Itraconazole

Where is Itraconazole used?

Itraconazole is a type of medicine called triazole antifungal used to treat infections caused by fungi. This medication is used for:

  • Fungal infection called histoplasmosis
  • Fungal nail infections
  • Fungal skin infections such as athlete’s foot, ringworm, jock itch
  • Oral thrush 
  • Vaginal thrush
  • Systemic fungal infections caused by Cryptococcus fungi including cryptococcal meningitis
  • Systemic fungal infections caused by Aspergillus fungi and Candida fungi
  • Preventing systemic fungal infections in people with a low white blood cell count or AIDS

How does Itraconazole work?

Itraconazole works by stopping fungi from making a substance called ergosterol, which is a needed component of fungal cell membranes. The cell membranes of fungi are dynamic for their existence. They keep unsolicited substances from entering the cells and stop the substances of the cells from leaking out. Lacking ergosterol as part of the cell membrane, the membrane is damaged and weakened. It is also important components of the fungal cells can leak out. This kills the fungi and therefore clears up the infection.

How is Itraconazole taken?

Take this medication usually once or twice daily, by mouth with a full meal as directed by your doctor. Swallow the medicine as a whole. Take a dose of this medicine one hour after or 2 hours before antacids. Antacids may reduce the absorption of this medicine. Take this medicine with an acidic drink if you have decreased or no stomach acid or if you take drugs that decrease stomach acid. 

Take this antifungal at an evenly spaced time for the best effect. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time every each. If you are taking this medication in cycles you can mark your calendar with a reminder.

The dosage and length of treatment depend on your condition and response. Take this medication exactly as prescribed. Some conditions may oblige you to take this medicine in cycles. Continue taking this medicine until the full prescription is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medicine too early may result in a return of the infection. 

What are the possible side effects of Itraconazole?

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Itching
  • Burning sensations edema 

What are the precautions in taking Itraconazole?

  • This medication may rarely cause liver problems. Your doctor may want you to have regular blood tests to monitor your liver function while you are having this treatment. Consult your doctor promptly if you develop any signs of a liver problem.
  • Consult your doctor right away if you experience abnormal sensations in your feet and hands while taking this medicine. This could be a symptom of a nerve problem called peripheral neuropathy. Your doctor may want you to stop taking this drug.
  • This remedy may have side effects on the ears. It may cause hearing loss that typically resolves when treatment is stopped, however it may also be permanent in some cases. Inform your doctor right away if you think your hearing is being affected by this drug. 
  • This may not be recommended for use in pregnant or breastfeeding women. Consult your doctor first before taking.