Itraconazole

General Description: Itraconazole is an antifungal agent used in dogs and cats to treat fungal infections (ex. blastomycosis). Itraconazole is expensive but has fewer side effects than some other antifungal agents. Give itraconazole with a fatty meal to reduce stomach upset and increase absorption. This medication is available in capsules or as an oral solution.

What is this drug?

Antifungal
Given by mouth
Reasons for prescribing:

Treatment of serious fungal infections, particularly blastomycosis
Fewer side effects than other antifungal agents, although expensive
What dogs/cats should not take this medication?

Pets known to have had an allergic reaction to itraconazole or like products before
Pets with liver disease
Pregnant or nursing animals
Directions:

Give medication with food.

Give medication as directed by your veterinarian. Depending upon the condition, this medication may be given once or twice daily. Your veterinarian may suggest tablets be given with a fatty food (ex. butter or cheese).

Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed. Missed doses reduce the effectiveness of therapy. Ideally, give the medication at the same time daily.

Call ahead for refills. Long-term therapy (a few weeks to months) is usually necessary for successful results.

If for some reason your pet needs antacids while on itraconazole, give them two hours after itraconazole is administered.

What if dose is missed?

If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.

What to tell/ask veterinarian before giving medication?

Talk to your veterinarian about:

When will your pet need to be rechecked
What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
Risks and benefits of using this drug
Tell your veterinarian about:

If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet’s medicines can be given together.
If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
Storage and Warnings:

Store in a tight, light resistant, childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat.

Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets. Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.

Potential side effects:

Decrease in appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, liver toxicity (jaundice – yellowing of gums, skin or eyes). If these symptoms are experienced, stop medication and have your veterinarian check the liver enzymes. After recovery, itraconazole therapy can usually be resumed at a lower dose.
Skin rash and/or leg swelling.
If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian
Can this drug be given with other drugs?

Yes, but possible interactions may occur with acyclovir, amlodipine, antacids, cimetidine, cyclosporine, digoxin, isoniazid, omeprazole, ranitidine, quinidine, phenytoin, rifampin and warfarin.
These drugs should not be given with itraconazole: astemizole, cisapride, didanosine, and terfenadine.
If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian.
Overdosing?

Contact your veterinarian immediately if pet eats more than the prescribed amount.

What else should I know?

Notify your veterinarian if your animal’s condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.

As with all prescribed medicines, itraconazole should only be given to the dog/cat for which it was prescribed. It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.

As therapy may be long-term, periodic bloodwork may be necessary to monitor the drug’s effect on your pet’s body.

This is just a summary of information about itraconazole. If you have any questions or concerns about itraconazole or for the condition it was prescribed, contact your veterinarian.

 

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