Side Effects of Voriconazole (Vfend)
Voriconazole, available as the brand nVfend, is an azole antifungal used to treat certain aggressive fungal infections in your body and blood. The infections are esophageal candidiasis (throat yeast infection), aspergillosis (fungal infection in the lungs), and candidemia (fungal infection in the blood).
Before Vfend Treatment
The FDA advises before you start taking Vfend, tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding, have a history of heart problems (such as cardiomyopathy, slow or irregular heartbeat), an abnormal electrocardiogram (a type of heart test), if you have liver problems like cirrhosis, kidney or pancreas problems, a weakened immune system, or a blood disease (blood or bone marrow cancer).
Additionally, Vfend may cause blurred vision or sensitivity to sunlight and cause you to be sunburned quickly. Avoid the sun and use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for a long period of time.
Serious Side Effects
The serious side effects of Vfend are:
- Vision changes like blurred vision, changes in the way you see colors, sensitivity to light
- Liver problems (itchy skin, yellowing of your eyes, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, nausea or vomiting)
- Serious heart problems (changes in your heart rate or rhythm, including stopping of heart also known as cardiac arrest)
- Skin rash
- Trouble breathing
- Fainting and dizziness
- Kidney failure
- Serious skin reactions: mouth sores, rash or hives, blistering or peeling of your skin, trouble swallowing or breathing)
Common Side Effects
According to the FDA, commonly reported Vfend side effects are headache, fast heartbeat, and hallucinations
Voriconazole should not be taken if you are allergic to Vfend or are taking the following medications: ritonavir, cisapride (Propulsid), sirolimus (Rapamune), rifampin (Rifadin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), long-acting barbiturates like phenobarbital (Luminal), pimozide (Orap), quinidine (like Quinaglute), efavirenz (Sustiva), rifabutin (Mycobutin), ergotamine, dihydroergotamine (ergot alkaloids), and St. John’s Wort (herbal supplement).
About Pharmacogenetic Testing
The way people respond to medications is due to inherited genes. This is why people respond differently to the same medication. Pharmacogenetics, the study of how medicine interacts with our genes, analyzes the variant genes that break down drugs. Depending on the reaction, the dose of the medication can be altered or not prescribed at all. As a result, a more useful medication can be altered.
Know Your Risk with the Rxight® Genetic Test
Rxight® genetic testing analyzes your reaction to hundreds of clinically relevant prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications, including Vfend. With pharmacogenetic testing, you can find out how you will metabolize specific medications before you even begin treatment. In this way, you can avoid serious side effects.
Contributors to this Article:
Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; and Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry
Read more about Rxight® Genetic Testing Labs