ITRACONAZOLE — itraconazole capsule, coated pellets
Ascend Laboratories, LLC


Congestive Heart Failure, Cardiac Effects and Drug Interactions:

Itraconazole Capsules should not be administered for the treatment of onychomycosis in patients with evidence of ventricular dysfunction such as congestive heart failure (CHF) or a history of CHF. If signs or symptoms of congestive heart failure occur during administration of Itraconazole Capsules, discontinue administration. When itraconazole was administered intravenously to dogs and healthy human volunteers, negative inotropic effects were seen. (See CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS.

Drug Interactions, ADVERSE REACTIONS: Post-marketing Experience, and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Special Populations for more information.)

Drug Interactions:Coadministration of the following drugs are contraindicated with Itraconazole Capsules: methadone, disopyramide, dofetilide, dronedarone, quinidine, isavuconazole, ergot alkaloids (such as dihydroergotamine, ergometrine (ergonovine),ergotamine,methylergometrine (methylergonovine)), irinotecan, lurasidone, oral midazolam, pimozide,triazolam, felodipine, nisoldipine,ivabradine, ranolazine, eplerenone, cisapride,naloxegol, lomitapide, lovastatin, simvastatin,avanafil, ticagrelor. In addition, coadministration with colchicine, fesoterodine, and solifenacin is contraindicated in subjects with varying degrees of renal or hepatic impairment, and coadministration with eliglustat is contraindicated in subjects that are poor or intermediate metabolizers of CYP2D6 and in subjects taking strong or moderate CYP2D6 inhibitors. See PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions Section for specific examples. Coadministration with itraconazole can cause elevated plasma concentrations of these drugs and may increase or prolong both the pharmacologic effects and/or adverse reactions to these drugs. For example, increased plasma concentrations of some of these drugs can lead to QT prolongation and ventricular tachyarrhythmias including occurrences of torsades de pointes , a potentially fatal arrhythmia. See CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS Sections, and PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions Section for specific examples.


Itraconazole, an azole antifungal agent. Itraconazole is a 1:1:1:1 racemic mixture of four diastereomers (two enantiomeric pairs), each possessing three chiral centers. It may be represented by the following structural formula and nomenclature:

(click image for full-size original)

(±)-1-[(R*)-sec-butyl]-4-[p-[4-[p-[[(2R*,4S*)-2-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-2-(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-ylmethyl)-1,3-dioxolan-4-yl]methoxy]phenyl]-1-piperazinyl]phenyl]-Δ2 -1,2,4-triazolin-5-one mixture with (±)-1-[(R*)-sec-butyl]-4-[p-[4-[p-[[(2S*,4R*)-2-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-2-(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-ylmethyl)-1,3-dioxolan-4-yl]methoxy]phenyl]-1-piperazinyl]phenyl]-Δ2 -1,2,4-triazolin-5-one


(±)-1-[(RS)-sec-butyl]-4-[p-[4-[p-[[(2R,4S)-2-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-2-(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-ylmethyl)-1,3-dioxolan-4-yl]methoxy]phenyl]-1-piperazinyl]phenyl]- Δ2 -1,2,4-triazolin-5-one

Itraconazole has a molecular formula of C35 H38 Cl2 N8 O4 and a molecular weight of 705.64. It is a white or almost white powder. Freely soluble in methylene chloride,sparingly soluble in tetrahydrofuran,very slightly soluble in alcohol and practically insoluble in water.It has a pKa of 3.70 (based on extrapolation of values obtained from methanolic solutions) and a log (n-octanol/water) partition coefficient of 5.66 at pH 8.1.

Itraconazole Capsules contain 100 mg of itraconazole coated on sugar spheres (composed of sucrose, maize starch and purified water). Inactive ingredients are hard gelatin capsule, hypromellose, poloxamer 188,ethanol absolute,methylene chloride,polyethylene glycol 20000,talc,colloidal silicon dioxide,SLS,titanium dioxide,FD&C blue 1,FD&C red 40,FD&C red 3 and white ink (containing: shellac, dehydrated alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, butyl alcohol, propylene glycol, strong ammonia solution, titanium dioxide and potassium hydroxide).

FDA approved dissolution test specifications differ from USP


Pharmacokinetics and Metabolism:

General Pharmacokinetic Characteristics

Peak plasma concentrations of itraconazole are reached within 2 to 5 hours following oral administration. As a consequence of non-linear pharmacokinetics, itraconazole accumulates in plasma during multiple dosing. Steady-state concentrations are generally reached within about 15 days, with Cmax values of 0.5 mcg /mL, 1.1 mcg /mL and 2.0 mcg/mL after oral administration of 100 mg once daily, 200 mg once daily and 200 mg b.i.d., respectively. The terminal half-life of itraconazole generally ranges from 16 to 28 hours after single dose and increases to 34 to 42 hours with repeated dosing. Once treatment is stopped, itraconazole plasma concentrations decrease to an almost undetectable concentration within 7 to 14 days, depending on the dose and duration of treatment. Itraconazole mean total plasma clearance following intravenous administration is 278 mL/min. Itraconazole clearance decreases at higher doses due to saturable hepatic metabolism.


Itraconazole is rapidly absorbed after oral administration. Peak plasma concentrations of itraconazole are reached within 2 to 5 hours following an oral capsule dose. The observed absolute oral bioavailability of itraconazole is about 55%.

