Anti-Fungals are used to treat infections that are caused by fungi. Fungal infections of the body are usually treated with
topical antifungal drugs such as creams and ointments. However, those that occur inside the body or that do not clear up after treatment with creams or ointments may need to be treated with systemic antifungal drugs. These drugs are generally used to treat a type of fungal infection called candidiasis which normally occurs in the vagina or in other parts of the body.
Systemic antifungal drugs may also be used to treat fungal infections such as histoplasmosis, blastomycosis,and aspergillosis, which can affect the lungs and other organs. They are sometimes used to prevent or treat fungal infections in people whose immune systems are weakened, such as bone marrow or organ transplant patients and people with AIDS.
Consult your physician periodically if you are taking antifungals. Take the dosage as prescribed by your doctor,this may help you prevent complex side effects.
Some people feel drowsy or dizzy while taking systemic antifungal drugs.Anyone who takes these drugs should not drive, use machines or do anything else that might be dangerous until they have found out how the drugs affect them.
Liver problems, stomach problems and other problems may occur in people who drink alcohol while taking systemic antifungals drugs. Do not drink alcohol or use any drugs (over-the-counter) medicines thatcontain alcohol while using this medicine.(Medicines that may contain alcohol include some cough syrups, tonics and elixirs). Continue to avoid alcohol for at least a day after you stop taking an antifungals drug.
Systemic antifungal drugs may cause serious and possibly life-threatening liver damage. Patients who take these drugs should have liver function tests before they start taking the medicine and as often as their physician recommends while they are taking it.
The most common minor side effects of systemic antifungals drugs are constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting,headache, drowsiness, dizziness and flushing of the face or skin. These problems usually go away as the body adjusts to the drug and do not require medical treatment. Less common side effects, such as menstrual problems in women, breast enlargement in men and decreased sexual ability in men also may occur and do not need medical attention unless they do not improve in a reasonable amount of time.
More serious side effects are not common, but may occur which includes,
- Fever and chills
- Skin rash or itching
- High blood pressure and,
- Pain, redness, or swelling at siteof injection (for injectable miconazole).
Other rare side effects are possible. Anyone who has unusual symptoms after taking systemic antifungals drugs should get in touch with his or her physician.
Serious and possibly life-threatening side effects can result if the oral forms of itraconazole or ketoconazoleor the injectable form of miconazole are taken with certain drugs. Do not take those types of systemic antifungals with any of the following drugs unless the physician approves the therapy:
- Antacids and,
- Theophylline-containing anti-wheezing medications.
Taking an acid blocker such as cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), nizatidine (Axid), omeprazole (Prilosec), or
ranitidine (Zantac) at the same time as a systemic antifungals drug may prevent the antifungals drug from working properly. For best results,take the acid blocker at least 2 hours after taking the antifungals drug.
The drugs that may interact with systemic antifungals drugs includes :
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Birth control pills
- Male and female hormones
- Medicine for other types of infections
The list above does not include every drug that may interact with systemic antifungals drugs. Be sure to checkwith a physician or pharmacist before combining systemic antifungals drugs with any other medicine.