(fluconazole) Injection, USP
Fluconazole, the first of a new subclass of synthetic triazole antifungal agents, is available as a sterile solution for intravenous use in flexible plastic containers.
Fluconazole is designated chemically as 2,4-difluoro-α,α1-bis(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-ylmethyl) benzyl alcohol with an empirical formula of C13H12F2N6O and molecular weight of 306.3. The structural formula is:
Fluconazole is a white crystalline solid which is slightly soluble in water and saline.
Fluconazole Injection, USP is an iso-osmotic, sterile, nonpyrogenic solution of fluconazole in a sodium chloride or dextrose diluent. Each mL contains 2 mg of fluconazole and 9 mg of sodium chloride or 56 mg of dextrose, hydrous. The pH ranges from 4.0 to 8.0 in the sodium chloride diluent and from 3.5 to 6.5 in the dextrose diluent. Injection volumes of 100 mL and 200 mL are packaged in flexible plastic containers.
The flexible plastic container is fabricated from a specially formulated polyvinyl chloride. The amount of water that can permeate from inside the container into the overwrap is insufficient to affect the solution significantly. Solutions in contact with the plastic container can leach out certain of its chemical components in very small amounts within the expiration period, e.g., di-2-ethylhexylphthalate (DEHP), up to 5 parts per million. However, the suitability of the plastic has been confirmed in tests in animals according to USP biological tests for plastic containers as well as by tissue culture toxicity studies.
Fluconazole is indicated for the treatment of:
- Oropharyngeal and esophageal candidiasis. In open noncomparative studies of relatively small numbers of patients, fluconazole was also effective for the treatment of Candida urinary tract infections, peritonitis, and systemic Candida infections including candidemia, disseminated candidiasis, and pneumonia.
- Cryptococcal meningitis. Before prescribing fluconazole for AIDS patients with cryptococcal meningitis, please see Clinical Studies section. Studies comparing fluconazole to amphotericin B in non-HIV infected patients have not been conducted.
Specimens for fungal culture and other relevant laboratory studies (serology, histopathology) should be obtained prior to therapy to isolate and identify causative organisms. Therapy may be instituted before the results of the cultures and other laboratory studies are known; however, once these results become available, anti-infective therapy should be adjusted accordingly.
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
Dosage And Administration In Adults
SINCE ORAL ABSORPTION IS RAPID AND ALMOST COMPLETE, THE DAILY DOSE OF FLUCONAZOLE IS THE SAME FOR ORAL (TABLETS AND SUSPENSION) AND INTRAVENOUS ADMINISTRATION. In general, a loading dose of twice the daily dose is recommended on the first day of therapy to result in plasma concentrations close to steady-state by the second day of therapy.
The daily dose of fluconazole for the treatment of infections other than vaginal candidiasis should be based on the infecting organism and the patient's response to therapy. Treatment should be continued until clinical parameters or laboratory tests indicate that active fungal infection has subsided. An inadequate period of treatment may lead to recurrence of active infection. Patients with AIDS and cryptococcal meningitis or recurrent oropharyngeal candidiasis usually require maintenance therapy to prevent relapse.
Oropharyngeal Candidiasis: The recommended dosage of fluconazole for oropharyngeal candidiasis is 200 mg on the first day, followed by 100 mg once daily. Clinical evidence of oropharyngeal candidiasis generally resolves within several days, but treatment should be continued for at least 2 weeks to decrease the likelihood of relapse.
Esophageal Candidiasis: The recommended dosage of fluconazole for esophageal candidiasis is 200 mg on the first day, followed by 100 mg once daily. Doses up to 400 mg/day may be used, based on medical judgment of the patient's response to therapy. Patients with esophageal candidiasis should be treated for a minimum of three weeks and for at least two weeks following resolution of symptoms.
Systemic Candida Infections: For systemic Candida infections including candidemia, disseminated candidiasis, and pneumonia, optimal therapeutic dosage and duration of therapy have not been established. In open, noncomparative studies of small numbers of patients, doses of up to 400 mg daily have been used.
Urinary Tract Infections and Peritonitis: For the treatment of Candida urinary tract infections and peritonitis, daily doses of 50 to 200 mg have been used in open, noncomparative studies of small numbers of patients.
Cryptococcal Meningitis: The recommended dosage for treatment of acute cryptococcal meningitis is 400 mg on the first day, followed by 200 mg once daily. A dosage of 400 mg once daily may be used, based on medical judgment of the patient's response to therapy. The recommended duration of treatment for initial therapy of cryptococcal meningitis is 10 to 12 weeks after the cerebrospinal fluid becomes culture negative. The recommended dosage of fluconazole for suppression of relapse of cryptococcal meningitis in patients with AIDS is 200 mg once daily.
Prophylaxis in Patients Undergoing Bone Marrow Transplantation: The recommended fluconazole daily dosage for the prevention of candidiasis in patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation is 400 mg, once daily. Patients who are anticipated to have severe granulocytopenia (less than 500 neutrophils per cu mm) should start fluconazole prophylaxis several days before the anticipated onset of neutropenia, and continue for 7 days after the neutrophil count rises above 1000 cells per cu mm.
