Know the basics
What is ketoconazole used for?
Ketoconazole is used to treat certain serious fungal infections in the body. Ketoconazole belongs to the class of drugs called azole antifungals. It works by stopping the growth of the fungus.
Ketoconazole should not be used to treat fungal infections in the brain or on the skin and nails.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
ketoconazole may also be used to treat advanced prostate cancer.
How should I take ketoconazole?
Take ketoconazole by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once a day. This medication may be taken with or without food, but taking it with food helps to reduce stomach upset.
If you are taking an antacid, take ketoconazole at least 2 hours before or 1 hour after taking the antacid, otherwise ketoconazole may not be absorbed into the body. See also Drug Interactions for more information.
The dosage and length of treatment is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, the dosage is also based on weight. It may take from several days to several months to complete treatment.
Ketoconazole works best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take ketoconazole at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
Continue to take ketoconazole until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may result in a return of the infection.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
How do I store ketoconazole?
Ketoconazole is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store ketoconazole in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of ketoconazole that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush ketoconazole down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Know the precautions & warnings
What should I know before using ketoconazole?
Before taking ketoconazole,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to ketoconazole or any other medications or any of the ingredients in ketoconazole tablets. Ask your pharmacist or check the Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor if you are taking alprazolam (Niravam, Xanax);eplerenone (Inspra); ergot alkaloids such as ergotamine (Ergomar, in Cafergot, in Migergot), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E 45, Migranal), and methylergonovine (Methergine); felodipine (Plendil); irinotecan (Camptosar); lovastatin (Mevacor); lurasidone (Latuda); midazolam (Versed); nisoldipine (Sular); simvastatin (Zocor); tolvaptan (Samsca); and triazolam (Halcion). Your doctor will probably tell you not to take ketoconazole if you are taking one or more of these medications or any of the medications listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Many other medications may also interact with ketoconazole, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- if you are taking an antacid containing aluminum, calcium, or magnesium (Maalox, Mylanta, Tums, others), take it 1 hour before or 2 hours after you take ketoconazole.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any conditions
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking ketoconazole, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking ketoconazole.
- you should know that drinking alcoholic beverages (including wine, beer, and medications that contain alcohol such as cough syrup) while taking ketoconazole increases the risk that you will develop liver damage and may cause unpleasant symptoms such as flushing, rash, nausea, headache, and swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs if you drink alcohol while you are taking ketoconazole.
Is it safe to take ketoconazole during pregnancy or breast-feeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk,
- B=No risk in some studies,
- C=There may be some risk,
- D=Positive evidence of risk,
Know the side effects
What are the side effects of ketoconazole?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeat;
- easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
- numbness or tingly feeling;
- severe depression, confusion, or thoughts of hurting yourself;
- nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, weakness, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious side effects may include:
- mild nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain;
- mild itching or skin rash;
- breast swelling;
- impotence or loss of interest in sex.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Know the interactions
What drugs may interact with ketoconazole?
Ketoconazole may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Does food or alcohol interact with ketoconazole?
Ketoconazole may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with ketoconazole?
Ketoconazole may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:
- any history of liver problems;
- problems with your adrenal gland;
- personal or family history of long QT syndrome;
Understand the Dosage
The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.
What is the dose of Ketoconazole for an adult?
Usual Adult Dose for Blastomycosis: Initial dose: 200 mg orally once a day
Usual Adult Dose for Chromomycosis: Initial dose: 200 mg orally once a day
Usual Adult Dose for Coccidioidomycosis: Initial dose: 200 mg orally once a day
Usual Adult Dose for Histoplasmosis: Initial dose: 200 mg orally once a day
Usual Adult Dose for Paracoccidioidomycosis: Initial dose: 200 mg orally once a day
What is the dose of Ketoconazole for a child?
Usual Pediatric Dose for Blastomycosis: 2 years or older: 3.3 to 6.6 mg/kg orally once a day
Usual Pediatric Dose for Chromomycosis: 2 years or older: 3.3 to 6.6 mg/kg orally once a day
Usual Pediatric Dose for Coccidioidomycosis: 2 years or older: 3.3 to 6.6 mg/kg orally once a day
Usual Pediatric Dose for Histoplasmosis: 2 years or older: 3.3 to 6.6 mg/kg orally once a day
Usual Pediatric Dose for Paracoccidioidomycosis: 2 years or older: 3.3 to 6.6 mg/kg orally once a day
How is ketoconazole available?
Ketoconazole is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
Tablet, Oral: 200 mg
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of ketoconazole, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Ketoconazole https://www.drugs.com/mtm/ketoconazole.html. Accessed July 16, 2016.
Ketoconazole topical http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-75147- 1052/ketoconazole-topical/ketoconazole-cream---topical/details. Accessed July 16. 2016.
Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017