Itraconazole or Sporanox is an oral anti fungal drug used in fungal infections such as those of the toe nail - onychomycosis.
Itraconazole or Sporanox interferes with the cell wall formation of fungus, thus killing it.
A once or twice daily dose for several weeks eradicates the fungus, however there is approximately a 20% relapse rate. A novel routine - one 200 mg tablet twice daily for one week each month for three to four months - seems to be as effective.
Itraconazole or Sporanox can cause nausea, abdominal discomfort, an allergy like rash, water retention, and even hepatitis.
Itraconazole or Sporanox must be taken for a relative long period of time to be effective against toe nail fungal infections. Remembering to take the drug and patience is key.
Drugs that decrease stomach acid, for example acid blockers like cimetidine, decrease Itraconazole or Sporanox's absorption. Rifampin, phenytoin, isoniazid, phenobarbital, and carbamazepine induce some types of liver enzymes which metabolize Itraconazole or Sporanox lowering levels of the drug in the body.
Itraconazole or Sporanox inhibits some types of liver enzymes to increase the concentration of other drugs in the body - cyclosporin, digoxin, terfenadine, astemizole, triazolam, midazolam, cisapride, felodipine, and quinidine.
With oral hypoglycemics, that is drugs used to reduce blood glucose levels in diabetes, Itraconazole or Sporanox can produce severe drops in blood glucose levels. Itraconazole or Sporanox can decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.
Med Letter 1993;35:7
Med Letter 1996;38:5
The relevant product monographs must be regarded as the appropriate sources of prescribing information.