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Drugs reference index «Itraconazole»



Pronunciation: (IT-ra-KON-a-zole)Class: Triazole antifungal

Trade Names:Sporanox- Capsules 100 mg- Solution, oral 10 mg/mL


Inhibits the CYP-450–dependent synthesis of ergosterol, which is a vital component of fungal cell membranes.



Absolute bioavailability 55%. The mean C max at steady state is approximately 2,282 ng/mL (capsules) and 1,963 ng/mL (oral solution). The mean T max at steady state is approximately 4.6 h (capsules) and 2.5 h (oral solution).


99.8% of itraconazole and 99.5% of hydroxyitraconazole are protein bound.


The active metabolite is hydroxyitraconazole. Metabolized predominantly by CYP-450 3A4 isoenzyme, resulting in several metabolites.


The mean t ½ at steady state is approximately 64 h (capsules) and 39.7 h (oral solution). Approximately 40% is excreted in the urine as inactive metabolites, and 3% to 18% is excreted in the feces as the parent drug.

Special Populations

Renal Function Impairment

Bioavailability is slightly reduced.

Hepatic Function Impairment

Prolonged t ½ . Monitor closely. Reduced C max 147% (capsules).

Indications and Usage


Treatment of aspergillosis, blastomycosis, histoplasmosis, and onychomycosis (non-immunocompromised patients only).


Treatment of oropharyngeal or esophageal candidiasis and empiric treatment of febrile neutropenic patients with suspected fungal infections.

Unlabeled Uses


Recommended as an alternative to fluconazole as secondary prevention of oropharyngeal, vaginal, or esophageal candidiasis in HIV-infected patients who have severe or frequent recurrences.


Alternative to fluconazole for prevention of Cryptococcus in adults with advanced HIV disease (CD4 counts less than 50 cell/mcL) and recommended as an alternative to fluconazole for lifelong secondary prevention of cryptococcal disease in HIV-infected adults; first-line agent in the primary prevention of histoplasmosis in adults with advanced HIV disease (CD4 counts less than 100 cells/mcL) and live in endemic areas (rate of at least 10 cases per 100 patient-years) and also as first-line agent for lifelong secondary prophylaxis; recommended as an alternate agent to fluconazole for lifelong secondary prevention of coccidioidomycosis in HIV-infected adults. Oral itraconazole is recommended also for secondary prevention of histoplasmosis, cryptococcal disease, and coccidioidomycosis in children with HIV; primary prevention of histoplasmosis (first-line agent) and cryptococcal disease (alternate therapy) in children with HIV, with severe immunosuppression, and who live in endemic areas (histoplasmosis).


Coadministration with cisapride, dofetilide, ergot derivatives (eg, ergotamine), nisoldipine, pimozide, quinidine, triazolam, levacetylmethadol (levomethadyl), oral midazolam, or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors metabolized by the CYP-450 3A enzyme system (eg, lovastatin, simvastatin); not for treatment of onychomycosis in pregnant women or women contemplating pregnancy; ventricular dysfunction such as CHF or history of CHF; hypersensitivity to any component of the product.

Dosage and Administration

Aspergillosis, Blastomycosis, HistoplasmosisAdults

PO 200 to 400 mg/day. Give doses higher than 200 mg in 2 divided doses. An inadequate treatment period may lead to recurrence.

Esophageal CandidiasisAdults

PO 100 mg/day (10 mL) for a minimum of 3 wk. Continue treatment for 2 wk following resolution of symptoms. Doses up to 200 mg/day may be used based on medical judgment of the patient's response. Vigorously swish solution in mouth (10 mL at a time) for several seconds and swallow.

Life-Threatening SituationsAdults



Loading dose of 200 mg 3 times daily for 3 days. Continue treatment for a minimum of 3 mo and until clinical parameters and laboratory tests indicate the active fungal infection has subsided.

Onychomycosis, Fingernails OnlyAdults

PO 2 treatment pulses separated by a 3-wk period without itraconazole. Each pulse consisting of 200 mg twice daily for 1 wk.

Onychomycosis, Toenails With or Without Fingernail InvolvementAdults

PO 200 mg/day for 12 wk.

