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Voriconazole is a prescription approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used as a treatment of fungal infections. These fungal infections are caused by Aspergillus, Candida, Fusarium, and Scedosporium species of fungi. Primarily, it is in people with progressive and possibly life-threatening infections. Voriconazole comes as a tablet for oral use with the dosage strengths of 50 mg and 200 mg.
Fungal infections are common throughoutmuch of the natural world. In humans, fungal infections happen when an invadingfungus takes over an area of the body and is too much for the immune system tohandle. Fungi can live in water, soil, air, and plants. Some fungi livenaturally in the human body. Like many microbes, there are helpful fungi andharmful fungi. When harmful fungi invade the body, they can be difficult tokill as they can survive in the environment and re-infect the person trying toget better. The symptoms of fungal infection will depend on the type, butcommon symptoms include the following:
- Skin changes includingred and possibly cracking or peeling skin
Fungal infections are common in humans andare usually not very serious if they are treated correctly and quickly. Anyonewith a weakened immune system may be more likely to contract a fungal infectionas well as anyone who is taking antibiotics. Most fungal skin infections can betreated with over-the-counter or prescription creams. Severe infections mayrequire additional methods. Taking preventive action can go a long way towardsavoiding fungal skin infections as well. It is always best to inform a doctorat the first sign of infection to avoid possible serious complications. Byworking directly with a doctor, most cases of fungal skin infections can beeasily treated.
Fungal skin infections can happen anywhereon your body. Some of the most common are ringworm, jock itch, athletesfoot, and yeast infections.
How does Voriconazole work?
Voriconazole is a type of medicine called a triazole antifungal. It works by preventing fungi from producing a substance called ergosterol – which is a component of fungal cell membranes.
The cell membranes of fungi are vital fortheir survival. They keep unwanted substances from entering the cells. Theyalso stop the contents of the cells from leaking out. Without ergosterol aspart of the cell membrane, the membrane is weakened and damaged and essentialconstituents of the fungal cells can leak out. This kills the fungi and henceclears up the infection.
How to use Voriconazole?
The dosage and length of treatment arebased on your medical condition, weight, response to treatment, and othermedications you may be taking. Take this medication by mouth without food or atleast 1 hour before or 1 hour after meals. Take the drug as directed by yourdoctor or usually every 12 hours. For the best effect, take this antifungal atevenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the sametime every day.
Continue to take this medication until thefull prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a fewdays. Stopping the medication too early may result in a return of theinfection. If you forget to take a dose just take your next dose as usual whenit is due. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose. Tell yourdoctor if your condition does not get better or if it gets worse.
What are the side effects of Voriconazole?
Common side effects:
- Swelling in your hands,ankles, or feet
Tell your doctor if you have unlikely butserious side effects occur such as:
- Vision changes (blurredvision or colour vision changes)
- Sensitivity of eyes tolight
- Bone, muscle, joint painor swelling
- Mental/mood changes
- Muscle stiffness or spasm
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- signs of infection (feveror persistent sore throat)
- Sudden behaviour changes,problems with thinking or speech
- Upper stomach pain
- Dark urine
- Loss of appetite
- Clay-colored stools
- Yellowing of the skin oreyes
- Urinating less than usualor not at all
- Uneven heart rate, chestpain, or general ill feeling
- Severe skin reaction(fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, swelling in your face ortongue)
- Get emergency help if youhave signs of an allergic reaction such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Hives or itching
- Swelling of your face,mouth, throat, or tongue
Warnings and Precautions
- This medicine may causevisual disturbances such as blurred vision that may affect your ability todrive or operate machinery safely. Do not drive or operate machinery until youknow how this medicine affects you.
- Before starting takingthis medicine, you will need to have a blood test to measure the levels ofelectrolytes in your blood. If there are any problems your doctor will give youtreatment to correct them before you start this medicine.
- This medicine can makeyour skin more sensitive to sunlight. For this reason, you must avoid exposingyour skin to sunlight or sun lamps during treatment. When going out in the sunyou should cover exposed areas of skin with clothing or use a sunscreen with ahigh protection factor. Tell your doctor if you experience sunburn or areaction to sunlight while taking this medicine.
- This medicine cansometimes cause liver problems. For this reason, your liver function will bechecked with a blood test before starting treatment and then monitoredregularly during treatment.
- Your kidney functionshould also be monitored during treatment with this medicine.
- Use this drug withcaution in people with decreased liver function, who have recently receivedcancer chemotherapy, or with any long-term disorder affecting the muscle of theheart.
- This is not recommendedfor children under two years of age. Its safety and effectiveness have not beenstudied in this age group.
- Let your doctor know ifyou have ever had an allergic reaction to this drug. Tell as well if you haveany allergies as this product may contain ingredients that cause an allergicreaction.
- Keep this far from directheat, light, or reach of children/pets.