Fluconazole (Page 5 of 12)
An open-label, comparative study of the efficacy and safety of fluconazole (2 to 3 mg/kg/day) and oral nystatin (400,000 I.U. 4 times daily) in immunocompromised children with oropharyngeal candidiasis was conducted. Clinical and mycological response rates were higher in the children treated with fluconazole.
Clinical cure at the end of treatment was reported for 86% of fluconazole treated patients compared to 46% of nystatin treated patients. Mycologically, 76% of fluconazole treated patients had the infecting organism eradicated compared to 11% for nystatin treated patients.
Mycological eradication *
The proportion of patients with clinical relapse 2 weeks after the end of treatment was 14% for subjects receiving fluconazole and 16% for subjects receiving nystatin. At 4 weeks after the end of treatment the percentages of patients with clinical relapse were 22% for fluconazole and 23% for nystatin.
Fluconazole is contraindicated in patients who have shown hypersensitivity to fluconazole or to any of its excipients. There is no information regarding cross-hypersensitivity between fluconazole and other azole antifungal agents. Caution should be used in prescribing fluconazole to patients with hypersensitivity to other azoles. Coadministration of terfenadine is contraindicated in patients receiving fluconazole at multiple doses of 400 mg or higher based upon results of a multiple dose interaction study. Coadministration of other drugs known to prolong the QT interval and which are metabolized via the enzyme CYP3A4 such as cisapride, astemizole, erythromycin, pimozide and quinidine are contraindicated in patients receiving fluconazole. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Drug Interaction Studies and PRECAUTIONS.)
(1) Hepatic injury
Fluconazole should be administered with caution to patients with liver dysfunction. Fluconazole has been associated with rare cases of serious hepatic toxicity, including fatalities primarily in patients with serious underlying medical conditions. In cases of fluconazole-associated hepatotoxicity, no obvious relationship to total daily dose, duration of therapy, sex or age of the patient has been observed. Fluconazole hepatotoxicity has usually, but not always, been reversible on discontinuation of therapy. Patients who develop abnormal liver function tests during fluconazole therapy should be monitored for the development of more severe hepatic injury. Fluconazole should be discontinued if clinical signs and symptoms consistent with liver disease develop that may be attributable to fluconazole.
In rare cases, anaphylaxis has been reported.
Exfoliative skin disorders during treatment with fluconazole have been reported. Fatal outcomes have been reported in patients with serious underlying diseases. Patients with deep seated fungal infections who develop rashes during treatment with fluconazole should be monitored closely and the drug discontinued if lesions progress. Fluconazole should be discontinued in patients treated for superficial fungal infection who develop a rash that may be attributed to fluconazole.
(4) Potential for fetal harm
There are no adequate and well-controlled clinical trials of fluconazole in pregnant women. Case reports describe a rare pattern of distinct congenital anomalies in infants exposed in utero to high dose maternal fluconazole (400 to 800 mg/day) during most or all of the first trimester. These reported anomalies are similar to those seen in animal studies. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking the drug, the patient should be informed of the potential hazard to the fetus. Effective contraceptive measures should be considered in women of child-bearing potential who are being treated with fluconazole 400 to 800 mg/day and should continue throughout the treatment period and for approximately 1 week (5 to 6 half-lives) after the final dosage. Epidemiological studies suggest a potential risk of spontaneous abortion and congenital abnormalities in infants whose mothers were treated with 150 mg of fluconazole as a single or repeated dose in the first trimester, but these epidemiological studies have limitations and these findings have not been confirmed in controlled clinical trials. (See PRECAUTIONS: Pregnancy)
Some azoles, including fluconazole, have been associated with prolongation of the QT interval on the electrocardiogram. Fluconazole causes QT prolongation via the inhibition of Rectifier Potassium Channel current (Ikr). The QT prolongation caused by other medicinal products (such as amiodarone) may be amplified via the inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4. (See PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions.) During post-marketing surveillance, there have been rare cases of QT prolongation and torsade de pointes in patients taking fluconazole. Most of these reports involved seriously ill patients with multiple confounding risk factors, such as structural heart disease, electrolyte abnormalities and concomitant medications that may have been contributory. Patients with hypokalemia and advanced cardiac failure are at an increased risk for the occurrence of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias and torsades de pointes.
Fluconazole should be administered with caution to patients with these potentially proarrhythmic conditions.
Concomitant use of fluconazole and erythromycin has the potential to increase the risk of cardiotoxicity (prolonged QT interval, torsade de pointes) and consequently sudden heart death. This combination should be avoided.
Fluconazole should be administered with caution to patients with renal dysfunction.
Adrenal insufficiency has been reported in patients receiving azoles, including fluconazole. Reversible cases of adrenal insufficiency have been reported in patients receiving fluconazole.
When driving vehicles or operating machines, it should be taken into account that occasionally dizziness or seizures may occur.
The convenience and efficacy of the single dose oral tablet of fluconazole regimen for the treatment of vaginal yeast infections should be weighed against the acceptability of a higher incidence of drug related adverse events with fluconazole (26%) versus intravaginal agents (16%) in U.S. comparative clinical studies. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS and CLINICAL STUDIES.)
(See CONTRAINDICATIONS.) Fluconazole is a moderate CYP2C9 and CYP3A4 inhibitor. Fluconazole is also a strong inhibitor of CYP2C19. Patients treated with this drug, who are also concomitantly treated with drugs with a narrow therapeutic window metabolized through CYP2C9 and CYP3A4, should be monitored for adverse reactions associated with the concomitantly administered drugs. In addition to the observed / documented interactions mentioned below, there is a risk of increased plasma concentration of other compounds metabolized by CYP2C9, CYP2C19 and CYP3A4 coadministered with fluconazole. Therefore, caution should be exercised when using these combinations and the patients should be carefully monitored. The enzyme inhibiting effect of fluconazole persists 4 to 5 days after discontinuation of fluconazole treatment due to the long half-life of fluconazole. Clinically or potentially significant drug interactions between fluconazole and the following agents/classes have been observed and are described in greater detail below:
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