• Wednesday April 8,2020

Amphotericin B

Amphotericin B is a very effective antifungal. It is used to combat fungal infections. Although it is a well-prescribed because of the high efficiency drug, at the same time it is due to its numerous side effects, however, in a bad reputation.

What is Amphotericin B?

Amphotericin B is used for fungal infections that are either in the mouth or in the digestive tract.

Amphotericin B is an oral or injectable solution derived from Streptomyces nodosum bacteria. The drug settles in the plasma membrane of fungi and in the short and long term ensures complete death of any fungus at all stages of its growth.

It has been the most effective antifungal drug for many decades as very few types of fungus are resistant to amphotericin B treatment.

Pharmacological action

If no side effects occur, Amphotericin B should only be used to treat fungal infections that are either in the mouth or in the digestive tract. Treatments of local fungal infections on the skin are also possible.

Theoretically, amphotericin B can also fight infections in the respiratory tract or also of internal organs and the urinary tract, but because of the multitude of side effects, most physicians resort to other preparations if this is possible. Amphotericin B is either locally delivered directly to the infected site (as is the case on the skin or in the mouth and intestine, for example) or injected via the circulation to the target site.

The mentioned frequent side effects result, among other things, from the fact that amphotericin B partially attacks not only the fungi but also cell membranes which belong to healthy cells in the organism. Due to its proven proven effect, amphotericin B is rarely used in severe cases. Normally amphotericin B is used until the fungal infection has been demonstrably eliminated. This may be the case after just a few days, but the treatment may take six to eight weeks.

Medical application & use

Amphotericin B serves as an antifungal agent to combat malignant fungal infections. It is used to eliminate yeast infections that have accumulated above all in the oral cavity and gastrointestinal tract.

The treatment may be difficult for the patient as it is usually necessary to pay attention to a four-time administration of the physician-selected dose per day. Amphotericin B is usually administered orally in the form of tablets, but injectable solutions are also available. Both variants can effectively combat both mild and severe to very severe infections. The drug can only treat acute fungal infections and is not suitable for prevention.

These infections include, among others, histoplasmoses and blastomycoses, and infections with so-called yeasts can be controlled by amphotericin B. Aspergillus fumigatus fungi are also susceptible to treatment with amphotericin B. Interactions with other drugs are not known. Major systemic diseases should not be treated by the use of Amphotericin B. The drug is suitable for patients of any age and may be used with caution during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Risks & Side Effects

Unfortunately, it is a drug with numerous side effects. Amphotericin B may cause permanent damage to the kidney. The severity of the damage depends on the total amount of drug administered, which is why amphotericin B should be administered in the lowest possible doses (although this may differ from patient to patient).

Furthermore, Amphotericin B may cause fever or chills immediately after ingestion as well as nausea and vomiting. Headaches and also shifts in the electrolyte balance of the body are also among the frequently observed side effects.

Liver damage and anemia are less common. Muscle pain, which can not be pinpointed, are less common. However, numerous side effects can either be reduced or completely eliminated by choosing the lowest possible dosage of amphotericin B at the start of treatment.

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