Oropharyngeal CandidiasisAdults

PO 200 mg (20 mL)/day of oral solution for 1 to 2 wk. Vigorously swish solution in mouth (10 mL at a time) for several seconds and swallow. For patients with oropharyngeal candidiasis unresponsive/refractory to treatment with fluconazole tablets, the recommended dose is 100 mg (10 mL) twice daily.

General Advice

  • Oral solution and capsules are not interchangeable.
  • Administer capsules immediately after a full meal to ensure max absorption.
  • Administer capsules with 8 oz of a cola beverage in HIV-infected patient or patient taking gastric acid suppressive therapy (eg, H 2 -receptor antagonist, proton pump inhibitor) or if the patient has achlorhydria.
  • Administer antacids at least 1 h before or 2 h after administration of itraconazole capsules.
Oral solution
  • Administer prescribed dose on an empty stomach to ensure max absorption.
  • If treating oral or esophageal candidiasis, have patient vigorously swish the solution in mouth for several seconds and swallow.
  • Measure prescribed dose using dosing cup, spoon, or syringe.



Store capsules at controlled room temperature (59° to 77°F). Protect from light and moisture.

Oral solution

Store oral solution below 77°F. Protect from freezing.

Drug Interactions

Alfentanil, alfuzosin, almotriptan, alprazolam, aripiprazole, atorvastatin, bosentan, buspirone, busulfan, carbamazepine, cerivastatin, cilostazol, cinacalcet, conivaptan, cyclophosphamide, cyclosporine, diazepam, digoxin, disopyramide, docetaxel, eletriptan, fentanyl, gefitinib, halofantrine, haloperidol, protease inhibitors, quetiapine, risperidone, sildenafil, sirolimus, tacrolimus, tadalafil, tolterodine, trimetrexate, vardenafil, venlafaxine, warfarin, zolpidem

Levels may be elevated by itraconazole, increasing the risk of adverse reactions.

Antacids, carbamazepine, grapefruit juice, H 2 -receptor antagonists (eg, cimetidine), isoniazid, orange juice, phenobarbital, phenytoin, proton pump inhibitors

Plasma levels of itraconazole may be decreased.

Calcium blockers (eg, amlodipine, felodipine, nifedipine, verapamil)

Edema has occurred with concomitant dihydropyridine calcium blockers.

Cisapride, dofetilide, eplerenone, ergot alkaloids, levacetylmethadol, lovastatin, nisoldapine, oral midazolam, pimozide, quinidine, ranolazine, simvastatin, triazolam

Serious CV events may occur. Coadministration is contraindicated.

Corticosteroids (eg, budesonide, dexamethasone, methylprednisolone)

The metabolism of these corticosteroids may be inhibited, resulting in increased toxicity.

Didanosine (buffered)

May decrease therapeutic effects of itraconazole. Administer itraconazole 2 h or more before didanosine.

HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors

Coadministration may increase risk of rhabdomyolysis. Lovastatin and simvastatin coadministration is contraindicated.

Hypoglycemic agents

Hypoglycemia may occur. Monitor blood glucose.

Macrolide antibiotics (eg, clarithromycin, erythromycin), protease inhibitors (eg, indinavir, ritonavir)

Plasma levels of itraconazole may be increased.

Nevirapine, phenytoin, rifamycins

Reduced plasma levels of itraconazole may occur. Avoid use if possible.

Phenytoin, rifamycins, vinca alkaloids

Levels may be elevated by itraconazole, increasing the risk of adverse reactions. Avoid use if possible.

Laboratory Test Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

The incidence and type of adverse reaction vary depending on usage and route of administration.


Hypertension (3%); hypotension, orthostatic hypotension, tachycardia, vasculitis (1%); CHF (postmarketing).


Headache (4%); fatigue (3%); depression, dizziness (2%); decreased libido, malaise, somnolence, vertigo (1%); hypoesthesia, paresthesia, peripheral neuropathy (postmarketing).


Rash (9%); increased sweating (4%); pruritus (3%); skin disorder (2%); hypotension (1%); alopecia, erythema multiforme, exfoliative dermatitis, leukocytoclastic vasculitis, photosensitivity, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, urticaria (postmarketing).


Ophthalmic malformations, tinnitus, visual disturbances including blurred vision and diplopia (postmarketing).


Diarrhea, nausea (11%); vomiting (7%); abdominal pain (6%); GI disorders (4%); constipation (2%); anorexia (1%); dysgeusia, dyspepsia (postmarketing).


