Amphotericin b

Pronunciation

Generic Name: amphotericin b (am-foe-TER-ih-sin B)
Brand Name: Amphocin and Fungizone

Amphotericin b should be used to treat only serious fungal infections. Do not use amphotericin b for less severe infections such as oral thrush (white spots in the mouth), vaginal yeast infections, or throat (esophageal) infections, or for localized (not spread throughout the body) fungal infections in people with normal white blood cell levels.


Amphotericin b is used for:

Treating progressive and potentially life-threatening fungal infections. It may be used to treat certain protozoal infections (American mucocutaneous leishmaniasis) or other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Amphotericin b is an antifungal antibiotic. It works by killing the fungus and preventing its reproduction.

Do NOT use amphotericin b if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in amphotericin b

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

Before using amphotericin b:

Some medical conditions may interact with amphotericin b. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with amphotericin b. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Azole antifungals (eg, ketoconazole) because the effectiveness of amphotericin b may be decreased
  • Aminoglycoside antibiotics (eg, gentamicin), antineoplastic medicines (eg, nitrogen mustard), cyclosporine, or pentamidine because side effects, such as kidney problems, may occur
  • Leukocyte transfusions because side effects, such as lung problems, may occur
  • Corticosteroids (eg, prednisone) or corticotropin (ACTH) because side effects, such as heart problems, may occur
  • Digoxin, flucytosine, or skeletal muscle relaxants (eg, tubocurarine) because side effects and toxic effects may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if amphotericin b may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use amphotericin b:

Use amphotericin b as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Amphotericin b is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using amphotericin b at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If the medicine contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial/container is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Amphotericin b works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
  • To clear up your infection completely, continue using amphotericin b for the full course of treatment even if you feel better in a few days. Do not miss any doses.
  • Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to explain local regulations for selecting an appropriate container and properly disposing of the container when full.
  • If you miss a dose of amphotericin b, contact your doctor for advice on when to schedule the next dose.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use amphotericin b.

Important safety information:

  • Amphotericin b may cause dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to amphotericin b. Using amphotericin b alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • To reduce side effects, your doctor may prescribe other medicines before administration of amphotericin b. Take these other medicines as directed.
  • It is important to use amphotericin b for the full course of treatment. Failure to do so may decrease the effectiveness of amphotericin b and may increase the risk that the fungus will no longer be sensitive to amphotericin b and will not be able to be treated by this or certain other antifungals in the future.
  • LAB TESTS, including kidney function, liver function, blood cell counts, and blood electrolytes, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Amphotericin b is not recommended for use in NEWBORNS. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • Use amphotericin b with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using amphotericin b during pregnancy. It is unknown if amphotericin b is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking amphotericin b.

Possible side effects of amphotericin b:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Chills; fever; headache; loss of appetite; muscle or joint pain; nausea; stomach pain; weight loss.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; convulsions; dark, bloody stools; decreased urination; diarrhea; dizziness; fast breathing; hearing loss; irregular heartbeat; pain or redness at the injection site; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of amphotericin b:

Store amphotericin b as directed on the prescription label. Store away from heat and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep amphotericin b, as well as needles and syringes, out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about amphotericin b, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Amphotericin b is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take amphotericin b or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about amphotericin b. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to amphotericin b. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using amphotericin b.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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