Dosage and Administration In Children
The following dose equivalency scheme should generally provide equivalent exposure in pediatric and adult patients:
|3 mg/kg||100 mg|
|6 mg/kg||200 mg|
|12* mg/kg||400 mg|
|* Some older children may have clearances similar to that of adults. Absolute doses exceeding 600 mg/day are not recommended. Experience with fluconazole in neonates is limited to pharmacokinetic studies in premature newborns. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY.) Based on the prolonged half-life seen in premature newborns (gestational age 26 to 29 weeks), these children, in the first two weeks of life, should receive the same dosage (mg/kg) as in older children, but administered every 72 hours. After the first two weeks, these children should be dosed once daily. No information regarding fluconazole pharmacokinetics in full-term newborns is available.|
Oropharyngeal Candidiasis: The recommended dosage of fluconazole for oropharyngeal candidiasis in children is 6 mg/kg on the first day, followed by 3 mg/kg once daily. Treatment should be administered for at least 2 weeks to decrease the likelihood of relapse.
Esophageal Candidiasis: For the treatment of esophageal candidiasis, the recommended dosage of fluconazole in children is 6 mg/kg on the first day, followed by 3 mg/kg once daily. Doses up to 12 mg/kg/day may be used, based on medical judgment of the patient's response to therapy. Patients with esophageal candidiasis should be treated for a minimum of three weeks and for at least 2 weeks following the resolution of symptoms.
Systemic Candida Infections: For the treatment of candidemia and disseminated Candida infections, daily doses of 6 to 12 mg/kg/day have been used in an open, noncomparative study of a small number of children.
Cryptococcal Meningitis: For the treatment of acute cryptococcal meningitis, the recommended dosage is 12 mg/kg on the first day, followed by 6 mg/kg once daily. A dosage of 12 mg/kg once daily may be used, based on medical judgment of the patient's response to therapy. The recommended duration of treatment for initial therapy of cryptococcal meningitis is 10 to 12 weeks after the cerebrospinal fluid becomes culture negative. For suppression of relapse of cryptococcal meningitis in children with AIDS, the recommended dose of fluconazole is 6 mg/kg once daily.
Dosage In Patients With Impaired Renal Function
Fluconazole is cleared primarily by renal excretion as unchanged drug. In patients with impaired renal function who will receive multiple doses of fluconazole, an initial loading dose of 50 to 400 mg should be given. After the loading dose, the daily dose (according to indication) should be based on the following table:
|Creatinine Clearance (mL/min)||Percent of Recommended Dose|
|≤ 50 (no dialysis)||50%|
|Regular dialysis||100% after each dialysis|
These are suggested dose adjustments based on pharmacokinetics following administration of multiple doses. Further adjustment may be needed depending upon clinical condition.
When serum creatinine is the only measure of renal function available, the following formula (based on sex, weight, and age of the patient) should be used to estimate the creatinine clearance in adults:
|Males:||(weight in kg) x (140 – age)|
|(72) x serum creatinine (mg/100 mL)|
|Females||(0.85) x (above value)|
Although the pharmacokinetics of fluconazole has not been studied in children with renal insufficiency, dosage reduction in children with renal insufficiency should parallel that recommended for adults. The following formula may be used to estimate creatinine clearance in children:
K x : linear length or height (cm)/ serum creatinine (mg/100 mL)
(Where K = 0.55 for children older than 1 year and 0.45 for infants.)
Fluconazole Injection, USP may be administered by intravenous infusion. Fluconazole Injection, USP has been used safely for up to fourteen days of intravenous therapy. The intravenous infusion of fluconazole should be administered at a maximum rate of approximately 200 mg/hour, given as a continuous infusion.
Fluconazole injections in flexible plastic containers are intended only for intravenous administration using sterile equipment.
Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration whenever solution and container permit.
Do not use if the solution is cloudy or precipitated or if the seal is not intact.
Directions For IV Use Of Fluconazole In Flexible Plastic Containers
Do not remove unit from overwrap until ready for use. The overwrap is a moisture barrier. The inner bag maintains the sterility of the product.
CAUTION: Do not use flexible plastic containers in series connections. Such use could result in air embolism due to residual air being drawn from the primary container before administration of the fluid from the secondary container is completed.
Tear outer wrap at notch slit and remove solution container. Some opacity of the plastic due to moisture absorption during the sterilization process may be observed. This is normal and does not affect the solution quality or safety. The opacity will diminish gradually. After removing overwrap, check for minute leaks by squeezing inner bag firmly. If leaks are found, discard solution as sterility may be impaired.
DO NOT ADD SUPPLEMENTARY MEDICATION.
Preparation For Administration
(Use Aseptic Technique)
- Close flow control clamp of administration set.
- Remove cover from outlet port at bottom of container.
- Insert piercing pin of administration set into port with a twisting motion until the set is firmly seated. NOTE: When using a vented administration set, replace bacterial retentive air filter with piercing pin cover. Insert piercing pin with twisting motion until shoulder of air filter housing rests against the outlet port flange. NOTE: See full directions on administration set carton.
- Suspend container from hanger.
- Squeeze and release drip chamber to establish proper fluid level in chamber.
- Open flow control clamp and clear air from set. Close flow control clamp.
- Attach set to venipuncture device. If device is not indwelling, prime and make venipuncture.
