problem being treated. A vaginal yeast infection is treated with a single dose of 150 mg.
      • Children 6 months of age and older 6 to 12 mg per kilogram (mg/kg) (2.7 to 5.4 mg per pound) of body weight on the first day, then 3 to 12 mg/kg (1.35 to 5.4 mg per pound) of body weight once a day for weeks or months, depending on the medical problem being treated.
      • Infants and children up to 6 months of age Dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For injection dosage form:
      • Adults and teenagers 200 to 400 mg on the first day, then 100 to 400 mg once a day, injected into a vein, for weeks or months, depending on the medical problem being treated.
      • Children 6 months of age and older 6 to 12 mg per kilogram (mg/kg) (2.7 to 5.4 mg per pound) of body weight on the first day, then 3 to 12 mg/kg (1.35 to 5.4 mg per pound) of body weight once a day, injected into a vein, for weeks or months, depending on the medical problem being treated.
      • Infants and children up to 6 months of age Dose must be determined by your doctor.
  • For fungus infections:
    • For oral dosage form (capsule):
      • Adults and teenagers 200 milligrams (mg) once a day, which may be increased up to 400 mg once a day for weeks or months, depending on the medical problem being treated. Fingernail and toenail infections are treated with 200 mg one or two times a day for weeks or months.
      • Children up to 16 years of age Dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For oral dosage form (solution):
      • Adults and teenagers 200 milligrams (mg) once a day, which may be increased up to 400 mg once a day for weeks or months, depending on the medical problem being treated. Fingernail and toenail infections are treated with 200 mg one or two times a day for weeks or months.
      • Children up to 16 years of age Dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For injection dosage form:
      • Adults and teenagers 100 to 200 mg once a day for days or weeks, depending on the medical problem being treated.
      • Children up to 12 years of age Dose must be determined by your doctor.
  • For febrile neutropenia (low white blood cell count with a fever):
    • For oral dosage form (solution):
      • Adults and teenagers 200 milligrams (mg) twice a day until your doctor tells you to stop taking this medicine. Your doctor will have you use itraconazole for injection before being switched to oral solution.
      • Children up to 16 years of age Dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For injection dosage form:
      • Adults 200 milligrams (mg) twice a day for 4 doses, then 200 mg once a day for up to 14 days. Your doctor will have you start taking oral solution after you have completed your treatment with this injection dosage form.
      • Children Dose must be determined by your doctor.
  • For fungus infections:
    • For oral dosage form (suspension and tablets):
      • Adults and teenagers 200 to 400 milligrams (mg) once a day for days or weeks, depending on the medical problem being treated.
      • Children over 2 years of age 3.3 to 6.6 mg per kilogram (1.5 to 3 mg per pound) of body weight once a day for days or weeks, depending on the medical problem being treated.
      • Infants and children up to 2 years of age Dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Keep the oral liquid form of this medicine from freezing.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to check for any unwanted effects.

If your symptoms do not improve within a few weeks (or months for some infections), or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

These medicines should not be taken with astemizole (e.g., Hismanal), cisapride (e.g., Propulsid), dofetilide (e.g., Tikosyn) or terfenadine (e.g., Seldane). Doing so may increase the risk of serious side effects affecting the heart.

Liver problems may be more likely to occur if you drink alcoholic beverages while you are taking ketoconazole. Alcoholic beverages may also cause stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, or flushing or redness of the face. Other alcohol-containing preparations (for example, elixirs, cough syrups, tonics) may also cause problems. These problems may occur for at least a day after you stop taking ketoconazole. Therefore, you should not drink alcoholic beverages or use alcohol-containing preparations while you are taking this medicine and for at least a day after you stop taking it.

If you are taking antacids, cimetidine (e.g., Tagamet), famotidine (e.g., Pepcid), nizatidine (e.g., Axid), omeprazole (e.g., Prilosec), or ranitidine (e.g., Zantac) while you are taking itraconazole or ketoconazole, take the other medicine at least 2 hours after you take itraconazole or ketoconazole . If you take these medicines at the same time that you take itraconazole or ketoconazole, they will keep your antifungal medicine from working properly.

Ketoconazole may cause your eyes to become more sensitive to light than they are normally. Wearing sunglasses and avoiding too much exposure to bright light may help lessen the discomfort.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common
Fever and chills
skin rash or itching
Rare
Dark or amber urine
fever and sore throat
pale stools
reddening, blistering, peeling, or loosening of skin and mucous membranes
stomach pain
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
yellow eyes or skin
Incidence not known Itraconazole
(occurred during clinical practice for itraconazole)
Abdominal pain
black, tarry stools
blistering, peeling or loosening of skin
bloating or swelling of face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
blue lips and fingernails
blurred vision
burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations
chest pain
chills
continuing vomiting
convulsions
cough
coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum
decreased urine output
difficult, fast, noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing
difficulty swallowing
dilated neck veins
dry mouth
extreme fatigue
fast heartbeat
fatigue
flushed, dry skin
fruit-like breath odor
general feeling of tiredness or weakness
hives or welts
increased hunger
increased sweating
increased thirst
increased urination
irregular breathing
irregular heartbeat
itching skin
joint or muscle pain
large amount of triglyceride in the blood
large, hive-like swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, sex organs
light-colored stools
lower back or side pain
mood changes
muscle pain or cramps
numbness or tingling in hands, feet, or lips
painful or difficult urination
pale skin
pale stools
puffiness
rapid weight gain
red skin lesions, often with a purple center
red, irritated eyes
redness of skin
shortness of breath
skin rash or itching
sores, ulcers, or white spots in mouth or on lips
sweating
swelling in legs and ankles
swelling of face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
tightness in chest
tingling of hands or feet
troubled breathing
unexplained weight loss
unsteadiness or awkwardness
unusual weight gain or loss
upper right abdominal pain
weakness in arms, hands, legs, or feet
weight gain
wheezing
Incidence not known Fluconazole
(occurred during clinical practice for fluconazole)
Black, tarry, stools
chest pain or discomfort
cough
decreased urine
diarrhea
dry mouth
fainting
increased thirst
irregular or slow heartbeat
joint or muscle pain
large amount of cholesterol in the blood
large amount of triglyceride in the blood
large, hive-like swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, sex organs
loss of bladder control
lower back or side pain
mood changes
muscle pain or cramps
muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities
nausea or vomiting
numbness or tingling in hands, feet, or lips
painful or difficult urination
pale skin
red irritated eyes
red skin lesions, often with a purple center
shortness of breath
sore throat
sores, ulcers, or white spots in mouth or on lips
sudden loss of consciousness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common
Constipation
diarrhea
dizziness
drowsiness
headache
nausea
vomiting
Rare
(for ketoconazole)
Decreased sexual ability in males
enlargement of the breasts in males
increased sensitivity of the eyes to light
menstrual irregularities
Incidence not known Fluconazole
(occurred during clinical practice for fluconazole)
Acid or sour stomach
bad unusual or unpleasant taste in mouth
belching
change in taste
hair loss
heartburn
swelling of face
thinning of hair

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.


Last Updated: 6/12/2013
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