AmBisome Side Effects

Generic Name: amphotericin b liposomal

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of amphotericin b liposomal. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name AmBisome.

Not all side effects for AmBisome may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to amphotericin b liposomal: intravenous powder for solution

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by amphotericin b liposomal (the active ingredient contained in AmBisome). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking amphotericin b liposomal, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible:

More common
  • Chills
  • fever
  • irregular heartbeat
  • muscle cramps or pain
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Less common
  • Back pain
  • chest pain
  • dark urine
  • difficulty in breathing
  • headache
  • yellowing of eyes or skin
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • hives
  • itching, especially of feet or hands
  • reddening of skin, especially around ears
  • swelling of eyes, face, or inside of nose
  • unusual tiredness or weakness (sudden and severe)

Some of the side effects that can occur with amphotericin b liposomal may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common
  • Abdominal pain
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
Less common
  • Skin rash

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to amphotericin b liposomal: intravenous powder for injection


General reactions during amphotericin B liposomal infusions, such as fever and chills/rigors, have been reported. These symptoms usually began within a few minutes of initiation of an amphotericin B liposomal infusion. Slowing the rate of infusion has lessened or controlled symptoms. Severe infusion-related side effects associated with conventional amphotericin B administration have been lessened by pretreatment/treatment with corticosteroids, acetaminophen, antihistamines, and meperidine.


Metabolic side effects have included hypokalemia (4.2% to 51.1%), hypomagnesemia (15.3% to 48.9%), hyperglycemia (8.2% to 23%), hypocalcemia (4.9% to 18.4%), hypervolemia (8.2% to 12.2%), and hyponatremia (2% to 11.6%), hypernatremia (4.1%). Acidosis, increased amylase, hyperchloremia, hyperkalemia, hypermagnesemia, hyperphosphatemia, hypophosphatemia, hypoproteinemia, increased lactate dehydrogenase, increased nonprotein nitrogen, and respiratory alkalosis have been reported in 2% to 10% of patients.

Metabolic changes have occurred less frequently with amphotericin B liposomal than with conventional amphotericin B.

Four patients with invasive fungal infections experienced severe hyperphosphatemia coincident with amphotericin B liposomal therapy. Resolution of the side effect occurred after transition to amphotericin B lipid complex. Hyperphosphatemia may be reported more commonly in patients with mild to moderate renal insufficiency.


Renal toxicity has been reported less frequently with amphotericin B liposomal than with conventional amphotericin B.

Renal side effects have included increased serum creatinine (5.5% to 47%), BUN (7.4% to 22%), and nephrotoxicity (18.7%). Abnormal renal function (including oliguria and anuria), acute kidney failure, acute renal failure, kidney failure, and toxic nephropathy have been reported in 2% to 10% of patients. Decreased serum concentrations of potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium have often accompanied amphotericin-induced nephrotoxicity.


Hematologic side effects have included anemia (2% to 47.9%), leukopenia (15.1% to 17%), and thrombocytopenia (2% to 12.8%). Coagulation defects/disorder, ecchymosis, fluid overload, petechiae, decreased prothrombin, and increased prothrombin have been reported in 2% to 10% of patients. Agranulocytosis has been reported during postmarketing experience.


Cardiovascular side effects have included hypertension (7.9 to 19.8%), tachycardia (9.4% to 18.5%), hypotension (7.4% to 14.3%), chest pain (8.2% to 12%), and phlebitis (9.3% to 10.6%). Infusion-related effects have included tachycardia (2.3% to 9.9%), hypertension (2.3% to 8.6%), vasodilatation (5.2%), and hypotension (3.5%). Arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, cardiac arrest, cardiomegaly, hemorrhage, postural hypotension, valvular heart disease, and vasodilatation (flushing) have been reported in 2% to 10% of patients. Cardiac failure and cardiomyopathy have also been reported.