- Regulate rate of administration with flow control clamp.
WARNING: Do not use flexible container in series connections.
Fluconazole injections for intravenous infusion administration are formulated as sterile iso-osmotic solutions containing 2 mg/mL of fluconazole. They are supplied in flexible plastic containers containing volumes of 100 mL or 200 mL affording doses of 200 mg and 400 mg of fluconazole, respectively. Fluconazole injections in flexible plastic containers are available in both sodium chloride and dextrose diluents.
Fluconazole Injections in Flexible Plastic Containers are supplied in the following:
Fluconazole in Dextrose Diluent
|Unit of Sale||Concentration||Each|
Carton containing 6
|200 mg/100 mL
100 mL flexible plastic container (Latex-free)
Carton containing 6
|400 mg/200 mL
200 mL flexible plastic container (Latex-free)
Case containing 24
|200 mg/100 mL
100 mL flexible plastic container
Case containing 24
|400 mg/200 mL
200 mL flexible plastic container
Fluconazole in Sodium Chloride Diluent
|Unit of Sale||Concentration||Each|
Carton containing 6
|200 mg/100 mL
100 mL flexible plastic container (Latex-free)
Carton containing 6
|400 mg/200 mL
200 mL flexible plastic container (Latex-free)
Case containing 24
|200 mg/100 mL
100 mL flexible plastic container
Case containing 24
|400 mg/200 mL
200 mL flexible plastic container
Store at 20 to 25°C (68 to 77°F). [See USP Controlled Room Temperature.] Protect from freezing.
Hospira, Inc., Lake Forest, IL 60045 USA. Revised: Jul 2014
Fluconazole is generally well tolerated.
In some patients, particularly those with serious underlying diseases such as AIDS and cancer, changes in renal and hematological function test results and hepatic abnormalities have been observed during treatment with fluconazole and comparative agents, but the clinical significance and relationship to treatment is uncertain.
In Patients Receiving Multiple Doses For Other Infections
Sixteen percent of over 4,000 patients treated with fluconazole in clinical trials of 7 days or more experienced adverse events. Treatment was discontinued in 1.5% of patients due to adverse clinical events and in 1.3% of patients due to laboratory test abnormalities.
Clinical adverse events were reported more frequently in HIV infected patients (21%) than in non- HIV infected patients (13%); however, the patterns in HIV infected and non-HIV infected patients were similar. The proportions of patients discontinuing therapy due to clinical adverse events were similar in the two groups (1.5%).
The following treatment-related clinical adverse events occurred at an incidence of 1% or greater in 4,048 patients receiving fluconazole for 7 or more days in clinical trials: nausea 3.7%, headache 1.9%, skin rash 1.8%, vomiting 1.7%, abdominal pain 1.7%, and diarrhea 1.5%.
In combined clinical trials and marketing experience, there have been rare cases of serious hepatic reactions during treatment with fluconazole. (See WARNINGS.) The spectrum of these hepatic reactions has ranged from mild transient elevations in transaminases to clinical hepatitis, cholestasis and fulminant hepatic failure, including fatalities. Instances of fatal hepatic reactions were noted to occur primarily in patients with serious underlying medical conditions (predominantly AIDS or malignancy) and often while taking multiple concomitant medications. Transient hepatic reactions, including hepatitis and jaundice, have occurred among patients with no other identifiable risk factors. In each of these cases, liver function returned to baseline on discontinuation of fluconazole.
In two comparative trials evaluating the efficacy of fluconazole for the suppression of relapse of cryptococcal meningitis, a statistically significant increase was observed in median AST (SGOT) levels from a baseline value of 30 IU/L to 41 IU/L in one trial and 34 IU/L to 66 IU/L in the other. The overall rate of serum transaminase elevations of more than 8 times the upper limit of normal was approximately 1% in fluconazole-treated patients in clinical trials. These elevations occurred in patients with severe underlying disease, predominantly AIDS or malignancies, most of whom were receiving multiple concomitant medications, including many known to be hepatotoxic. The incidence of abnormally elevated serum transaminases was greater in patients taking fluconazole concomitantly with one or more of the following medications: rifampin, phenytoin, isoniazid, valproic acid, or oral sulfonylurea hypoglycemic agents.
In addition, the following adverse events have occurred during post-marketing experience:
Cardiovascular: QT prolongation, torsade de pointes. (See PRECAUTIONS.)
Central Nervous System: Seizures, dizziness.
Other Senses: Taste perversion.
Musculoskeletal System: Myalgia.
Skin and Appendages: Acute generalized exanthematous-pustulosis, drug eruption, increased sweating, exfoliative skin disorders including Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis (see WARNINGS), alopecia.
Adverse Reactions In Children
The pattern and incidence of adverse events and laboratory abnormalities recorded during pediatric clinical trials are comparable to those seen in adults.
In Phase II/III clinical trials conducted in the United States and in Europe, 577 pediatric patients, ages 1 day to 17 years were treated with fluconazole at doses up to 15 mg/kg/day for up to 1,616 days. Thirteen percent of children experienced treatment-related adverse events. The most commonly reported events were vomiting (5%), abdominal pain (3%), nausea (2%), and diarrhea (2%). Treatment was discontinued in 2.3% of patients due to adverse clinical events and in 1.4% of patients due to laboratory test abnormalities. The majority of treatment-related laboratory abnormalities were elevations of transaminases or alkaline phosphatase.
