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Ketoconazole

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IMPORTANT WARNING
Ketoconazole should only be used to treat fungal infections when other medications are not available or cannot be tolerated. [More...]
Why is this medication prescribed?
Ketoconazole is used to treat fungal infections when other medications are not available or cannot be tolerated. Ketoconazole should not be used to treat fungal meningitis (infection of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord caused by a fungus) or fungal nail infections. Ketoconazole is in a class of antifungals called imidazoles. It works by slowing the growth of fungi that cause infection.

How should this medicine be used?
Ketoconazole comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day Take ketoconazole at around the same time 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 ketoconazole exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Your doctor may increase your dose if your condition does not improve.

You may need to take ketoconazole for 6 months or longer to cure your infection completely. Continue to take ketoconazole until your doctor tells you that you should stop, even if you feel better. Do not stop taking ketoconazole without talking to your doctor. If you stop taking ketoconazole too soon, your infection may come back after a short time.

Other uses for this medicine
High doses of ketoconazole are sometimes used to treat Cushing syndrome (a condition that occurs when there is too much corticosteroid hormone in the body) and advanced prostate cancer (cancer of a male reproductive gland). Ketoconazole has not been shown to be safe or effective for these uses. Talk to your doctor about using ketoconazole for your condition.

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

What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking ketoconazole,
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?
Ketoconazole 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 or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment: Ketoconazole may cause a decrease in the number of sperm (male reproductive cells) produced, especially if it is taken at high doses. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medication if you are a man and would like to have children.

Ketoconazole may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

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). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking ketoconazole.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions about refilling your prescription. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the ketoconazole, call your doctor.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

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Last Revised - 06/15/2014
© 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc.
ASHP
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