Itraconazole is an azole antifungal medicine. Known as the brand name Sporanox, which is marketed Janssen, the patent for this potent product expires on January 13, 2015. Itraconazole works by interfering with the formation of the fungal cell membrane. It is a formidable product for treating infections caused by fungus, which can invade any part of the body, such as the lungs, throat or nails. Anyone allergic to medications such as fluconazole or ketoconazole should not take itraconazole. Available in capsule and liquid forms, itraconazole should be taken after a full meal if it is in capsule form. Those patients taking the oral solution should do so on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Patients should also be sure to swish the liquid around in their mouth for several seconds before swallowing it. Side effects which may occur after either the capsule or oral dose of itraconazole include bloating, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, mild skin rash and itching, an unpleasant taste in the mouth, joint pain, headache, dizziness and runny nose.
Indicated for many fungal infections, itraconazole is safe and effective in both immunocompromised and non-immunocompromised patients. Specific fungal infections that itraconazole is indicated for as treatment are pulmonary and extrapulmonary Blastomycosis, Histoplasmosis, Onychomycosis of the toenail or fingernail, and Aspergillosis. Doses are individually titrated, and range between 200 and 400 milligrams daily for many of the aforementioned fungal infections. Higher doses may be used as needed.
Exciting news was shared in April 2012 regarding the use of itraconazole as a treatment for prostate cancer. The April 6th issue of MedPage Today examined findings indicating that men with castration-resistant prostate cancer, not mediated by androgen suppression, had better outcomes when treated with an antifungal agent. The men in this study were treated with the maximum recommended dose of itraconazole and all had a median progression-free survival of 3 months. Additionally, 61% of the patients were alive without disease progression at 6 months. Itraconazole displayed novel functional traits that suggested potential applicability in cancer. Therefore, preclinical studies completed displayed evidence of angiogenesis inhibition and inhibition of the Hedgehog signaling pathway. Safety and tolerability were also shown in this study of 46 patients, who received either a 200 or 600 milligram daily dose of itraconazole. This efficacious antifungal medication was deemed safe for long-term use, and offered a favorable toxicity profile during extended use trials. Investigators currently have discussions underway to conduct larger, placebo-controlled evaluations of itraconazole in the near future.
LGM Pharma provides API Itraconazole CAS# 84625-61-6 for research and development purposes.
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