The oral bioavailability of itraconazole is maximal when Itraconazole capsules are taken immediately after a full meal. Absorption of itraconazole capsules is reduced in subjects with reduced gastric acidity, such as subjects taking medications known as gastric acid secretion suppressors (e.g., H2 -receptor antagonists, proton pump inhibitors) or subjects with achlorhydria caused by certain diseases. (See PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions.) Absorption of itraconazole under fasted conditions in these subjects is increased when Itraconazole Capsules are administered with an acidic beverage (such as a non-diet cola). When Itraconazole Capsules were administered as a single 200-mg dose under fasted conditions with non-diet cola after ranitidine pretreatment, a H2 -receptor antagonist, itraconazole absorption was comparable to that observed when Itraconazole Capsules were administered alone. (See PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions.)

Itraconazole exposure is lower with the Capsule formulation than with the Oral Solution when the same dose of drug is given. (see WARNINGS)


Most of the itraconazole in plasma is bound to protein (99.8%), with albumin being the main binding component (99.6% for the hydroxy-metabolite). It has also a marked affinity for lipids. Only 0.2% of the itraconazole in plasma is present as free drug. Itraconazole is distributed in a large apparent volume in the body (>700 L), suggesting extensive distribution into tissues. Concentrations in lung, kidney, liver, bone, stomach, spleen and muscle were found to be two to three times higher than corresponding concentrations in plasma, and the uptake into keratinous tissues, skin in particular, up to four times higher. Concentrations in the cerebrospinal fluid are much lower than in plasma.


Itraconazole is extensively metabolized by the liver into a large number of metabolites. In vitro studies have shown that CYP3A4 is the major enzyme involved in the metabolism of itraconazole. The main metabolite is hydroxy-itraconazole, which has in vitro antifungal activity comparable to itraconazole; trough plasma concentrations of this metabolite are about twice those of itraconazole.


Itraconazole is excreted mainly as inactive metabolites in urine (35%) and in feces (54%) within one week of an oral solution dose. Renal excretion of itraconazole and the active metabolite hydroxy-itraconazole account for less than 1%of an intravenous dose. Based on an oral radiolabeled dose, fecal excretion of unchanged drug ranges from 3% to 18% of the dose.

As re-distribution of itraconazole from keratinous tissues appears to be negligible, elimination of itraconazole from these tissues is related to epidermal regeneration. Contrary to plasma, the concentration in skin persists for 2 to 4 weeks after discontinuation of a 4-week treatment and in nail keratin – where itraconazole can be detected as early as 1 week after start of treatment – for at least six months after the end of a 3-month treatment period.

Special Populations:

Renal Impairment:

Limited data are available on the use of oral itraconazole in patients with renal impairment. A pharmacokinetic study using a single 200-mg oral dose of itraconazole was conducted in three groups of patients with renal impairment (uremia: n=7; hemodialysis: n=7; and continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis: n=5). In uremic subjects with a mean creatinine clearance of 13mL/min. × 1.73m2 , the exposure, based on AUC, was slightly reduced compared with normal population parameters. This study did not demonstrate any significant effect of hemodialysis or continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis on the pharmacokinetics of itraconazole (Tmax , Cmax , and AUC0-8 h). Plasma concentration-versus time profiles showed wide intersubject variation in all three groups. After a single intravenous dose, the mean terminal half-lives of itraconazole in patients with mild (defined in this study as CrCl 50-79 mL/min), moderate (defined in this study as CrCl 20 to 49 mL/min), and severe renal impairment (defined in this study as CrCl <20 mL/min) were similar to that in healthy subjects (range of means 42 to 49 hours vs 48 hours in renally impaired patients and healthy subjects, respectively). Overall exposure to itraconazole, based on AUC, was decreased in patients with moderate and severe renal impairment by approximately 30% and 40%, respectively, as compared with subjects with normal renal function. Data are not available in renally impaired patients during long-term use of itraconazole. Dialysis has no effect on the half-life or clearance of itraconazole or hydroxyl-itraconazole (See PRECAUTIONS and DOSAGEAND ADMINISTRATION.)

Hepatic Impairment:

Itraconazole is predominantly metabolized in the liver. A pharmacokinetic study was conducted in 6 healthy and 12 cirrhotic subjects who were administered a single 100-mg dose of itraconazole as capsule. A statistically significant reduction in mean Cmax (47%) and a twofold increase in the elimination half-life (37 ± 17 hours vs. 16 ± 5 hours) of itraconazole were noted in cirrhotic subjects compared with healthy subjects. However, overall exposure to itraconazole, based on AUC, was similar in cirrhotic patients and in healthy subjects. Data are not available in cirrhotic patients during long-term use of itraconazole. (See CONTRAINDICATIONS, PRECAUTIONS:Drug Interactionsand DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)

Decreased Cardiac Contractility:

When itraconazole was administered intravenously to anesthetized dogs, a dose-related negative inotropic effect was documented. In a healthy volunteer study of itraconazole intravenous infusion, transient, asymptomatic decreases in left ventricular ejection fraction were observed using gated SPECT imaging; these resolved before the next infusion, 12 hours later. If signs or symptoms of congestive heart failure appear during administration of Itraconazole Capsules, Itraconazole Capsules should be discontinued. (See BOXED WARNING, CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS,PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactionsand ADVERSE REACTIONS: Post-marketing Experiencefor more information.)

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