Compare Itraconazole vs. Ketoconazole

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Sporanox
(itraconazole)

Nizoral
(ketoconazole)

Treats fungal infections. Sporanox (itraconazole) is effective oral medication that treats many different kinds of fungal infections. However, it has the potential to interact with a lot of other medications and has a few serious but rare side effects.Treats fungal infections. Nizoral (Ketoconazole) is a medication used on your skin to treat fungal infections; however, it takes several weeks for full recovery, and the directions are specific to each type of medication.
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Coupons for Itraconazole
Best available price for 60 (100mg) capsules of itraconazole
Coupons for Ketoconazole
Best available price for 30 (200mg) tablets of ketoconazole
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Sporanox (itraconazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Nizoral (ketoconazole)?
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Side effects
ItraconazoleKetoconazole
  • Nausea 11%
  • Rash 9%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Swelling due to fluid retention 4%
  • Headache 4%
  • Itching 3%
  • Fever 3%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • High blood pressure 3%
  • Tiredness 3%
More Itraconazole side effects »
  • Application site reaction 1%
  • Any side effect 3%
More Ketoconazole side effects »
How it works
ItraconazoleKetoconazole
Sporanox (itraconazole) kills fungus by preventing it from making its protective cell wall.Nizoral (Ketoconazole) is an antifungal medicine. It prevents yeast and fungi from reproducing and making their protective outer cell wall.
Type of medication
ItraconazoleKetoconazole
Prescription onlyPrescription or OTC
Available as
ItraconazoleKetoconazole
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Foam
  • Shampoo
Used for
ItraconazoleKetoconazole
Risk factors for serious side effects
ItraconazoleKetoconazole
  • History of congestive heart failure
  • Taking other medications that can produce an irregular heartbeat
Detailed Sporanox (itraconazole) risks & warnings »
  • Asthma
Detailed Nizoral (ketoconazole) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Interactions
ItraconazoleKetoconazole
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) has many drug interactions and can't be used together with a lot of other medications. Let your doctor or pharmacist know about all of your medications before starting Sporanox (itraconazole).
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) has a lot of drug interactions. Let your doctor or pharmacist know about all of the medications you're taking.
No interactions related info.
Kidneys and liver
ItraconazoleKetoconazole
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) can be used by people who have kidney problems.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Upsides and benefits
ItraconazoleKetoconazole
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) is effective in treating infections caused by many different types of fungi.
  • Available as a generic in the capsule form.
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) can be used by people who have kidney problems.
  • Recommended as a first choice medication to treat skin infections caused by fungi, including cradle cap, seborrheic dermatitis, and tinea versicolor.
  • Nizoral (Ketoconazole) isn't taken orally, so it doesn't cause liver issues.
  • Can be used with other medications to help control redness and swelling.
  • The 1% shampoo is available over-the-counter in the drugstore.
Downsides and risks
ItraconazoleKetoconazole
  • The liquid solution is especially likely to cause stomach upset like nausea and diarrhea.
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) is not a good choice for simple fungal infections (like nail infections) in people who have congestive heart failure because it can cause high blood pressure and swelling of the limbs.
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) isn't absorbed in the same way by everyone. You'll likely need to get lab tests done to check on its levels in the blood.
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) can cause serious side effects like allergic reactions, liver toxicity, nerve pain, or hearing loss.
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) has a lot of drug interactions. Let your doctor or pharmacist know about all of the medications you're taking.
  • The foams (Extina and Ketodan) and gel (Xolegel) are only available as brand name and can be more expensive.
  • The 2.5% shampoo and creams are available only by prescription, but are generic.
  • The shampoo has to be left on for at least 5-10 minutes after lathering before you rinse it off.
  • It can take a few weeks for the infection to clear and a few months before the skin returns to its normal color.
  • The fungal infections can be confused for other skin infections, so if Nizoral (Ketoconazole) doesn't work, it could be caused by another skin problem.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ItraconazoleKetoconazole
  • If you are taking the pill form, take it after the same meal at the same time each day. If taking the liquid form, take it on an empty stomach with an an accurate measuring device.
  • If you're taking Sporanox (itraconazole) for an infection in the mouth or esophagus, swish the liquid solution in your mouth before swallowing.
  • To make sure that the medicine is effective, be sure to take the full course of this medication, even if you are feeling better.
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) should not be taken with any heartburn medications - especially proton pump inhibitors like Nexium or Prilosec.
  • Be sure to use a reliable form of birth control while taking Sporanox (itraconazole).
  • The shampoo is meant to be used once every 3 to 4 days, while the cream, gel and foam are meant to be used one to three times a day.
  • It can take at least 2 to 6 weeks for the infection to completely clear, and it can take 3 to 6 months before the skin returns to its original color for some infections.
  • Make sure Nizoral (Ketoconazole) doesn't get into the eyes.
  • If you're using the foam, spray the foam into the cap, not your hands since it can melt before you put it on, and apply onto the skin, not the hair.
  • Can cause redness, swelling, and an irritated or burning sensation to the area where you put Nizoral (Ketoconazole) on.
Learn more
More about ItraconazoleSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Sporanox (itraconazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about KetoconazoleSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Nizoral (ketoconazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it