Percentage of Patients with Treatment-related Side
(N = 577)
(N = 451)
|With any side effect||13.0||9.3|
(See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Drug Interaction
Studies and CONTRAINDICATIONS.) Fluconazole is a potent inhibitor of
cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoenzyme 2C9 and a moderate inhibitor of CYP3A4. In
addition to the observed/documented interactions mentioned below, there is a
risk of increased plasma concentration of other compounds metabolized by CYP2C9
and CYP3A4 coadministered with fluconazole. Therefore, caution should be
exercised when using these combinations and the patients should be carefully
monitored. The enzyme inhibiting effect of fluconazole persists 4-5 days after
discontinuation of fluconazole treatment due to the long half-life of
fluconazole. Clinically or potentially significant drug interactions between
fluconazole and the following agents/classes have been observed. These are
described in greater detail below:
Calcium Channel Blockers
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors
Clinically significant hypoglycemia may be precipitated by the use of fluconazole with oral hypoglycemic agents; one fatality has been reported from hypoglycemia in association with combined fluconazole and glyburide use. Fluconazole reduces the metabolism of tolbutamide, glyburide, and glipizide and increases the plasma concentration of these agents. When fluconazole is used concomitantly with these or other sulfonylurea oral hypoglycemic agents, blood glucose concentrations should be carefully monitored and the dose of the sulfonylurea should be adjusted as necessary. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Drug Interaction Studies.)
Prothrombin time may be increased in patients receiving concomitant fluconazole and coumarin-type anticoagulants. In post-marketing experience, as with other azole antifungals, bleeding events (bruising, epistaxis, gastrointestinal bleeding, hematuria, and melena) have been reported in association with increases in prothrombin time in patients receiving fluconazole concurrently with warfarin. Careful monitoring of prothrombin time in patients receiving fluconazole and coumarin-type anticoagulants is recommended. Dose adjustment of warfarin may be necessary. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Drug Interaction Studies.)
Fluconazole increases the plasma concentrations of phenytoin. Careful monitoring of phenytoin concentrations in patients receiving fluconazole and phenytoin is recommended. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Drug Interaction Studies.)
Fluconazole significantly increases cyclosporine levels in renal transplant patients with or without renal impairment. Careful monitoring of cyclosporine concentrations and serum creatinine is recommended in patients receiving fluconazole and cyclosporine. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Drug Interaction Studies). This combination may be used by reducing the dosage of cyclosporine depending on cyclosporine concentration.
Rifampin enhances the metabolism of concurrently administered fluconazole. Depending on clinical circumstances, consideration should be given to increasing the dose of fluconazole when it is administered with rifampin. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Drug Interaction Studies.)
Fluconazole increases the serum concentrations of theophylline. Careful monitoring of serum theophylline concentrations in patients receiving fluconazole and theophylline is recommended. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Drug Interaction Studies.)
Because of the occurrence of serious cardiac dysrhythmias secondary to prolongation of the QTc interval in patients receiving azole antifungals in conjunction with terfenadine, interaction studies have been performed. One study at a 200-mg daily dose of fluconazole failed to demonstrate a prolongation in QTc interval. Another study at a 400-mg and 800-mg daily dose of fluconazole demonstrated that fluconazole taken in doses of 400 mg per day or greater significantly increases plasma levels of terfenadine when taken concomitantly. The combined use of fluconazole at doses of 400 mg or greater with terfenadine is contraindicated. (See CONTRAINDICATIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Drug Interaction Studies.) The coadministration of fluconazole at doses lower than 400 mg/day with terfenadine should be carefully monitored.
There have been reports of cardiac events, including torsade de pointes, in patients to whom fluconazole and cisapride were coadministered. A controlled study found that concomitant fluconazole 200 mg once daily and cisapride 20 mg four times a day yielded a significant increase in cisapride plasma levels and prolongation of QTc interval. The combined use of fluconazole with cisapride is contraindicated. (See CONTRAINDICATIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Drug Interaction Studies.)
Concomitant administration of fluconazole with astemizole may decrease the clearance of astemizole. Resulting increased plasma concentrations of astemizole can lead to QT prolongation and rare occurrences of torsade de pointes. Coadministration of fluconazole and astemizole is contraindicated.
There have been reports that an interaction exists when fluconazole is administered concomitantly with rifabutin, leading to increased serum levels of rifabutin up to 80%. There have been reports of uveitis in patients to whom fluconazole and rifabutin were coadministered. Patients receiving rifabutin and fluconazole concomitantly should be carefully monitored. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Drug Interaction Studies.)
Avoid concomitant administration of voriconazole and fluconazole. Monitoring for adverse events and toxicity related to voriconazole is recommended; especially, if voriconazole is started within 24 h after the last dose of fluconazole. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Drug Interaction Studies.)
Fluconazole may increase the serum concentrations of orally administered tacrolimus up to 5 times due to inhibition of tacrolimus metabolism through CYP3A4 in the intestines. No significant pharmacokinetic changes have been observed when tacrolimus is given intravenously. Increased tacrolimus levels have been associated with nephrotoxicity. Dosage of orally administered tacrolimus should be decreased depending on tacrolimus concentration. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Drug Interaction Studies.)
