Itraconazole: Uses and Side Effects

Itraconazole is an antifungal medication used in adults to treat infections caused by fungus. This includes infections in any part of the body including the lungs, mouth or throat, toenails, or fingernails.

Some brands of itraconazole are not for use in treating fungal infections of the fingernails or toenails. Avoid medication errors by using only the brand and strength your doctor prescribes.

Important Information

You should not take itraconazole if you have ever had heart failure.

Stop using itraconazole and call your doctor at once if you have signs of congestive heart failure: feeling tired or short of breath, cough with mucus, fast heartbeats, swelling, rapid weight gain, or sleep problems.

Life-threatening side effects may occur if you take itraconazole with certain other drugs. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using.

If you have liver or kidney disease, you should not take itraconazole with colchicine, fesoterodine, or solifenacin.

You should not take itraconazole to treat a toenail or fingernail infection if you are pregnant or may become pregnant.

You should not take this medicine if you are allergic to itraconazole or similar medicines such as fluconazole or ketoconazole, or if you have ever had congestive heart failure.

You should not take itraconazole to treat a toenail or fingernail infection if you are pregnant or may become pregnant during treatment.

Life-threatening side effects may occur if you take itraconazole with certain other drugs. Your doctor may change your treatment plan if you have used other medicines in the past 2 weeks, especially:

  • avanafil;
  • cisapride;
  • eliglustat;
  • irinotecan;
  • isavuconazonium;
  • methadone;
  • naloxegol;
  • ranolazine;
  • ticagrelor;
  • lurasidone or pimozide (anti-psychotic medications);
  • lomitapide, lovastatin, simvastatin (cholesterol-lowering medicines);
  • dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, or methylergonovine (ergot medicines);
  • eplerenone, felodipine, ivabradine, or nisoldipine (heart or blood pressure medicines);
  • disopyramide, dofetilide, dronedarone, or quinidine (medicines for heart rhythm disorders); or
  • oral midazolam, or triazolam (Valium-like sedatives).

If you have liver or kidney disease, you should not take itraconazole with colchicine, fesoterodine, solifenacin, or telithromycin.

Itraconazole may harm an unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 2 months after your last dose.

Itraconazole can pass into breast milk and may affect the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Do not share itraconazole with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

The itraconazole capsule should be taken with food.

Swallow the capsule whole and do not crush, chew, break, or open it.

Take itraconazole oral solution (liquid) on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Swish the liquid in your mouth for several seconds before swallowing it.

Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

The Sporanox PulsePak has a special dosing schedule that includes not taking the medicine for several days in a row. Follow all dosing instructions carefully.

Itraconazole capsules should not be used in place of itraconazole oral solution (liquid) if that is what your doctor has prescribed. Avoid medication errors by using only the form and strength your doctor prescribes.

If you also take a stomach acid reducer (Tagamet, Pepcid, Axid, Zantac, and others), take itraconazole with an acidic drink such as non-diet cola.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication. Itraconazole will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.

You may need frequent medical tests.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Side Effects

Common side effects may include:

  • headache, dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness;
  • increased blood pressure;
  • rash, itching;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation;
  • swelling;
  • abnormal liver function or blood tests;
  • fever, muscle or joint pain;
  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth;
  • hair loss;
  • impotence, erection problems; or
  • changes in your menstrual periods.


Keyword: itraconazole.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.