Sporanox

Generic Name: Itraconazole

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Sporanox capsules are used to treat fungal infections of the toenails and fingernails. Sporanox capsules may also be used to treat fungal infections in other areas of your body, known as aspergillosis, blastomycosis, and histoplasmosis. Sporanox capsules are available in a medicine bottle or a Sporanox PulsePak. The PulsePak contains 28 capsules and is used to treat fungal nail infections.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Sporanox capsules work by stopping the growth of fungus, thereby treating your infection.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What:

    Infection of the Toenail: In studies, most people treated with Sporanox for 12 weeks in a row were shown to be infection-free.

    Infection of the Fingernail: In studies, most people treated with Sporanox "pulse dosing" (1-week course of Sporanox, followed by a 3-week period without Sporanox, followed by a second 1-week course of Sporanox) were shown to be infection-free.

    Aspergillosis, Blastomycosis, and Histoplasmosis: Studies show that Sporanox is effective in treating these conditions.

    When:

    Blastomycosis and Histoplasmosis: Most signs and symptoms of blastomycosis and histoplasmosis have been shown to improve within the first 2 weeks of treatment with Sporanox.

    Fungal Nail Infections: Improved nails may not be obvious for several months after treatment with Sporanox capsules is finished because it usually takes about 6 months to grow a new fingernail and 12 months to grow a new toenail. However, it is important that you take Sporanox capsules exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    You may start to notice an improvement in the appearance of your toenails or fingernails. This is a good indicator that your medication is working. Your healthcare provider may ask you questions and order tests to assess how well your infection is being treated.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    Do not take Sporanox capsules for fungal nail infections if you have had heart failure, including congestive heart failure (a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood throughout the body). Also, you should not take Sporanox capsules if you are taking certain medicines that could lead to serious or life-threatening medical problems.

    Fungal Infections in Other Parts of Your Body

    More common side effects may include: nausea, rash, vomiting.

    Infection of the Toenails

    More common side effects may include: headache, stuffy and runny nose, upper respiratory infection, sinus pain.

    Infection of the Fingernails

    More common side effects may include: headache, itching, nausea, stuffy and runny nose.

    Less common side effects of Sporanox capsules may include: Liver problems, with symptoms such as unusual tiredness, loss of appetite, unexplained nausea or vomiting, abdominal (stomach area) pain, light color bowel movements, dark colored urine, or yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes.

    Serious heart problems, with symptoms such as shortness of breath; unusual swelling of your feet, ankles, or legs; sudden weight gain; unusual tiredness; coughing up white or pink phlegm; unusually fast heartbeats; or you begin waking up at night.

    Tingling or numbness in your hands or feet, blurry or double vision, ringing in your ears, or you lose the ability to control your urine or urinate more than usual.

    Sporanox capsules may also cause hearing loss that usually goes away when treatment is stopped, but can become permanent in some people.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Sporanox capsules if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not take Sporanox capsules to treat fingernail or toenail infections if you have heart failure or if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

    Do not take Sporanox capsules if you are taking any of the following medicines: cisapride, midazolam, nisoldipine, felodipine, pimozide, quinidine, dofetilide, triazolam, methadone, levacetylmethadol, lovastatin, simvastatin, or ergot-containing medicines (such as dihydroergotamine, ergometrine, ergotamine, or methylergometrine).

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Sporanox capsules. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart, lung, kidney, or liver problems; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Blastomycosis and Histoplasmosis

    Adults: The recommended dose is 200 milligrams (mg) (2 capsules) once a day. Your healthcare provider may increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    Aspergillosis

    Adults: The recommended dose is 200 mg to 400 mg a day.

    Infection of the Toenails With or Without Fingernail Involvement

    Adults: The recommended dose is 200 milligrams (mg) (2 capsules) once a day for 12 weeks in a row.

    Infection of the Fingernails Only

    Adults: The recommended dose is 2 treatment pulses (each pulse consists of 200 mg [2 capsules] twice a day for 1 week). The pulses are separated by a 3-week period without Sporanox capsules.

    If you have kidney or liver impairment, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Sporanox capsules exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Sporanox capsules without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Take Sporanox capsules during or right after a full meal.

    If you are using the Sporanox PulsePak, please review the instructions that came with your prescription to be sure you take the medicine correctly.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not skip any doses. Be sure to finish all your Sporanox capsules as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Sporanox capsules are taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Sporanox capsules may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Sporanox capsules during pregnancy are unknown. Sporanox can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss your scheduled dose, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist for advice.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature. Protect from light and moisture.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Beth Isaac, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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