Following oral administration of midazolam, fluconazole resulted in substantial increases in midazolam concentrations and psychomotor effects. This effect on midazolam appears to be more pronounced following oral administration of fluconazole than with fluconazole administered intravenously. If short-acting benzodiazepines, which are metabolized by the cytochrome P450 system, are concomitantly administered with fluconazole, consideration should be given to decreasing the benzodiazepine dosage, and the patients should be appropriately monitored. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Drug Interaction Studies.)
Systemic exposure to tofacitinib is increased when tofacitinib is coadministered with fluconazole, a combined moderate CYP3A4 and potent CYP2C19 inhibitor. Reduce the dose of tofacitinib when given concomitantly with fluconazole (i.e., from 5 mg twice daily to 5 mg once daily as instructed in the XELJANZ® [tofacitinib] label). (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Drug InteractionStudies.)
Fluconazole increases the AUC of triazolam (single dose) by approximately 50%, Cmax by 20-32%, and increases t½ by 25-50% due to the inhibition of metabolism of triazolam. Dosage adjustments of triazolam may be necessary.
Two pharmacokinetic studies with a combined oral contraceptive have been performed using multiple doses of fluconazole. There were no relevant effects on hormone level in the 50 mg fluconazole study, while at 200 mg daily, the AUCs of ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel were increased 40% and 24%, respectively. Thus, multiple dose use of fluconazole at these doses is unlikely to have an effect on the efficacy of the combined oral contraceptive.
Although not studied in vitro or in vivo, concomitant administration of fluconazole with pimozide may result in inhibition of pimozide metabolism. Increased pimozide plasma concentrations can lead to QT prolongation and rare occurrences of torsade de pointes. Coadministration of fluconazole and pimozide is contraindicated.
Although not studied in vitro or in vivo, concomitant administration of fluconazole with quinidine may result in inhibition of quinidine metabolism. Use of quinidine has been associated with QT prolongation and rare occurrences of torsades de pointes. Coadministration of fluconazole and quinidine is contraindicated. (See CONTRAINDICATIONS.)
In a pharmacokinetic interaction study, coadministration of multiple dose hydrochlorothiazide to healthy volunteers receiving fluconazole increased plasma concentrations of fluconazole by 40%. An effect of this magnitude should not necessitate a change in the fluconazole dose regimen in subjects receiving concomitant diuretics.
A study observed a reduction in clearance and distribution volume as well as prolongation of T½ of alfentanil following concomitant treatment with fluconazole. A possible mechanism of action is fluconazole's inhibition of CYP3A4. Dosage adjustment of alfentanil may be necessary.
Fluconazole increases the effect of amitriptyline and nortriptyline. 5-nortriptyline and/or S-amitriptyline may be measured at initiation of the combination therapy and after one week. Dosage of amitriptyline/nortriptyline should be adjusted, if necessary.
Concurrent administration of fluconazole and amphotericin B in infected normal and immunosuppressed mice showed the following results: a small additive antifungal effect in systemic infection with C. albicans, no interaction in intracranial infection with Cryptococcus neoformans, and antagonism of the two drugs in systemic infection with A. fumigatus. The clinical significance of results obtained in these studies is unknown.
An open-label, randomized, three-way crossover study in 18 healthy subjects assessed the effect of a single 1200 mg oral dose of azithromycin on the pharmacokinetics of a single 800 mg oral dose of fluconazole as well as the effects of fluconazole on the pharmacokinetics of azithromycin. There was no significant pharmacokinetic interaction between fluconazole and azithromycin.
Fluconazole inhibits the metabolism of carbamazepine and an increase in serum carbamazepine of 30% has been observed. There is a risk of developing carbamazepine toxicity. Dosage adjustment of carbamazepine may be necessary depending on concentration measurements/effect.
Calcium Channel Blockers
Certain dihydropyridine calcium channel antagonists (nifedipine, isradipine, amlodipine, and felodipine) are metabolized by CYP3A4. Fluconazole has the potential to increase the systemic exposure of the calcium channel antagonists. Frequent monitoring for adverse events is recommended.
During concomitant treatment with fluconazole (200 mg daily) and celecoxib (200 mg), the celecoxib Cmax and AUC increased by 68% and 134%, respectively. Half of the celecoxib dose may be necessary when combined with fluconazole.
Combination therapy with cyclophosphamide and fluconazole results in an increase in serum bilirubin and serum creatinine. The combination may be used while taking increased consideration to the risk of increased serum bilirubin and serum creatinine.
One fatal case of possible fentanyl fluconazole interaction was reported. The author judged that the patient died from fentanyl intoxication. Furthermore, in a randomized crossover study with 12 healthy volunteers it was shown that fluconazole delayed the elimination of fentanyl significantly. Elevated fentanyl concentration may lead to respiratory depression.
Fluconazole can increase halofantrine plasma concentration due to an inhibitory effect on CYP3A4.
HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
The risk of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis increases when fluconazole is coadministered with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors metabolized through CYP3A4, such as atorvastatin and simvastatin, or through CYP2C9, such as fluvastatin. If concomitant therapy is necessary, the patient should be observed for symptoms of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis and creatinine kinase should be monitored. HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors should be discontinued if a marked increase in creatinine kinase is observed or myopathy/rhabdomyolysis is diagnosed or suspected.
