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Voriconazole

Voriconazole

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 dosage strengths of 50 mg and 200 mg.

Fungal infections are common throughout much of the natural world. In humans, fungal infections happen when an invading fungus takes over an area of the body and is too much for the immune system to handle. Fungi can live in water, soil, air, and plants. Some fungi live naturally in the human body. Like many microbes, there are helpful fungi and harmful fungi. When harmful fungi invade the body, they can be difficult to kill as they can survive in the environment and re-infect the person trying to get better. The symptoms of fungal infection will depend on the type, but common symptoms include the following:

  • Itching
  • Skin changes including red and possibly cracking or peeling skin

Fungal infections are common in humans and are usually not very serious if they are treated correctly and quickly. Anyone with a weakened immune system may be more likely to contract a fungal infection as well as anyone who is taking antibiotics. Most fungal skin infections can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription creams. Severe infections may require additional methods. Taking preventive action can go a long way towards avoiding fungal skin infections as well. It is always best to inform a doctor at the first sign of infection to avoid possible serious complications. By working directly with a doctor, most cases of fungal skin infections can be easily treated.

Fungal skin infections can happen anywhere on your body. Some of the most common are ringworm, jock itch, athletes foot, 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 for their survival. They keep unwanted substances from entering the cells. They also stop the contents of the cells from leaking out. Without ergosterol as part of the cell membrane, the membrane is weakened and damaged and essential constituents of the fungal cells can leak out. This kills the fungi and hence clears up the infection.

How to use Voriconazole?

The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition, weight, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Take this medication by mouth without food or at least 1 hour before or 1 hour after meals. Take the drug as directed by your doctor or usually every 12 hours. For the best effect, take this antifungal at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time every day.

Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may result in a return of the infection. If you forget to take a dose just take your next dose as usual when it is due. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose. Tell your doctor if your condition does not get better or if it gets worse.

What are the side effects of Voriconazole?

Common side effects:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet

Tell your doctor if you have unlikely but serious side effects occur such as:

  • Vision changes (blurred vision or color vision changes)
  • Weakness
  • Sensitivity of eyes to light
  • Bone, muscle, joint pain, or swelling
  • Mental/mood changes
  • Muscle stiffness or spasm
  • Tiredness
  • Restlessness
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • signs of infection (fever or persistent sore throat)
  • Sudden behavior changes, problems with thinking or speech
  • Upper stomach pain
  • Itching
  • Dark urine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Urinating less than usual or not at all
  • Uneven heart rate, chest pain, or general ill feeling
  • Severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, swelling in your face or tongue)
  • Get emergency help if you have 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 cause visual disturbances such as blurred vision that may affect your ability to drive or operate machinery safely. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Before starting taking this medicine, you will need to have a blood test to measure the levels of electrolytes in your blood. If there are any problems your doctor will give you treatment to correct them before you start this medicine.
  • This medicine can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. For this reason, you must avoid exposing your skin to sunlight or sun lamps during treatment. When going out in the sun you should cover exposed areas of skin with clothing or use sunscreen with a high protection factor. Tell your doctor if you experience sunburn or a reaction to sunlight while taking this medicine.
  • This medicine can sometimes cause liver problems. For this reason, your liver function will be checked with a blood test before starting treatment and then monitored regularly during treatment.
  • Your kidney function should also be monitored during treatment with this medicine.
  • Use this drug with caution in people with decreased liver function, who have recently received cancer chemotherapy, or with any long-term disorder affecting the muscle of the heart.
  • This is not recommended for children under two years of age. Its safety and effectiveness have not been studied in this age group.
  • Let your doctor know if you have ever had an allergic reaction to this drug. Tell as well if you have any allergies as this product may contain ingredients that cause an allergic reaction.
  • Keep this far from direct heat, light, or reach of children/pets.