Recent advances in antifungal pharmacotherapy for invasive fungal infections.
Invasive fungal infections carry significant morbidity and mortality. Candida species have become one of the most frequent causes of bloodstream infections, and infections caused by molds such as Aspergillus are becoming more frequent in immunocompromised patients. As this population grows, more invasive fungal infections can be anticipated. In the past, treatment options have been limited for many of these infections due to toxicity and efficacy concerns with the available antifungals. Fortunately, the past few years have brought exciting developments in antifungal pharmacotherapy. Lipid-based formulations of amphotericin B were introduced in the 1990s to attenuate adverse effects caused by amphotericin B deoxycholate (Fungizone, Bristol-Myers Squibb). