Generic Name: caspofungin (KAS poe FUN jin)
Brand Name: Cancidas
What is Cancidas (caspofungin)?
Caspofungin is an antifungal medicine that fights infections caused by fungus.
Caspofungin is used to treat fungal infections of the stomach, lungs, esophagus, or other internal body areas.
Caspofungin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about Cancidas (caspofungin)?
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving Cancidas (caspofungin)?
You should not use caspofungin if you are allergic to it.
To make sure caspofungin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
liver disease; or
if you have recently had a kidney, heart, or liver transplant.
It is not known whether caspofungin will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.
It is not known whether caspofungin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How is Cancidas (caspofungin)given?
Caspofungin is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.
Caspofungin must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take at least 1 hour to complete.
You may be shown how to use an IV at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.
Caspofungin is usually given for at least 14 days. You may need to receive this medicine until it has been at least 7 days after your symptoms disappear, or 14 days after lab tests show that the infection has cleared.
Use caspofungin for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely treated.
You may be given other medications to treat your infection. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice.
Caspofungin is a powder medicine that must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medication.
Use only the liquid diluent that you have been given to mix with caspofungin. Liquids that contain dextrose or glucose should never be mixed with caspofungin.
Prepare your dose only when you are ready to give an injection. Do not use the medicine if it looks cloudy or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.
Use a disposable needle and syringe only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
Store caspofungin powder in a refrigerator. Do not freeze. You may take the powder out of the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature before mixing your medicine.
After mixing caspofungin with a diluent, you may store the mixture for up to 24 hours at room temperature, or up to 48 hours in a refrigerator.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since caspofungin is usually given by a healthcare professional, it is not likely that you will miss a dose. If you are using the injections at home and you miss a dose, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while receiving Cancidas (caspofungin)?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Cancidas (caspofungin) side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Tell your doctor at once if you have:
pain, swelling, or vein irritation around the IV needle;
fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
swelling in your hands or feet;
weakness, muscle cramps, pounding or uneven heart beats;
low potassium--confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling; or
liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Common side effects include:
abnormal liver function tests;
skin rash; or
dizziness, feeling light-headed.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Cancidas (caspofungin)?
Other drugs may interact with caspofungin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about Cancidas (caspofungin)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about caspofungin.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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