About this Medication
- How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
- How should I use this medication?
- What form(s) does this medication come in?
- Who should NOT take this medication?
- What side effects are possible with this medication?
- Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
- What other drugs could interact with this medication?
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Isavuconazole belongs to the class of medications called antifungals. It is used for people 18 years of age and older to treat certain types of invasive (inside the body) fungal infections, specifically those caused by Aspergillus or Mucormycosis fungi.
This medication works by killing or stopping the growth of these types of fungi.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
How should I use this medication?
Isavuconazole may be taken by mouth or given by intravenous (into a vein) injection.
The usual starting dose of this medication is 200 mg taken by mouth every 8 hours for 2 days (6 doses). After the first 6 doses, the usual dose is 200 mg taken once a day.
Capsules may be taken with food or on an empty stomach. They should be swallowed whole. Do not chew, crush, dissolve, or open the capsules.
Finish all this medication, even if you have started to feel better.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each 24.2 mm-long capsule with a Swedish orange (reddish-brown) capsule body marked with "100" in black ink and a white cap marked with "C" in black ink, contains 100 mg of isavuconazole (as 186.3 mg isavuconazonium sulfate). Nonmedicinal ingredients: magnesium citrate (anhydrous), microcrystalline cellulose, silica (colloidal anhydrous), stearic acid, talc; capsule shell: disodium edetate, gellan gum, hypromellose, potassium acetate, red iron oxide, sodium lauryl sulfate, titanium dioxide, water; printing ink: black iron oxide, potassium hydroxide, propylene glycol, shellac.
Each vial containing a preservative-free, sterile, white-to-yellow powder for solution contains 200 mg of isavuconazole (as 372.6 mg isavuconazonium sulfate). Nonmedicinal ingredients: mannitol and sulfuric acid (for pH adjustment).
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to isavuconazole or any ingredients of the medication
- are also taking any of the following medications:
- St. John's wort
- have a heart rhythm condition known as familial short QT-syndrome
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- back pain
- swelling of arms or legs
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- signs of clotting problems (e.g., unusual nosebleeds, bruising, blood in urine, coughing blood, bleeding gums, cuts that don’t stop bleeding)
- signs of heart problems (e.g., fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat or pulse, palpitations)
- signs of infection (e.g., fever or chills, severe diarrhea, shortness of breath, prolonged dizziness, headache, stiff neck, weight loss, or listlessness)
- signs of low potassium levels in the blood (e.g., weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps, or irregular heartbeat)
- symptoms of an infusion reaction (e.g., "pins and needles" sensation, headache, nausea, dizziness, chills, or shortness of breath)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Abnormal heart rhythms: This medication can cause abnormal heart rhythms. Certain medications (e.g., sotalol, quinidine, thioridazine, chlorpromazine, pimozide, moxifloxacin, mefloquine, pentamidine, arsenic trioxide, probucol, tacrolimus) can increase the risk of a type of abnormal heart rhythm called QT prolongation, and should not be used in combination with isavuconazole. You are more at risk for this type of abnormal heart rhythm and its complications if you:
- are female
- are older than 65 years of age
- have a family history of sudden cardiac death
- have a history of heart disease or abnormal heart rhythms
- have a slow heart rate
- have congenital QT prolongation
- have diabetes
- have had a stroke
- have low potassium, magnesium, or calcium levels
- have nutritional deficiencies
If you have heart disease and abnormal heart rhythms, or are taking certain medications, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Isavuconazole may cause confusion, drowsiness, or dizziness, affecting your ability to drive or operate machinery. Avoid driving, operating machinery, or performing other potentially hazardous tasks until you have determined how you are affected by this medication.
Infusion related problems: You may experience reactions during the infusion of the intravenous formulation of isavuconazole. These can include low blood pressure causing dizziness or feeling faint, tingling sensations, difficulty breathing, nausea, and headache. If you have a reaction during your infusion, tell your doctor, as the infusion may have to be stopped.
Liver function: Isavuconazole may affect liver function. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may want to test your liver function regularly with blood tests while you are taking this medication.
Skin reactions: In rare cases, people have had skin reactions when they have taken this medication. If you get a skin rash that worsens, or if you experience skin conditions such as peeling, shedding, or scaling of the skin, or any other unusual skin reaction, contact your doctor immediately.
Pregnancy: Isavuconazole may cause harm to the developing baby if it is taken by a mother while she is pregnant. Women who take isavuconazole should use effective birth control while they are taking it. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if isavuconazole passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between isavuconazole and any of the following:
- alpha-blockers (e.g., alfuzosin, doxazosin, silodosin, tamsulosin)
- amphotericin B
- antiarrythmics (e.g., amiodarone, dofetilide, disopyramide, dronedarone, propafenone, quinidine)
- anticancer medications (e.g., docetaxel, doxorubicin, ifosfamide, irinotecan, paclitaxel, trastuzumab, venetoclax)
- "azole" antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole)
- benzodiazepines (e.g., alprazolam, chlordiazepoxide, clonazepam, clorazepate, diazepam, flurazepam, midazolam)
- calcium channel blockers (e.g., amlodipine, diltiazem, nifedipine, verapamil)
- corticosteroids (e.g., budesonide, deflazacort, dexamethasone, fluticasone)
- ergot alkaloids (e.g., ergotamine and dihydroergotamine)
- estrogens (e.g., conjugated estrogen, estradiol, ethinyl estradiol)
- grapefruit juice
- HIV non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs; e.g., delavirdine, efavirenz, etravirine, nevirapine)
- HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., atazanavir, indinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir)
- macrolide antibiotics (e.g., clarithromycin, erythromycin)
- narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine, fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone)
- protein kinase inhibitors (e.g., dasatinib, imatinib, nilotinib, sunitinib)
- St. John's wort
- saccharomyces boulardii
- "statin" medications (e.g., atorvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin)
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
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