Ketoconazole is an antifungal medication used to treat fungal and yeast infections, as well as some infections caused by ringworm. Veterinarians sometimes use this medication for companion animals. Customers may receive this drug under the names Nizoral, Ketochlor.
Ketoconazole tablets are indicated for the treatment of fungal infections as well as some yeast and dermatophyte (ringworm) infections.
Possible Side Effects
Gastrointestinal signs of anorexia, vomiting, and/or diarrhea and weight loss are the most common adverse effects seen with ketoconazole therapy and are more prevalent in cats. Dividing the dose and/or giving it with meals may minimize gastrointestinal side effects. Appetite stimulants such as oxazepam or cyproheptadine may also be of benefit in cats.
Hepatic toxicity consisting of cholangiohepatitis and increased liver enzymes has been reported with ketoconazole, and may be either idiosyncratic in nature or a dose-related phenomenon. Cats may be more prone to developing hepatotoxicity than dogs. While liver enzymes should be monitored during therapy, an increase does not necessarily mandate dosage reduction or discontinuation unless concomitant anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain is present. Thrombocytopenia has also been reported with ketoconazole therapy, but is rarely encountered. A reversible lightening of haircoat may also occur in pets treated with ketoconazole. Cataracts in dogs, anecdotally attributed to ketoconazole therapy has been reported.
Ketoconazole has a transient dose-related suppressant effect on gonadal and adrenal steroid synthesis. Doses as low as 10 mg/kg depressed serum testosterone levels in dogs within 3-4 hours after dosing, but levels returned to normal within 10 hours. Doses of 30 mg/kg/day have been demonstrated to suppress serum cortisol levels in dogs with hyperadrenocorticism. Dogs undergoing high dose antifungal therapy may need additional glucocorticoid support during periods of acute stress.
Drug & Food Interactions
Ketoconazole should not be used in pets with known hypersensitivity to it. It should be used with caution in pets with hepatic disease or thrombocytopenia. Because of its effects on cortisol synthesis, it should be used with caution in pets undergoing stressful events (eg, surgery, trauma, critical illness).
Not for use in pets who are pregnant, lactating, have liver disease or blood clotting problems. Do not administer to cats.
NOTE: For Generic Medications, picture displayed may not depict actual product. Generic medications may vary from one order to the next by size, color and shape depending on manufacturer. Customers may receive the same drug under the names Nizoral, Ketochlor.
This drug is FDA-approved for human use. However, it is common practice for veterinarians to prescribe such drugs for use in dogs and cats.
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