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Voriconazole

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:

Voriconazole - What is it for

Voriconazole is an anti-fungal medication which works by interfering with the growth of fungi. It is used to treat fungal infection and may also be used to prevent fungal infection in patients after transplant or in patients with weak immunity.

 

Voriconazole - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Voriconazole cause?

Common side effects include:

  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
    • Increase fluids and electrolytes intake as tolerated (unless you have specific fluid restriction instructed by your doctor).
  • Headache and muscle pain
    • You may take painkillers e.g. paracetamol (Panadol) if the pain is mild.
  • Visual disturbances e.g. blurred vision, changes to colour perception, intolerance to light. This is reversible and is usually transiently associated with higher levels of the medication.
    • Avoid driving or operating machinery.
  • Difficulty in sleeping, confusion and hallucination e.g. seeing and/or hearing things that are not present, abnormal dreams.
  • Heart rhythm problems e.g. very fast heartbeat, very slow heartbeat, dizziness, fainting.

If you experience any of these symptoms, or if the symptoms persist or get worse, please inform your doctor.

Rare but serious side effects include:

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

Liver problems: signs include dark urine, light-coloured stools, yellowing of the whites of your eyes or skin (jaundice). Severe nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite may also be experienced in severe liver problems.

Pancreas problems: signs include severe abdominal pain or back pain, severe nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite.

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Voriconazole, what precautions must I follow?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication.
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
    • Voriconazole may cause harm to an unborn child. Effective contraceptives must be used in women of child bearing potential.
    • It is not known if voriconazole is excreted into breast milk. Due to possible risks to the baby, please discuss with your doctor if you intend to breastfeed.
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies, as there may be a possibility of drug interactions.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Voriconazole?

 Voriconazole can have interaction when taken with other medications. These include:

  • Blood thinners (e.g. warfarin)
  • Tuberculosis medications (e.g. rifampicin, rifabutin)
  • Anti-virals to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (e.g. efavirenz, nevirapine, atazanavir, ritonavir)
  • Seizures medications (e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine)
  • Immunosuppressants (e.g. ciclosporin, tacrolimus)
  • Cholesterol lowering medications (e.g. simvastatin, atorvastatin, lovastatin)
  • Gastric medications (e.g. omeprazole)
  • Chemotherapy agents (e.g. vinca alkaloids)
  • Migraine medications (e.g. ergotamine)
  • Herbal medicine (e.g. St John's wort)

However, this list of medications is non-exhaustive. Hence, please inform your doctor/pharmacist of all medications including over-the counter (OTC) medications that you are taking prior to starting Voriconazole and any new medications while on Voriconazole treatment.

 

Voriconazole - Dosage and How to Use

How should Voriconazole be used?

  • ​​Voriconazole tablet should be taken on an empty stomach at least one hour before meal, or one hour after meal. Swallow the tablet whole with water.
  • Do not stop taking your medication unless instructed by your healthcare professional (e.g. doctor, pharmacist).

What should I do if I miss a dose?

​If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.

What should I do if I overdose?

Voriconazole - Handling

How should I handle Voriconazole safely?

Voriconazole - Storage

How should I store Voriconazole?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

How should I dispose of Voriconazole safely?

​Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.

Voriconazole - Additional Information

  • Updated on Saturday, July 31, 2021
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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