Fluconazole inhibits the metabolism of losartan to its active metabolite (E-31 74) which is responsible for most of the angiotensin Il-receptor antagonism which occurs during treatment with losartan. Patients should have their blood pressure monitored continuously.
Fluconazole may enhance the serum concentration of methadone. Dosage adjustment of methadone may be necessary.
Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs
The Cmax and AUC of flurbiprofen were increased by 23% and 81%, respectively, when coadministered with fluconazole compared to administration of flurbiprofen alone. Similarly, the Cmax and AUC of the pharmacologically active isomer [S-(+)-ibuprofen] were increased by 15% and 82%, respectively, when fluconazole was coadministered with racemic ibuprofen (400 mg) compared to administration of racemic ibuprofen alone.
Although not specifically studied, fluconazole has the potential to increase the systemic exposure of other NSAIDs that are metabolized by CYP2C9 (e.g., naproxen, lornoxicam, meloxicam, diclofenac). Frequent monitoring for adverse events and toxicity related to NSAIDs is recommended. Adjustment of dosage of NSAIDs may be needed.
There was a case report that a liver-transplanted patient treated with prednisone developed acute adrenal cortex insufficiency when a three month therapy with fluconazole was discontinued. The discontinuation of fluconazole presumably caused an enhanced CYP3A4 activity which led to increased metabolism of prednisone. Patients on long-term treatment with fluconazole and prednisone should be carefully monitored for adrenal cortex insufficiency when fluconazole is discontinued.
Fluconazole increases the AUC of saquinavir by approximately 50%, Cmax by approximately 55%, and decreases clearance of saquinavir by approximately 50% due to inhibition of saquinavir's hepatic metabolism by CYP3A4 and inhibition of P-glycoprotein. Dosage adjustment of saquinavir may be necessary.
Fluconazole increases plasma concentrations of sirolimus presumably by inhibiting the metabolism of sirolimus via CYP3A4 and P-glycoprotein. This combination may be used with a dosage adjustment of sirolimus depending on the effect/concentration measurements.
Although not studied, fluconazole may increase the plasma levels of the vinca alkaloids (e.g., vincristine and vinblastine) and lead to neurotoxicity, which is possibly due to an inhibitory effect on CYP3A4.
Based on a case report in one patient receiving combination therapy with all-transretinoid acid (an acid form of vitamin A) and fluconazole, CNS related undesirable effects have developed in the form of pseudotumour cerebri, which disappeared after discontinuation of fluconazole treatment. This combination may be used but the incidence of CNS related undesirable effects should be borne in mind.
Fluconazole increases Cmax and AUC of zidovudine by 84% and 74%, respectively, due to an approximately 45% decrease in oral zidovudine clearance. The half-life of zidovudine was likewise prolonged by approximately 128% following combination therapy with fluconazole. Patients receiving this combination should be monitored for the development of zidovudine-related adverse reactions. Dosage reduction of zidovudine may be considered.
Physicians should be aware that interaction studies with medications other than those listed in the CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY section have not been conducted, but such interactions may occur.
- Hepatic Injury: Fluconazole should be administered with caution to patients with liver dysfunction. Fluconazole has been associated with rare cases of serious hepatic toxicity, including fatalities primarily in patients with serious underlying medical conditions. In cases of fluconazole-associated hepatotoxicity, no obvious relationship to total daily dose, duration of therapy, sex, or age of the patient has been observed. Fluconazole hepatotoxicity has usually, but not always, been reversible on discontinuation of therapy. Patients who develop abnormal liver function tests during fluconazole therapy should be monitored for the development of more severe hepatic injury. Fluconazole should be discontinued if clinical signs and symptoms consistent with liver disease develop that may be attributable to fluconazole.
- Anaphylaxis: In rare cases, anaphylaxis has been reported.
- Dermatologic: Exfoliative skin disorders during treatment with fluconazole have been reported in patients with serious underlying diseases. Patients with deep seated fungal infections who develop rashes during treatment with fluconazole should be monitored closely and the drug discontinued if lesions progress. Fluconazole should be discontinued in patients treated for superficial fungal infection who develop rash that may be attributed to fluconazole.
- Use in Pregnancy: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of fluconazole in pregnant women. Available human data do not suggest an increased risk of congenital anomalies following a single maternal dose of 150 mg. A few published case reports describe a rare pattern of distinct congenital anomalies in infants exposed in utero to high dose maternal fluconazole (400-800 mg/day) during most or all of the first trimester. These reported anomalies are similar to those seen in animal studies. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking the drug, the patient should be informed of the potential hazard to the fetus. (see PRECAUTIONS: Pregnancy).
Some azoles, including fluconazole, have been associated with prolongation of the QT interval on the electrocardiogram. During post-marketing surveillance, there have been rare cases of QT prolongation and torsade de pointes in patients taking fluconazole. Most of these reports involved seriously ill patients with multiple confounding risk factors, such as structural heart disease, electrolyte abnormalities, and concomitant medications that may have been contributory.
Fluconazole should be administered with caution to patients with these potentially proarrhythmic conditions.
