Antifungal Medication Makes You See Chewbacca

A new antifungal drug, voriconazole, causes patients to “develop a range of neurological side effects, including auditory and visual hallucinations,” within 24 hours to 2 weeks of beginning treatment. The drug is marketed as Vfend, and is administered intraveneously to treat serious fungal infections. The National Institute of Health has been testing the toxicity of the drug and reported the neurological side effects at a recent conference.

The visual hallucinations frequently consisted of seeing people or scenes. One patient reported seeing flying objects, another saw scenes of Montana and New York City, and a third patient saw a giant “Wookie” from the movie Star Wars bending over his bed. The auditory hallucinations often consisted of hearing voices and music, and one patient reported hearing TV commercials.

Among the non-fun side effects: 5% of patients studied developed signs of liver damage.

But back to the hallucinations: we wonder if taking large doses of vitamin C along with the treatment would make them any more intense?

“Hallucinations not unusual with antifungal therapy” [Reuters]
(Photo: Getty)