Ketoconazole is used to treat serious fungal infections (e.g. blastomycosis, coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis, chromomycosis, and paracoccidioidomycosis) in patients who have failed or are intolerant to other therapies.
It is also used to treat a disorder of the adrenal glands known as Cushing’s syndrome (body produces an excess of cortisol).
This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Ketoconazole exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take it together with food or immediately after a meal. Try to take it at the same time each day.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the severity of your condition and response to the medication.
Ketoconazole must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not take Ketoconazole if you ever had an allergic reaction (rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to similar medicines such as fluconazole and itraconazole.
Alert your doctor if you have liver disease as this medicine may not be suitable for you.
Do not take Ketoconazole if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. Ketoconazole may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods while taking this medicine.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Do not take Ketoconazole with medicines for high blood pressure or heart disease, allergy, pain, migraine, sleep disorder, mood disorder, depression, stomach problem, water pills, malaria, organ transplant or certain immune disorders, and cholesterol-lowering medicines. Please see the section “Can I take this with other medicines?” below for more information.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- achlorhydria (absence or low production of acid in the stomach)
- prostate cancer
- adrenal gland disorder
- stressful conditions e.g. undergoing major surgery, intensive care
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving this medicine to a child.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
Your doctor may also need to do routine blood tests to check your liver and adrenal function while you are being treated with Ketoconazole. Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
Ketoconazole may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, nose bleeding, nausea, vomiting, stomach wind, diarrhoea, muscle pain, numbness or tingling sensation in the hands and feet, sensitivity to sunlight, hair loss and skin rash or itching.
If you develop rashes, breathlessness, swollen mouth or eyes, stop taking Ketoconazole and inform your doctor quickly. These could be signs of an allergic reaction.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- severe persistent stomach pain and tiredness
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- fast and irregular heartbeat
- severe loss of appetite, weight loss, unusual tiredness or fever, lightheadedness
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Ketoconazole with the following medicines:
- medicines for heart disease e.g. quinidine, dofetilide, disopyramide, dronedarone, ranolazine
- medicines for sleep disorder e.g. oral midazolam, triazolam, alprazolam
- medicines for mood disorders e.g. pimozide, sertindole, lurasidone, quetiapine
- medicines for migraine e.g. ergotamine, ergometrine, dihydroergotamine
- medicines for organ transplant or certain immune disorders e.g. sirolimus, everolimus
- cholesterol-lowering medicines e.g. simvastatin, lovastatin
- medicine for allergy e.g. mizolastine
- anticancer medicine e.g. irinotecan
- medicine used to treat malaria e.g. halofantrine
- blood-thinning medicine e.g. dabigatran
- medicine for stomach problem e.g. cisapride
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines to treat epilepsy or fits e.g. carbamazepine, phenytoin
- medicines used to treat tuberculosis or TB e.g. rifampicin, rifabutin, isoniazid
- medicines for water retention or water pills e.g. eplerenone, tolvaptan
- medicines for high blood pressure e.g. nisoldipine, felodipine, verapamil, nadolol
- digoxin (medicine for heart disease)
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. indinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, nevirapine, maraviroc
- anti-inflammatory medicines e.g. budesonide, dexamethasone, methylprednisolone
- salmeterol (asthma medicine)
- medicines used to suppress stomach acid e.g. ranitidine, omeprazole
- medicines used to treat impotence e.g. sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil
- medicines for diabetes e.g. repaglinide, saxagliptin, tolbutamide
- strong painkillers e.g. fentanyl, alfentanil, oxycodone
- anti-cancer medicines e.g. vinca alkaloids, busulfan, docetaxel, crizotinib, dasatinib
- blood-thinning medicines e.g. warfarin, apixaban, rivaroxaban, cilostazol
- herbal medicine e.g. St. John’s wort
This list does not include all medicines that interact with Ketoconazole.
This medicine should not be taken with antacids and sucralfate as they reduce the effectiveness of Ketoconazole. If you must take antacids, take between meals at least 2 hours after you have taken this medicine.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.