Amphotericin B (Fungizone 10 mg/ml) is an antifungal drug used most commonly for treatment of aspergillosis
. It is also effective against: Coccidioides immitis, Cryptococcus neoformans, Histoplasma capsulatum, Rhodotorula, Blastomyces dermatitidis, Mucor mucedo
, and Sporothrix schenckii
. While Candida albicans
is generally quite susceptible to amphotericin B, non-albicans species may be less susceptible. Amphotericin B acts by binding to sterols (ergosterol) in the cell membrane of susceptible fungi. This creates a transmembrane channel, and the resultant change in membrane permeability allowing leakage of intracellular components. Ergosterol, the principal sterol in the fungal cytoplasmic membrane, is the target site of action of amphotericin B and the azoles.
If administered rapidly or if overdosed, it can result in heart arrhythmias and cardio-respiratory arrest. Since the drug is eliminated by the kidneys, it has a high risk of causing kidney damage (nephrotoxicity) and thus should only be used for a short duration.