Respiratory side effects have included dyspnea (17.6% to 23%), increased cough (2.1% to 17.8%), lung disorder (13.6% to 17.8%), epistaxis (8.6% to 14.9%), pleural effusion (12.5%), rhinitis (11.1%), and hypoxia (6.2% to 7.6%). Infusion-related reactions have included dyspnea (4.7% to 9.9%), hyperventilation (1.2%), and hypoxia (0.3% to 1.2%). Asthma, atelectasis, hemoptysis, hiccup, hyperventilation, influenza-like symptoms, lung edema, pharyngitis, pneumonia, respiratory insufficiency, respiratory failure, and sinusitis have been reported in 2% to 10% of patients. Bronchospasm, cyanosis/hypoventilation, and pulmonary edema have been reported during postmarketing experience.


Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea (16.3% to 39.7%), vomiting (10.5% to 31.8%), diarrhea (10.5% to 30.3%), constipation (2% to 15.1%), anorexia (2% to 14%), and gastrointestinal hemorrhage (9.9%). Infusion-related reactions have included vomiting (5.9% to 16%) and nausea (8.6% to 14%). Dry mouth/nose, dyspepsia, dysphagia, eructation, fecal incontinence, flatulence, hemorrhoids, gum/oral hemorrhage, hematemesis, ileus, mucositis, rectal disorder, stomatitis, and ulcerative stomatitis have been reported in 2% to 10% of patients. Epigastric pain and cramping have been reported less frequently.


Other side effects have included chills/rigors (40% to 48.1%), chills (47.5%), abdominal pain (7% to 19.8%), blood product transfusion reaction (8.6% to 18.4%), peripheral edema (14.6%), edema (12.3% to 14.3%), pain (14%), sepsis (7.4% to 14%), asthenia (6.2% to 13.1%), infection (11.1% to 12.8%), back pain (12%), and procedural complication (2% to 9.6%). Infusion-related reactions have included chills/rigors (6% to 23.5%) and fever (up to 19.8%). A few cases of flushing, back pain (with or without chest tightness), and chest pain have been reported with amphotericin B liposomal administration, and occasionally this has been severe. Enlarged abdomen, face edema, malaise, and neck pain have been reported in 2% to 10% of patients.

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included headache (9.4% to 19.8%), insomnia (17% to 22.1%), confusion (8.6% to 12.9%), dizziness (2% to 8.5%), and peripheral neuropathy. Agitation, coma, convulsion, cough, dysesthesias, paresthesia, tremor, and somnolence have been reported in 2% to 10% of patients.


Hepatic side effects have included elevated alkaline phosphatase (7.1% to 22.2%), bilirubin (5.2% to 18.1%), alanine transaminase (ALT, 8.9% to 14.6%), aspartate transaminase (AST, 7.6% to 12.8%), and abnormal liver function tests (2% to 12.8%). Hepatocellular damage, hepatomegaly, and veno-occlusive liver disease have been reported in 2% to 10% of patients.


Dermatologic side effects have included rash (4.7% to 24.8%), pruritus (10.8%), sweating (7%), flushing (4.2%). Alopecia, cellulitis, dry skin, herpes simplex, maculopapular rash, purpura, skin discoloration, skin disorder, skin ulcer, urticaria, and vesiculobullous rash have been reported in 2% to 10% of patients. Erythema has been reported during postmarketing experience.


Genitourinary side effects have included hematuria (14%). Dysuria, urinary incontinence, and vaginal hemorrhage have been reported in 2% to 10% of patients. Hemorrhagic cystitis has been reported during postmarketing experience.


Psychiatric side effects have included anxiety (7.4% to 13.7%). Depression, hallucinations, nervousness, and abnormal thought processes have been reported in 2% to 10% of patients.


Immunologic side effects have included cell mediated immunological reaction and graft versus host disease (2% to 10%). Lysis syndrome has been reported during visceral leishmaniasis therapy.


Ocular side effects have included conjunctivitis, dry eyes, and eye hemorrhage in 2% to 10% of patients.


Musculoskeletal side effects have included arthralgia, bone pain, dystonia, myalgia, and rigors in 2% to 10% of patients. Rhabdomyolysis has been reported during postmarketing experience.


Hypersensitivity side effects have included allergic reaction (2% to 10%). Hypersensitivity reactions have presented as bronchospasm, wheezing, or anaphylactoid reactions. Angioedema and urticaria have been reported during postmarketing experience.


Local side effects have included inflammation at the injection site in 2% to 10% of patients.

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