What is Itraconazole?
Itraconazole is an antifungal medicine. The active ingredient itraconazole works by weakening the cell membranes of various fungi and yeasts. These cell membranes are vital for their survival. Itraconazole treats fungal and yeast infections from the inside out: the medicine is absorbed in the bloodstream via the intestines and deposited in the affected tissues. Itraconazole is a prescription-only medicine.
What is Itraconazole used for?
Itraconazole is used to treat various infections with fungi and yeasts, including:
- Fungal infection of the foot (athlete’s foot);
- Tinea versicolour, Tinea corporis and other skin infections;
- Onychomycosis (fungal nail);
- Thrush (fungal infection of the mouth);
- Vaginal fungal infection;
- Fungal or yeast infection of the internal organs.
How to use Itraconazole
Itraconazole capsules should be swallowed whole with plenty of water. You can also break the capsules and disperse them in a spoonful of applesauce, for example, if you have difficulty swallowing. It is best to take this medicine with or directly after meals. Always finish the entire course, even if the symptoms have improved. Strength, daily dose and duration of treatment should be determined by a doctor depending on your symptoms. Length of treatment may vary from several days to months.
Unless otherwise advised by the doctor, the usual dose in adults is:
- one to two 100-mg capsules once to twice a day for as long as the doctor prescribes.
Like all medicines, Itraconazole can cause side effects. The most commonly reported side effects include:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, stomach ache, diarrhoea, constipation);
- Skin rash due to allergic reaction.
When not to use Itraconazole
Itraconazole is not suitable for everyone. This antifungal medicine should not be used if:
- You are allergic to itraconazole or any other ingredient in this medicine.
Itraconazole should not be used by women who are pregnant or planning to conceive without consulting a doctor first. Do not to take this medicine if you are breastfeeding unless your doctor tells you to do so.
In principle, Itraconazole does not affect your ability to drive. In rare cases it may cause dizziness. Stay out of traffic if you experience this side effect.
Limit or stop drinking alcohol while taking this medicine as this is likely to trigger or worsen side effects such as dizziness.