Concomitant use of fluconazole and erythromycin has the potential to increase the risk of cardiotoxicity (prolonged QT interval, torsade de pointes) and consequently sudden heart death. This combination should be avoided.
Fluconazole should be administered with caution to patients with renal dysfunction.
Fluconazole is a potent CYP2C9 inhibitor and a moderate CYP3A4 inhibitor. Fluconazole treated patients who are concomitantly treated with drugs with a narrow therapeutic window metabolized through CYP2C9 and CYP3A4 should be monitored.
When driving vehicles or operating machines, it should be taken into account that occasionally dizziness or seizures may occur.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, And Impairment Of Fertility
Fluconazole showed no evidence of carcinogenic potential in mice and rats treated orally for 24 months at doses of 2.5, 5, or 10 mg/kg/day (approximately 2 to 7x the recommended human dose). Male rats treated with 5 and 10 mg/kg/day had an increased incidence of hepatocellular adenomas.
Fluconazole, with or without metabolic activation, was negative in tests for mutagenicity in 4 strains of S. typhimurium, and in the mouse lymphoma L5178Y system. Cytogenetic studies in vivo (murine bone marrow cells, following oral administration of fluconazole) and in vitro (human lymphocytes exposed to fluconazole at 1000 mcg/mL) showed no evidence of chromosomal mutations.
Fluconazole did not affect the fertility of male or female rats treated orally with daily doses of 5, 10, or 20 mg/kg or with parenteral doses of 5, 25, or 75 mg/kg, although the onset of parturition was slightly delayed at 20 mg/kg PO. In an intravenous perinatal study in rats at 5, 20, and 40 mg/kg, dystocia and prolongation of parturition were observed in a few dams at 20 mg/kg (approximately 5 to 15x the recommended human dose) and 40 mg/kg, but not at 5 mg/kg. The disturbances in parturition were reflected by a slight increase in the number of still born pups and decrease of neonatal survival at these dose levels. The effects on parturition in rats are consistent with the species specific estrogen-lowering property produced by high doses of fluconazole. Such a hormone change has not been observed in women treated with fluconazole. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY.)
Pregnancy Category D.
All other indications: A few published case reports describe a rare pattern of distinct congenital anomalies in infants exposed in utero to high dose maternal fluconazole (400-800 mg/day) during most or all of the first trimester. These reported anomalies are similar to those seen in animal studies. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking the drug, the patient should be informed of the potential hazard to the fetus. (See WARNINGS: Use in Pregnancy.)
Human Data: Several published epidemiologic studies do not suggest an increased risk of congenital anomalies associated with low dose exposure to fluconazole in pregnancy (most subjects received a single oral dose of 150 mg). A few published case reports describe a distinctive and rare pattern of birth defects among infants whose mothers received high-dose (400-800 mg/day) fluconazole during most or all of the first trimester of pregnancy. The features seen in these infants include: brachycephaly, abnormal facies, abnormal calvarial development, cleft palate, femoral bowing, thin ribs and long bones, arthrogryposis, and congenital heart disease. These effects are similar to those seen in animal studies.
Animal Data: Fluconazole was administered orally to pregnant rabbits during organogenesis in two studies at doses of 5, 10, and 20 mg/kg and at 5, 25, and 75 mg/kg, respectively. Maternal weight gain was impaired at all dose levels (approximately 0.25 to 4 times the 400 mg clinical dose based on BSA), and abortions occurred at 75 mg/kg (approximately 4 times the 400 mg clinical dose based on BSA); no adverse fetal effects were observed.
In several studies in which pregnant rats received fluconazole orally during organogenesis, maternal weight gain was impaired and placental weights were increased at 25 mg/kg. There were no fetal effects at 5 or 10 mg/kg; increases in fetal anatomical variants (supernumerary ribs, renal pelvis dilation) and delays in ossification were observed at 25 and 50 mg/kg and higher doses. At doses ranging from 80 to 320 mg/kg (approximately 2 to 8 times the 400 mg clinical dose based on BSA), embryolethality in rats was increased and fetal abnormalities included wavy ribs, cleft palate, and abnormal cranio-facial ossification. These effects are consistent with the inhibition of estrogen synthesis in rats and may be a result of known effects of lowered estrogen on pregnancy, organogenesis, and parturition.
Fluconazole is secreted in human milk at concentrations similar to maternal plasma concentrations. Caution should be exercised when fluconazole is administered to a nursing woman.
The use of fluconazole in children with cryptococcal meningitis, Candida esophagitis, or systemic Candida infections is supported by the efficacy shown for these indications in adults and by the results from several small noncomparative pediatric clinical studies. In addition, pharmacokinetic studies in children (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY) have established a dose proportionality between children and adults. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)
In a noncomparative study of children with serious systemic fungal infections, most of which were candidemia, the effectiveness of fluconazole was similar to that reported for the treatment of candidemia in adults. Of 17 subjects with culture-confirmed candidemia, 11 of 14 (79%) with baseline symptoms (3 were asymptomatic) had a clinical cure; 13/15 (87%) of evaluable patients had a mycologic cure at the end of treatment but two of these patients relapsed at 10 and 18 days, respectively, following cessation of therapy.
