Voriconazole is used to treat serious fungal infections such as invasive aspergillosis (a fungal infection that begins in the lungs and spreads through the bloodstream to other organs) . It is also used to treat esophageal candidiasis (a yeast [a type of fungus] infection that may cause white patching in the mouth and throat) and other yeast infections of the skin, stomach, kidney, bladder, and wounds. Voriconazole is in a class of antifungal medications called triazoles. It works by slowing the growth of the fungi that cause infection.
How should this medicine be used?
Voriconazole comes as a tablet and a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken every 12 hours on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 1 hour after a meal. To help you remember to take voriconazole, take it at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take voriconazole exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If you are taking voriconazole suspension, shake the closed bottle for about 10 seconds before each use to mix the medication evenly. Do not mix the suspension with any other medications, water, or any other liquid. Always use the measuring device that comes with your medication. You may not receive the correct amount of medication if you use a household spoon to measure your dose.
At the beginning of your treatment, you may receive voriconazole by intravenous (into a vein) injection. When you begin taking voriconazole by mouth, your doctor may start you on a low dose and increase your dose if your condition does not improve. Your doctor also may decrease your dose if you experience side effects from voriconazole.
The length of your treatment depends on your general health, the type of infection you have, and how well you respond to the medication. Continue to take voriconazole even if you feel well. Do not stop taking voriconazole without talking to your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking voriconazole,
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to voriconazole; other antifungal medications such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox), or ketoconazole (Nizoral);any other medications, or any of the ingredients in voriconazole tablets and suspension. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients in voriconazole tablets and suspension.
do not take voriconazole if you are taking any of the following medications:
astemizole (Hismanal) (not available in the United States); carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Equetro, Tegretol, Teril); cisapride (Propulsid); efavirenz (Sustiva, in Atripla); ergot-type medications such as dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), ergoloid mesylates (Hydergine), ergotamine (Ergomar, in Cafergot, in Migergot), and methylergonovine (Methergine); phenobarbital; pimozide (Orap); quinidine (Quinidex, in Nuedexta); rifabutin (Mycobutin); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate, in Rifater); ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra); sirolimus (Rapamune); St. John's wort; and terfenadine (Seldane) (not available in the United States).
tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: ; anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Niravam, Xanax), midazolam, and triazolam (Halcion); calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine (Norvasc, in Amturnide, in Tekamlo), felodipine (Plendil), isradipine, nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Adalat, Afeditab, Procardia), nimodipine (Nymalize), and nisoldipine (Sular); cholesterol-lowering medications (statins) such as atorvastatin (Lipitor, in Caduet, in Liptruzet), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Altoprev, in Advicor), pravastatin (Pravachol), and simvastatin (Zocor, in Simcor, in Vytorin); cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune); everolimus (Afinitor, Zortress); fentanyl (Abstral, Actiq, Fentora, Lazanda, Subsys); medications for diabetes such as glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase, , in Glucovance), and tolbutamide; medications for HIV such as delavirdine (Rescriptor), nelfinavir (Viracept), nevirapine (Viramune), and saquinavir (Invirase); methadone (Dolophine, Methadose); nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (diclofenac, ibuprofen), oral contraceptives; oxycodone (Oxecta, Oxycontin, in Oxycet, in Percocet, in Percodan, in Roxicet, in Xartemis); phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); proton-pump inhibitors such as esomeprazole (Nexium, in Vimovo), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec, in Prevpac), pantoprazole (Protonix), and rabeprazole (AcipHex); tacrolimus (Astagraf, Prograf); vinblastine; and vincristine. Many other medications may also interact with voriconazole, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
tell your doctor if you have ever been treated with chemotherapy medications for cancer, and if you have or have ever had a prolonged QT interval (a rare heart problem that may cause irregular heartbeat, fainting, or sudden death), or if you have or ever had a slow or irregular heartbeat, low blood levels of potassium, magnesium, or calcium, cardiomyopathy (enlarged or thickened heart muscle that stops the heart from pumping blood normally), cancer of the blood cells, any condition that makes it difficult for you to digest sucrose or lactose, or liver or kidney disease.
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking voriconazole, call your doctor immediately.
if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking voriconazole.
you should know that voriconazole may cause blurred vision or other problems with your eyesight and may make your eyes sensitive to bright light. Do not drive a car at night while taking voriconazole. Do not drive a car during the day or operate machinery if you have any problems with your vision while you are taking this medication.
plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Voriconazole may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
What should I do if I forget a dose?
What side effects can this medication cause?
Voriconazole may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:
Taking voriconazole for a longer period of time may increase the risk of bone and muscle pain. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking voriconazole.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Do not refrigerate or freeze the medication. Dispose of any unused suspension after 14 days.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.