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Itraconazole

Itraconazole is an anti-fungal medication used for the treatment of various fungi and yeasts. This medication works by killing the cell membranes of the yeast or fungi that are otherwise essential to the survival of the substances.

What is itraconazole?

Itraconazole is an antifungal medication used to kill the fungi and yeasts in the body that can sometimes give rise to dangerous conditions. While there are fungi that can live harmlessly on human skin without causing problems, others can thrive and multiply in dangerous amounts, causing infections which usually lead to discomfort, pain and other unwanted side effects.

Itraconazole can treat various kinds of fungal infection. It works by breaking down or weakening the walls of the fungal cells, causing crucial liquids to leak out and the cells to die. Some people are more likely to develop fungal infections if they have a low immune system or other illnesses already. It is important to seek assistance from a doctor if you believe that you have any kind of infection. Itraconazole is only available with a prescription from a medical consultant.

When is itraconazole used?

Itraconazole is a common and well-tolerated anti-fungal medication. The active ingredient in this medicine works by weakening the cell membranes of the yeasts and fungi that can cause damage or discomfort in the body. Itraconazole can sometimes be used for the treatment of both external and internal infections. For instance, you may be given itraconazole to treat:

  • Organ infection;
  • Vaginal infection or thrush;
  • Fungal nail infections;
  • Tinea versicolor infections of the skin;
  • Fungal infections of the foot.

Itraconazole has a positive effect on many long-lasting infections because it can remain in the body for extended periods of time.

How do you use itraconazole?

Before you begin to use any new medication, or you start a repeat dose of a medication that you have already used before, it is important to read the patient leaflet that comes with your treatment. This leaflet is designed to give you information about how to take your medication, as well as the steps that you can take to reduce the risk of side effects.

To ensure that you get the best benefit from itraconazole, make sure that you follow the instructions given by your doctor or consultant. Take this medication orally, often with a meal, as this will help it to absorb properly in your stomach. Make sure that you swallow the itraconazole capsules whole – do not chew or break them.

Itraconazole should be taken at least two hours before or one hour after antacids, as these medications could harm your body’s ability to absorb this medication. Take the full dose of itraconazole, completing the course. You should continue taking itraconazole until your course is finished, even if your symptoms begin to disappear within a few days. Stopping any medication too early could lead to a return of the infection.

Itraconazole comes in many different forms, including capsule, tablets and a liquid solution. Do not switch between different brands of this drug or different forms without first consulting your doctor.

What dosages are there?

Itraconazole will be given to you in a dose that is based on your medical history and your needs with the infection you are suffering from. The dosage and length of treatment may differ according to your needs. You should take this medication exactly as your doctor tells you to, and do not stop taking it until the course is complete.

For the best results, make sure that you take this medication at evenly-spaced times throughout the day, which will help to keep a consistent amount of the medication in your blood stream. You may need to make alarms to remind yourself.

Tell your doctor if your condition worsens or does not appear to be getting better after a few days.

The usual dose is between one or two 100 mg itraconazole tablets once or twice a day according to your doctor’s instructions. If the strength of the treatment is lower, then you may need to take it more often.

What are the side effects of itraconazole?

All medications can potentially cause side effects, and it is important to be aware of these issues so you know when to seek help. The side effects from itraconazole tablets are usually limited to very minor issues, including an upset stomach, headache, diarrhoea, vomiting or nausea. However, if any of those problems worsen or persist, speak to your doctor.

Itraconazole will have been prescribed to you because your doctor deemed the potential benefits to be greater than the possible side effects. However, it is important to be aware of any serious side effects that can occur so you can get help immediately. Tell a medical professional if you have serious side effects such as:

  • Sudden changes to your mood, such as depression;
  • Sudden changes in your hearing or loss of hearing;
  • Problems with tingling or numbness in your arms or legs;
  • Severe dizziness;
  • Gastrointestinal systems that persist for extended periods of time.

In very rare circumstances, itraconazole tablets can cause serious and even fatal instances of liver disease. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms that indicate liver problems, such as a loss of appetite, abdominal or stomach pain, dark urine, yellowing in the hair eyes and skin, or anything else unusual.

In some cases, itraconazole tablets can cause a mild rash that is not serious. However when rashes occur, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a non-dangerous rash and something that could indicate an allergic reaction. You should seek medical help immediately if you notice any symptoms of a possible allergic reaction, including swelling, itching, dizziness or problems with your breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. Make sure that you speak to your doctor immediately if you notice any side effects that are not listed here.

When should you not use itraconazole?

Itraconazole is a well-tolerated medication that can be helpful for a lot of patients. However, there may be cases where this is not the right treatment for you. Before you begin taking itraconazole tablets, itraconazole capsules or suspension, make sure that your pharmacist or doctor is aware of your medical history, particularly if you have any issues with kidney disease, liver disease, heart failure, heart valve problems or lung disease.

If you have decreased or limited stomach acid, then you may need to take this medication with a different kind of liquid or adjust your medication when taking itraconazole. Make sure that you tell your doctor or consultant if you have any allergies to itraconazole before you begin taking it. You should also mention other allergies to similar antifungal medications and anything else that may be relevant. This medication can include inactive ingredients that also cause allergic responses.

Itraconazole can make you feel dizzy or lose your balance, and alcohol and other medications can sometimes increase these side effects. Be cautious about driving a car or operating machinery when you are taking itraconazole. You should tell your doctor or consultant if you are also consuming alcohol or cannabis when you are taking itraconazole tablets, itraconazole capsules or suspension.

Older adults and younger children could face greater risks from taking this drug. This could mean that your doctor may ask for regular check-ups to ensure that you are safe to continue using itraconazole tablets, itraconazole capsules or suspension. Itraconazole should also not be used in pregnancy – other treatments can be taken instead.

Does itraconazole interact with other medications?

Itraconazole and other drugs may interact negatively together in your body, which increases the risk of dangerous side effects, or may change the way that certain drugs work. Because of this, it is important to make sure that you keep a list of medications with you at all times that you can share with your doctor or consultant when taking a new treatment.

Ensure that your doctor or consultant is aware of all the medications that you are using, including over-the-counter substances and herbal remedies as well as prescription medications that may have been given to you in the past.

Medications can interact with itraconazole in various way. Some medicines also affect the evacuation of this medication from your body. You should always check that it is safe to be prescribed itraconazole tablets, itraconazole capsules or suspension before you begin taking it with any other medicine. Do not change the dosage of a medicine that you are using or start taking something new when you are taking itraconazole tablets, itraconazole capsules or suspension until you have confirmed that it is safe with a medical professional.

Where can you buy itraconazole?

You can purchase itraconazole tablets, itraconazole capsules or suspension online or offline from a pharmacy, provided that you have had a discussion with a medical professional who has issued you with a prescription.

Can I buy itraconazole without a prescription?

Itraconazole is not available without a prescription. You must ensure that this is the right treatment for you by speaking to a medical professional.

Sources

Drugs.com (2019, March 20 ) itraconazole. Retrieved 11 April 2020 from: https://www.drugs.com/mtm/itraconazole.html

Mayo Clinic (2020, April 01) itraconazole 100mg Capsules, hard. Retrieved 11 April 2020 from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/itraconazole-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20071421?p=1

Medicines.org (2019, March 20 ) itraconazole 100mg Capsules, hard. Retrieved 11 April 2020 from: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/5914/smpc

Medlineplus.gov (2017, November 15 ) itraconazole. Retrieved 11 April 2020 from: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a692049.html

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