Itraconazole is an antifungal agent that is used in the veterinary field to treat a range of infections. This medication is only effective against fungal infections and will be ineffective if used to treat other types of infections, such as those caused by parasites, bacteria or viruses.
Veterinary Uses for Itraconazole
Itraconazole is prescribed by veterinarians to treat fungal infections of the skin, claws, bone, respiratory tract and brain. The most common uses for this drug include cryptococcosis in cats and dermatophyte infections in both cats and dogs.
Potential Side Effects of Itraconazole
Itraconazole is a popular antifungal in the veterinary field, as it offers a lower incidence of side effects when compared with other medications in the same classification. The most common side effects attributed to itraconazole include mild nausea, decrease in appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. If the veterinary patient exhibits signs of jaundice, then the veterinarian should be contacted immediately.
Itraconazole Drug Interactions
The veterinarian should be informed of the patient’s current list of medications, as itraconazole may cause an interaction with other drugs. Drugs known to interact with itraconazole include digoxin, antacids, certain antibiotics, cisapride and cyclosporine.
Itraconazole is generally safe and effective when used in accordance with veterinary directions. It should not, however, be prescribed to an animal that has exhibited signs of an allergic reaction or hypersensitivity to it previously.
In rare cases, itraconazole may affect the function of the liver. Therefore, it is recommended to watch for signs of jaundice when the animal is taking this medication. The veterinarian may also want to perform routine liver tests if a patient receives this medication long-term.
How Is Itraconazole Administered?
Itraconazole is most commonly prescribed in the form of an oral capsule, but other formulations are available, including oral suspension, ophthalmic solution and topical applications. The mode with which this drug is administered is determined by the treating veterinarian, along with dosage and frequency.
Since Itraconazole fights a fungal infection, it is very important to finish the course of treatment even if the patient is looking, acting or feeling better. Fungal infections are more resilient than bacterial infections and usually require a longer course of therapy. Failure to complete the entire prescription may increase the risk of a relapse.