What is voriconazole?
Voriconazole is an antifungal prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of certain fungal infections, such as aspergillosis and esophageal candidiasis. (Esophageal candidiasis is an infection of the esophagus.)
Both esophageal candidiasis, which is a type of mucocutaneous candidiasis, and aspergillosis are opportunistic infections. An opportunistic infection is an infection that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened immune systems—such as those infected with HIV—than in people with healthy immune systems.
Voriconazole can also be used “off-label” to prevent and treat other opportunistic infections of HIV infection. “Off-label” use refers to use of an FDA-approved medicine in a manner different from that described on the medicine label. Good medical practice and the best interests of a patient sometimes require that a medicine be used “off-label.”
What HIV-related opportunistic infections is voriconazole used for?
The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents, prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the HIV Medicine Association of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA-HIVMA), includes recommendations on the HIV-related uses of voriconazole to:
- Coccidioidomycosis from recurring (called secondary prophylaxis or maintenance therapy). (This is an “off-label” use.)
- Histoplasmosis (also known as Histoplasma capsulatum infection) from recurring. (This is an “off-label” use.)
- Esophageal candidiasis, a type of mucocutaneous candidiasis.
- Invasive aspergillosis.
- Coccidioidomycosis. (This is an “off-label” use.)
- Penicilliosis (also known as Penicillium marneffei infection). (This is an “off-label” use.)
- Histoplasmosis (This is an “off-label” use.)
The above list may not include all of the HIV-related uses of voriconazole recommended in the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents
. Some recommended uses, such as uses in certain rare circumstances, may have been omitted.
What should I tell my health care provider before taking voriconazole?
Before taking voriconazole, tell your health care provider:
- If you are allergic to voriconazole or any other medicines.
- About any medical conditions you have or have had, for example, diabetes or liver problems.
- About anything that could affect your ability to take medicines, such as difficulty swallowing pills, difficulty remembering to take pills, or any health conditions that may prevent your use of intravenous medicines.
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Voriconazole can harm your unborn baby. Talk to your health care provider about possible risks with taking voriconazole when pregnant.
- If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you are infected with HIV.
- About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Voriconazole may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how voriconazole works. Ask your health care provider if there are interactions between voriconazole and the other medicines you take.
Ask your health care provider about possible side effects from voriconazole. Your health care provider will tell you what to do if you have side effects.
How should I take voriconazole?
Take voriconazole according to your health care provider’s instructions. Your health care provider will tell you how much voriconazole to take and when to take it. Before you start voriconazole and each time you get a refill, read any printed information that comes with your medicine.
How should voriconazole be stored?
- Store vials of voriconazole powder for injection solution at 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C). After reconstitution with water, the solution should be used immediately. Only clear solution without particles should be used.
- Store voriconazole tablets at 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C).
- Store voriconazole powder for oral suspension in a refrigerator at 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) before reconstitution. After reconstitution, the oral suspension should be stored at 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C). Do not refrigerate or freeze it. Any remaining oral suspension should be thrown away 14 days after reconstitution.
- Do not use voriconazole if the original seal over the bottle opening is broken or missing.
- Throw away voriconazole that is no longer needed or expired (out of date). Follow FDA guidelines on how to safely dispose of unused medicine.
- Keep voriconazole and all medicines out of reach of children.
Where can I find more information about voriconazole?
More information about voriconazole is available:
Last Reviewed: April 13, 2015