In this session, we will be discussing the consumer medication information for itraconazole, trade name SporanoxTM.
What it’s for & How to take
Itraconazole is an antifungal medication that works to slow the growth of certain types of fungus. This medication may be used to prevent and treat fungal infections throughout the body, including vaginal, oral, throat, abdominal, blood and other organs that may be infected.
In general, our body keeps a steady balance of healthy fungus and bacteria. The balance might be changed by antibiotics, steroids, chemotherapy or other situations that stress your body. When this happens, the fungus grows more easily in your body.
Itraconazole capsules are usually taken 1 or 2 times daily. This medication should be taken with a full meal. If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip it and continue with your normal dose time. Do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.
Avoid taking antacids or any medication that decreases the acid in your stomach either 1 hour before or 2 hours after you take itraconazole. This medication will not work as well when taken with antacids.
Take this medication until it is all done, even if you are feeling better and the symptoms are gone. Stopping the medication too soon may allow for the fungus to come back only after a short time. If you notice that your symptoms are not getting better, call your doctor.
Most Important Warnings
- Itraconazole may worsen congestive heart failure. Do not take this medication if you have a history of heart failure. Stop this medication and call your doctor right away at the first sign of shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, sudden weight gain, or swelling in the ankles.
- Some medications, when taken with itraconazole, have been known to cause serious heart problems and sudden death. Talk with your pharmacist or doctor before taking any medication along with itraconazole.
Other Warnings & Cautions
- Tell your doctor if you have ever been told you have any heart rhythm problems. Rarely, itraconazole may cause your heart to beat fast and unsteady. If you feel any severe dizziness or feel like your heart is racing or beating too fast, get medical help right away.
- Rarely, this medication may make you dizzy, drowsy, or blur your vision. Do not drive or do any activity that requires focus and attention until you are sure you can do them safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages while taking itraconazole.
- Infants born to mothers who are taking itraconazole may be at risk. This medication should only be used during pregnancy when the benefit to the mother is greater than the risk to the unborn baby. Talk with your doctor about this.
- Itraconazole passes into breast milk. Talk with your doctor before breastfeeding if you are taking this medication.
Interactions & Side Effects
- Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if itraconazole is safe for you to take.
- Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don’t take them very often.
- Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any history of liver or kidney disease, any form of heart rhythm abnormality or any other medical condition.
- While taking itraconazole, you may feel a headache, dizziness, nervousness, depression or perhaps some gastrointestinal effects such as diarrhea or stomach pain. You may also have some sores in and around your mouth or unpleasant taste. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
- Call your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection such as nausea or vomiting, lack of energy, dark urine or flu-like symptoms, ringing in the ears, swelling or any other unwanted or persistent side effects.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you have a fast or abnormal heart beat, experience severe dizziness or fainting or become short of breath.
If you have any questions about what you have heard, contact your pharmacist or doctor. This session does not include all the potential interactions or side effects that this medication may cause. Ask your pharmacist how your medication should be stored and how you should dispose of it when you are done taking it. Do not share your medication with anyone, ever. Remember, this is not meant to replace your counseling session with your pharmacist. In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.