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voriconazole

Pronunciation: vor i KON a zole

Brand: VFEND

What is the most important information I should know about voriconazole?

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Do not use voriconazole if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

There are many other medicines that can cause serious or life-threatening drug interactions with voriconazole. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use.

Before taking voriconazole, tell your doctor if you have heart rhythm problems, an electrolyte imbalance, liver or kidney disease, or a history of allergy to other antifungal medications such as fluconazole (Diflucan), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or itraconazole (Sporanox).

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Take this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Voriconazole will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

Voriconazole can cause problems with your vision. If you use this medicine for more than 28 days, you may need to have your eyes checked.

What is voriconazole?

Voriconazole is an antifungal medication.

Voriconazole is used to treat infections caused by yeast or other types of fungus.

Voriconazole may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking voriconazole?

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You should not take this medication if you are allergic to voriconazole, or if you are taking any of the following drugs:

  • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol);
  • cisapride (Propulsid);
  • pimozide (Orap);
  • quinidine (Quin-G);
  • sirolimus (Rapamune);
  • mephobarbital (Mebaral) or phenobarbital (Solfoton);
  • ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra) in high doses;
  • rifabutin (Mycobutin) or rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater);
  • St. John's wort; or
  • an ergot medicine such as ergotamine (Ergomar, Cafergot, Ercaf, Wigraine, others) or dihydroergotamine (D.H.E., Migranal).

The drugs listed above can cause dangerous serious or life-threatening drug interactions with voriconazole. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you are using.

To make sure you can safely take voriconazole, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • heart rhythm problems;
  • a metabolic disorder such as high or low levels of calcium, potassium, or magnesium;
  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease; or
  • a history of allergy to other antifungal medications such as fluconazole (Diflucan), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or itraconazole (Sporanox).

Voriconazole tablets contain lactose. Before taking a voriconazole tablet, tell your doctor if you have a hereditary form of galactose intolerance, Lapp lactase deficiency, or glucose-galactose malabsorption.

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FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use voriconazole if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

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It is not known if voriconazole passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take voriconazole?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

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Take voriconazole at least one hour before or after eating a meal.

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Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure the liquid with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

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Do not mix the oral suspension with any other medicine or liquid.

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Take this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Voriconazole will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

To be sure voriconazole is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

Voriconazole can cause problems with your vision. If you use this medicine for more than 28 days, you may need to have your eyes checked.

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Store voriconazole tablets at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Store the oral liquid at room temperature for up to 14 days. Throw away any unused liquid after 14 days.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include vision problems, excessive mouth watering, enlarged pupils, weakness, loss of balance, shortness of breath, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking voriconazole?

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Voriconazole may cause changes in vision including blurred vision and sensitivity to light. Wear sunglasses during the day to protect your eyes from bright light. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to have clear vision.

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Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Voriconazole can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

What are the possible side effects of voriconazole?

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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • sudden behavior changes, problems with thinking or speech;
  • upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • bone pain, swelling;
  • uneven heart rate, chest pain, general ill feeling; or
  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • vision problems such as blurred vision, eyes being more sensitive to light;
  • fever;
  • mild nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;
  • headache; or
  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect voriconazole?

Many drugs can interact with voriconazole. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:

  • clopidogrel (Plavix);
  • cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral);
  • phenytoin (Dilantin);
  • prednisolone (Orapred, Pediapred, Predalone, Veripred, and others);
  • tacrolimus (Prograf);
  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
  • birth control pills;
  • medication to treat HIV or AIDS, especially efavirenz (Atripla, Sustiva);
  • alfentanil (Alfenta) or fentanyl (Abstral, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic, Lazanda, Onsolis);
  • omeprazole (Prilosec) and other stomach acid reducers;
  • cancer medicine such as vinblastine (Velban), vincristine (Oncovin), or vinorelbine (Navelbine);
  • methadone (Diskets, Methadose, Dolophine) or oxycodone (OxyContin, Combunox, Roxicodone, Percocet);
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Arthrotec, Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Pennsaid, Solareze), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam (Mobic), and others;
  • tranquilizers or sedatives such as alprazolam (Xanax), midazolam (Versed), triazolam (Halcion), and others;
  • cholesterol-lowering medicines such as atorvastatin (Lipitor, Caduet), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), or simvastatin (Zocor, Simcor, Vytorin);
  • heart or blood pressure medicine such as amlodipine (Norvasc, Caduet, Exforge, Lotrel, Tekamlo, Tribenzor, Twynsta, Amturnide), felodipine (Plendil), nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Nifedical, Procardia), and others; or
  • an oral diabetes medicine such as glipizide (Glucotrol, Metaglip), glyburide (DiaBeta, Micronase, Glucovance), or tolbutamide (Orinase).

This list is not complete and there are many other drugs that can interact with voriconazole. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about voriconazole.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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