Amphotericin B is also known as the brand name Ambisone. With Astellas Pharma’s patent for Ambisome due to expire on February 23, 2016, this injectable medication for deadly fungal infections is geared up for attention in the pharmaceutical community. More than 6 billion dollars is spent worldwide on anti-fungal medications, and the total costs of the medical treatment of infectious diseases caused by pathogenic fungi is estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars. Infectious diseases are the number one cause of death worldwide as well, with pathogenic fungi being responsible for extremely dangerous infections.
Amphotericin B is used to treat serious, life-threatening fungal infections, including a certain form of meningitis in people infected with human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. In addition, amphotericin B is efficacious for treating presumed fungal infections in febrile neutropenic patients; Cryptococcal Meningitis in HIV-infected patients; Aspergillus species, Candida species and/or Cryptococcus species infections refractory to amphotericin B deoxycholate; and the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis. You should not use this medication for minor fungal infections like a yeast infection of the mouth, esophagus, or vagina.
Amphotericin B is often given to patients when other antifungal antibiotics have been tried without success. The dangers of a fungal infection entering a patient’s systemic circulation is forboding, as these quickly lead to toxic and deadly results. Amphotericin B is given as an injection in a clinic or hospital setting. The I.V. infusion is usually a slow one, and this medication can take up to 2 hours to administer. Some patients may need treatments with Amphotericin B for several weeks or months, depending on the severity of their infection. Side effects of Amphotericin B are mild, and include pain with swelling at the injection site, mild nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, upset stomach, appetite and weight loss, headache, muscle and joint aches.
Fungal infections that become systemic can lead to sepsis, which is the second-most common cause of death worldwide. In patients with a severely compromised immune system specially, life-threatening candida fungal infections represent an extremely high risk of sepsis. Until recently the causes of life-threatening reactions triggered by fungal infections has not been fully understood. A working group led by Karl Kuchler at the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Infection Biology (Max. F. Perutz Laboratories at the Vienna Biocenter Campus) has now deciphered the molecular causes of this life-threatening inflammatory reactions. These reactions, triggered by fungal infections are due to two highly aggressive types of phagocytes in the immune system, neutrophils and inflammatory monocytes. These phagocytes have a high potential for collateral destruction and they mediate the inflammatory reaction during an infection with candida. Certain interferons, which are the messenger substances used by the immune system and excreted during fungal infections, stimulate the influx of these immune cell types to infected organs, thus leading to sepsis. This remarkable study is only the beginning when it comes to research and development of medications to treat the growing number of infections, fungal and otherwise, worldwide. With the proliferation of resistant bacteria the world will soon be in desperate need of treatments for these infections.
LGM Pharma provides API Amphotericin B, CAS number 1397-89-3 for research and development purposes, as well as for pharmaceutical compounding.
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