Abnormal renal function, albuminuria, impotence (1%); erectile dysfunction, menstrual disorder, pollakiuria, urinary incontinence (postmarketing).


Leukopenia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia (postmarketing).


Bilirubinemia (6%); elevated liver enzymes (4%); abnormal hepatic function, ALT increased (3%); AST increased, jaundice (2%); hepatitis, hepatotoxicity (some fatal), reversible increases in hepatic enzymes (postmarketing).


Hypokalemia (9%); hypertriglyceridemia, increased serum creatinine (3%); hypomagnesemia, increased alkaline phosphatase, increased LDH (2%); fluid overload, hypocalcemia, increased BUN (1%).


Myalgia, rigors (1%); arthralgia (postmarketing).


Coughing (4%); increased sputum, dyspnea, pneumonia, sinusitis (2%); pulmonary edema (postmarketing).


Fever (7%); edema (4%); chest pain (3%); pain, Pneumocystis carinii infection (2%); anaphylactic, anaphylactoid, and allergic reactions, anaphylaxis, angioneurotic edema, chromosomal and multiple malformations, peripheral edema, serum sickness (postmarketing).



Not to be administered for treatment of onychomycosis in patients with evidence of ventricular dysfunction (eg, CHF) or history of CHF. Monitor for signs and symptoms of CHF; discontinue if they develop. Coadministration of cisapride, levacetylmethadol (levomethadyl), dofetilide, pimozide, or quinidine is contraindicated. Serious CV events, including arrhythmias and QT prolongation, may occur.


Monitor for signs and symptoms of CHF. Monitor patient for signs and symptoms of hepatic injury (fatigue, right upper quadrant abdominal pain, persistent appetite loss or nausea, vomiting, dark urine, yellowing of skin or eyes).


Category C .


Excreted in breast milk.


Safety and efficacy not established.


Use with caution because of the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and concomitant diseases or other drug therapy.

Renal Function

Use with caution because of limited available data.

Hepatic Function

Rare cases of serious hepatotoxicity, including liver failure and death, have been reported.

HIV-infected patients

Absorption may be decreased in HIV-infected patients with hypochlorhydria.



Limited data available.

Patient Information

  • Advise patient to read patient information leaflet before starting therapy and with each refill.
  • Review dosing schedule and prescribed length of therapy with patient. Advise patient that treatment may be prolonged (eg, several weeks or months) and to continue medication until advised to stop using by health care provider.
  • Capsules and Oral Solution
  • Caution patient that capsules and oral solution cannot be used interchangeably.
  • Advise patient to take capsules after a full meal to obtain max benefit.
  • Advise HIV-infected patient or patient receiving gastric acid suppressive therapy (eg, H 2 -receptor antagonist, proton pump inhibitor) to take capsules with 8 oz of a cola beverage to obtain max benefit.
  • Advise patient using antacids to take the antacid at least 1 h before or 2 h after taking itraconazole capsules.
  • Advise patient using oral solution to measure prescribed dose with dosing cup, spoon, or syringe and to take prescribed dose on an empty stomach to obtain max benefit.
  • Advise patient using oral solution to treat oral or esophageal candidiasis to vigorously swish the solution in mouth for several seconds and then swallow.
  • Advise patient that if a dose is missed, to take as soon as remembered. However, if it is nearing the time for the next dose, advise patient to skip the dose and take the next dose at the regularly scheduled time.
  • Remind patient to complete entire course of therapy, even if symptoms of infection have disappeared.
  • Advise patient to inform health care provider if infection does not improve or worsens.
  • Advise patient to contact health care provider immediately if any of the following occur: swelling of feet, ankles, or legs; difficulty breathing or unexplained shortness of breath; skin rash; fatigue; numbness or tingling in hands and/or feet; persistent appetite loss, nausea, or vomiting; dark urine; pale stools; yellowing of skin or eyes.
  • Advise women of childbearing potential being treated for onychomycosis to use effective contraceptive measures during treatment and for 2 mo following discontinuation of therapy.

Copyright © 2009 Wolters Kluwer Health.

  • Itraconazole Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Itraconazole MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Itraconazole Detailed Consumer Information (PDR)
  • itraconazole Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Sporanox Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Sporanox Consumer Overview

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