The efficacy of fluconazole for the suppression of cryptococcal meningitis was successful in 4 of 5 children treated in a compassionate-use study of fluconazole for the treatment of life-threatening or serious mycosis. There is no information regarding the efficacy of fluconazole for primary treatment of cryptococcal meningitis in children.
The safety profile of fluconazole in children has been studied in 577 children ages 1 day to 17 years who received doses ranging from 1 to 15 mg/kg/day for 1 to 1,616 days. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS.)
Efficacy of fluconazole has not been established in infants less than 6 months of age. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY.) A small number of patients (29) ranging in age from 1 day to 6 months have been treated safely with fluconazole.
In non-AIDS patients, side effects possibly related to fluconazole treatment were reported in fewer patients aged 65 and older (9%, n = 339) than for younger patients (14%, n = 2240). However, there was no consistent difference between the older and younger patients with respect to individual side effects. Of the most frequently reported ( > 1%) side effects, rash, vomiting, and diarrhea occurred in greater proportions of older patients. Similar proportions of older patients (2.4%) and younger patients (1.5%) discontinued fluconazole therapy because of side effects. In post-marketing experience, spontaneous reports of anemia and acute renal failure were more frequent among patients 65 years of age or older than in those between 12 and 65 years of age. Because of the voluntary nature of the reports and the natural increase in the incidence of anemia and renal failure in the elderly, it is however not possible to establish a casual relationship to drug exposure.
Controlled clinical trials of fluconazole did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 and older to evaluate whether they respond differently from younger patients in each indication. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients.
Fluconazole is primarily cleared by renal excretion as unchanged drug. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken to adjust dose based on creatinine clearance. It may be useful to monitor renal function. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)
There have been reports of overdose with fluconazole accompanied by hallucination and paranoid behavior.
Fluconazole is largely excreted in urine. A three-hour hemodialysis session decreases plasma levels by approximately 50%.
In mice and rats receiving very high doses of fluconazole, clinical effects in both species included decreased motility and respiration, ptosis, lacrimation, salivation, urinary incontinence, loss of righting reflex, and cyanosis; death was sometimes preceded by clonic convulsions.
Fluconazole is contraindicated in patients who have shown hypersensitivity to fluconazole or to any of its excipients. There is no information regarding cross-hypersensitivity between fluconazole and other azole antifungal agents. Caution should be used in prescribing fluconazole to patients with hypersensitivity to other azoles. Coadministration of terfenadine is contraindicated in patients receiving fluconazole at multiple doses of 400 mg or higher based upon results of a multiple dose interaction study. Coadministration of other drugs known to prolong the QT interval and which are metabolized via the enzyme CYP3A4 such as cisapride, astemizole, erythromycin, pimozide, and quinidine are contraindicated in patients receiving fluconazole. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Drug Interaction Studies and PRECAUTIONS.)
Endogenous androgens are responsible for normal growth and development of the male sex organs and for maintenance of secondary sex characteristics. These effects include growth and maturation of the prostate, seminal vesicles, penis, and scrotum; development of male hair distribution, such as beard, pubic, chest, and axillary hair; laryngeal enlargement, vocal cord thickening, and alterations in body musculature and fat distribution. Drugs in this class also cause retention of nitrogen, sodium, potassium, and phosphorous, and decreased urinary excretion of calcium. Androgens have been reported to increase protein anabolism and decrease protein catabolism. Nitrogen balance is improved only when there is sufficient intake of calories and protein.
Androgens are responsible for the growth spurt of adolescence and for eventual termination of linear growth, brought about by fusion of the epiphyseal growth centers. In children, exogenous androgens accelerate linear growth rates, but may cause disproportionate advancement in bone maturation. Use over long periods may result in fusion of the epiphyseal growth centers and termination of the growth process.
Androgens have been reported to stimulate production of red blood cells by enhancing production of erythropoietic stimulation factor. During exogenous administration of androgens, endogenous testosterone release is inhibited through feedback inhibition of pituitary luteinizing hormone (LH). At large doses of exogenous androgens, spermatogenesis may also be suppressed through feedback inhibition of pituitary follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).
There is a lack of substantial evidence that androgens are effective in fractures, surgery, convalescence, and functional uterine bleeding.
Testosterone esters are less polar than free testosterone. Testosterone esters in oil injected intramuscularly are absorbed slowly from the lipid phase; thus, testosterone cypionate can be given at intervals of two to four weeks.
Testosterone in plasma is 98 percent bound to a specific testosterone-estradiol binding globulin, and about 2 percent is free. Generally, the amount of this sex-hormone binding globulin in the plasma will determine the distribution of testosterone between free and bound forms, and the free testosterone concentration will determine its half-life.
About 90 percent of a dose of testosterone is excreted in the urine as glucuronic and sulfuric acid conjugates of testosterone and its metabolites; about 6 percent of a dose is excreted in the feces, mostly in the unconjugated form. Inactivation of testosterone occurs primarily in the liver. Testosterone is metabolized to various 17-keto steroids through two different pathways.
The half-life of testosterone cypionate when injected intramuscularly is approximately eight days.
In many tissues the activity of testosterone appears to depend on reduction to dihydrotestosterone, which binds to cytosol receptor proteins. The steroid-receptor complex is transported to the nucleus where it initiates transcription events and cellular changes related to androgen action.
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