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 a Single Dose for Vaginal Candidiasis
During comparative clinical studies conducted in the United States, 448 patients with vaginal candidiasis were treated with fluconazole, 150 mg single dose. The overall incidence of side effects possibly related to fluconazole was 26%. In 422 patients receiving active comparative agents, the incidence was 16%. The most common treatment-related adverse events reported in the patients who received 150 mg single dose fluconazole for vaginitis were headache (13%), nausea (7%), and abdominal pain (6%). Other side effects reported with an incidence equal to or greater than 1% included diarrhea (3%), dyspepsia (1%), dizziness (1%), and taste perversion (1%). Most of the reported side effects were mild to moderate in severity. Rarely, angioedema and anaphylactic reaction have been reported in marketing experience.
In Patients Receiving Multiple Doses for Other Infections
Sixteen percent of over 4000 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 4048 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.
Immunologic: In rare cases, anaphylaxis (including angioedema, face edema, and pruritus) has been reported.
Body as a Whole: Asthenia, fatigue, fever, malaise.
Cardiovascular: QT prolongation, torsade de pointes. (See PRECAUTIONS)
Central Nervous System: Seizures, dizziness.
Hematopoietic and Lymphatic: Leukopenia, including neutropenia and agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia.
Metabolic: Hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hypokalemia.
Gastrointestinal: Cholestasis, dry mouth, hepatocellular damage, dyspepsia, vomiting.
Other Senses: Taste perversion.
Musculoskeletal System: myalgia.
Nervous System: Insomnia, paresthesia, somnolence, tremor, vertigo.
Skin and Appendages: Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis, drug eruption including fixed drug eruption, increased sweating, exfoliative skin disorders including Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis, drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) (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.
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