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Can we use the generic version of Itraconazole to treat ringworm?

Date:
Authors: Dr. MC Aziz
Document Type: FAQs
Topics: Infectious Disease
Species: Feline

We do not recommend using generic or compounded itraconazole for treatment of ringworm. Dr. Aziz explains why.

Question: 

We are in the position right now to be able to purchase this drug, and I know it is the one you recommend on your Ringworm info sheet. However, the research I have done has yielded a common thread. Itraconazole should only be used if you obtain the name-brand version Sporanox. Several places have said you should not use the generic version of Itraconazole.  Do you have any insight into this claim?

Unfortunately when our veterinarian (who is not full time with us) ordered the itraconazole, she got the generic version and not sporanox. Does this mean it is unsafe for use in felines?

If it is safe, do you recommend a 1x day 10 mg/kg dose or a 2x day 5 mg/kg dose?

Answer: 

We don’t recommend use of generic or compounded itraconazole since there have been several problems with efficacy. Based on our recommended protocol, brand name itraconazole should be used at 5 - 10mg/kg orally once daily for 21 days IN ADDITION to twice weekly lime sulfur dips (at 8oz/gallon).  With this protocol, cats are considered “cured” when two consecutive negative weekly cultures have been obtained. After completing the course of oral meds, twice weekly lime sulfur dips should be continued until DTM cultures are finalized, which occurs 21 days after the first negative culture and 14 days after the second.   In most cases, this means that you’re treating your cats for at least 30 days (although you may have to hold onto them for a bit longer while their cultures finalize).

University of Wisconsin Shelter Medicine Program
Koret Shelter Medicine Program

Chumkee Aziz, DVM
Resident, Koret Shelter Medicine Program
Center for Companion Animal Health
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

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