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Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

Topical: Redness, burning, itching, or irritation not present prior to therapy. Injection into a vein: Headache, fever, muscle pain or cramps, fatigue, chills, heartbeat irregularities, seizures, increased or decreased urine output, nausea, vomiting, pain at site of injection, change in or blurred vision, skin rash or itching, breathing difficulties, tightness in chest, unusual bleeding or bruising, sore throat. Injection into the spinal column: Urination difficulties, change in or blurred vision, numbness, tingling, fatigue, or weakness.
Common

Topical: None reported. Injection: Mild headache, diarrhea, indigestion, stomach pain, loss of appetite, mild nausea or vomiting.
Less Common

Topical (cream only): Dry skin. Injection into the spinal column: Severe nausea or vomiting, dizziness or lightheadedness, headache, pain in the back, leg, or neck.
Amphotericin B


Drug Class:
Antifungal

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: Yes

Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Cream, lotion, ointment, injection

Why Prescribed
To treat serious and potentially life-threatening fungal infections.

How It Works
Amphotericin B prevents fungal organisms from producing vital substances required for growth and function. This drug is effective only for infections caused by fungal organisms. It will not work for bacterial or viral infections.

Range and Frequency
Topical forms: Apply a liberal amount to the affected area two to four times a day, according to doctor's instructions. It should be applied externally only. Injection: Dose is determined by your doctor based on many factors.

Onset of Effect
Topical: Not applicable. Injection: Immediate.

Duration of Action
Injection and topical: Unknown.

Dietary Advice
Increase fluid intake to two to three quarts a day.

Storage
Can be stored at room temperature for 24 hours or in the refrigerator for seven days in a tightly sealed container away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep it from freezing.

Missed Dose
Tell your doctor if you miss an injected dose. If you miss a topical dose, apply it as soon as you remember, then resume your regular dosage schedule.

Stopping the Drug
Take it as prescribed for the full treatment period, even if you begin to feel better before the scheduled end of therapy. The decision to stop taking the drug should be made by your doctor.

Prolonged Use
Topical forms are generally prescribed for short-term therapy (1 to 4 weeks). Consult your doctor if your condition does not improve, or worsens, within one to two weeks. The injection may be prescribed for up to 12 months. Your doctor will determine the proper length of therapy.

Over 60
Adverse reactions may be more likely and more severe in older patients.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Avoid such activities until you determine how the medicine affects you.

Alcohol
Avoid alcohol.

Pregnancy
Adequate studies of the use of amphotericin B use during pregnancy have not been done. Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Breast Feeding
Amphotericin B may pass into breast milk; caution is advised. Consult your doctor for advice.

Infants and Children
No special problems are expected.

Special Concerns
Use gloves when applying the topical form of amphotericin B, as it can stain or discolor skin and clothing. The stain may be removed by hand washing with warm water and soap. Do not use an airtight dressing to cover the topical form, since this may increase the risk of infection.

Overdose Symptoms
Heartbeat irregularities; breathing difficulty.

What to Do
Treatment should be discontinued. Call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Drug Interactions
Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are taking corticosteroids, corticotropin, digitalis drugs, potassium-sparing diuretics, bone marrow depressants, nephrotoxic medications, or other topical prescription or over-the-counter medications. Also consult your doctor if you are undergoing radiation therapy.

Food Interactions
No known food interactions.

Disease Interactions
Caution is advised when taking amphotericin B. Consult your doctor if you have any other medical problem, especially kidney disease.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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