Liposomal amphotericin B: clinical experience and perspectives.
While amphotericin B deoxycholate (Fungizone, Apothecon Pharmaceuticals) has been considered by many to be the gold standard for the treatment for numerous invasive fungal infections for over 45 years, toxicities associated with its use often necessitate treatment modification or discontinuation. Lipid-based formulations, including liposomal amphotericin B (AmBisome, Fujisawa Healthcare, Inc.), were developed to decrease many of these toxicities while retaining broad antifungal spectrum and potency of amphotericin B. In clinical trials, liposomal amphotericin B has demonstrated efficacy comparable to that of amphotericin B deoxycholate while reducing the incidence of treatment-related nephrotoxicity, electrolyte-wasting, and infusion-related reactions. In addition, recent clinical trials have also compared liposomal amphotericin B with other antifungal classes. Acquisition costs of liposomal amphotericin B are substantially higher than those of amphotericin B deoxycholate and other antifungals. While pharmacoeconomic analyses consider outcomes and other treatment-related costs, they have yet to clearly demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of liposomal amphotericin B when compared with amphotericin B deoxycholate or other antifungal agents. This review will focus primarily on recent liposomal amphotericin B experience and attempt to put its use into perspective considering other available antifungal agents.
Gibbs, WJ; Drew, RH; Perfect, JR
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