Voriconazole

Voriconazole treats several types of serious fungal infections. Avoid strong, direct sunlight and use sunscreens due to increased sensitivity to sunlight.

Voriconazole Overview

Reviewed: September 17, 2012
Updated: 

Voriconazole is a prescription medication used to treat serious fungal infections in the blood and body. Voriconazole belongs to a group of drugs called azole antifungals which work by slowing the growth of the fungi causing the infection.

This medication comes in tablet and liquid forms to be taken every 12 hours on an empty stomach. Voriconazole also comes in an injectable form to be given directly into a vein (IV) by a healthcare provider.

Common side effects of voriconazole include vision changes, rash, nausea, diarrhea, and headaches.

 

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Voriconazole Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Voriconazole

Voriconazole is a prescription medicine used to treat certain serious fungal infections in your blood and body. These infections are called:

  • Aspergillosis, a fungal infection that begins in the lungs and spreads through the bloodstream to other organs
  • Esophageal candidiasis, a yeast-like fungal infection that causes white patching in the mouth and throat
  • Scedosporium
  • Fusarium
  • Candidemia

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

 

Voriconazole Brand Names

Voriconazole may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Voriconazole Drug Class

Voriconazole is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Voriconazole

Voriconazole may cause serious side effects including:

  • liver problems. Symptoms of liver problems may include:
    • itchy skin
    • yellowing of your eyes
    • feeling very tired
    • flu-like symptoms
    • nausea or vomiting
  • vision changes. Symptoms of vision changes may include:
    • blurred vision
    • changes in the way you see colors
    • sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • serious heart problems. Voriconazole may cause changes in your heart rate or rhythm, including your heart stopping (cardiac arrest).
  • allergic reactions. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
    • fever
    • sweating
    • feels like your heart is beating fast (tachycardia)
    • chest tightness
    • trouble breathing
    • feel faint
    • nausea
    • itching
    • skin rash
  • kidney problems. Voriconazole may cause new or worse problems with kidney function, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should check your kidney function while you are taking voriconazole. Your healthcare provider will decide if you can keep taking voriconazole.
  • serious skin reactions. Symptoms of serious skin reactions may include:
    • rash or hives
    • mouth sores
    • blistering or peeling of your skin
    • trouble swallowing or breathing

Call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you have any of the symptoms listed above.

The most common side effects of voriconazole include:

  • vision changes
  • rash
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • headache
  • fast heart beat (tachycardia)
  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
  • abnormal liver function tests

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of voriconazole. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

 

Voriconazole Interactions

Do not take voriconazole if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • cisapride (Propulsid)
  • pimozide (Orap)
  • quinidine (like Quinaglute)
  • sirolimus (Rapamune)
  • rifampin (Rifadin)
  • carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • long-acting barbiturates like phenobarbital (Luminal)
  • ritonavir (Norvir)
  • rifabutin (Mycobutin)
  • ergotamine, dihydroergotamine (ergot alkaloids)
  • St. John's Wort (herbal supplement)

Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Do not start taking a new medicine without talking to your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

 

Voriconazole Precautions

Do not take voriconazole if you:

  • are allergic to voriconazole or any of the ingredients in voriconazole.
  • are taking any of the medicines listed in the section "Drug Interactions".
  • You should not drive at night while taking voriconazole. Voriconazole can cause changes in your vision such as blurring or sensitivity to light.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how voriconazole affects you.
  • Avoid direct sunlight. Voriconazole can make your skin sensitive to the sun and the light from sunlamps and tanning beds. You could get a severe sunburn. Use sunscreen and wear a hat and clothes that cover your skin if you have to be in sunlight. Talk to your healthcare provider if you get sunburn.

 

Inform MD

Before you take voriconazole, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • have or ever had an abnormal heart rate or rhythm. Your healthcare provider may order a test to check your heart (EKG) before starting voriconazole.
  • have liver or kidney problems. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests to make sure you can take voriconazole.
  • have trouble digesting dairy products, lactose (milk sugar), or regular table sugar. Voriconazole tablets contain lactose. Voriconazole liquid contains sucrose (table sugar).
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Voriconazole can harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Women who can become pregnant should use effective birth control while taking voriconazole. 
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if voriconazole passes into breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you take voriconazole.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.

Voriconazole may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how voriconazole works.

Know what medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your healthcare provider or pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

 

Voriconazole and Pregnancy

Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Voriconazole can harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Women who can become pregnant should use effective birth control while taking voriconazole.

 

Voriconazole and Lactation

Tell your healthcare provider if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if voriconazole passes into breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you take voriconazole.

Voriconazole Usage

  • Voriconazole may be prescribed to you as:
    • intravenous infusion
    • tablets
    • oral suspension
  • Voriconazole intravenous infusion will be given to you by a healthcare provider over 1 to 2 hours.
  • Take tablets or oral suspension exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to.
  • Take tablets or oral suspension at least 1 hour before or at least 1 hour after meals.
  • Voriconazole oral suspension will be mixed for you by your pharmacist. Do not mix voriconazole oral suspension with any other medicine, flavored liquid, or syrup.
  • You should not drive at night while taking voriconazole. Voriconazole can cause changes in your vision such as blurring or sensitivity to light.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how voriconazole affects you.
  • Avoid direct sunlight. Voriconazole can make your skin sensitive to the sun and the light from sunlamps and tanning beds. You could get a severe sunburn. Use sunscreen and wear a hat and clothes that cover your skin if you have to be in sunlight. Talk to your healthcare provider if you get sunburn.

Voriconazole Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your liver function
  • type of infection

Voriconazole Overdose

If you take too much voriconazole, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

 

Other Requirements

  • Store voriconazole tablets and liquid at room temperature, 59° to 86° F (15° to 30°C). Do not refrigerate or freeze.
  • Voriconazole suspension should be thrown away (discarded) after 14 days.
  • Keep voriconazole tablets and oral suspension in a tightly closed container.
  • Safely throw away medicine that is out of date or no longer needed.
  • Keep voriconazole, as well as all other medicines, out of the reach of children.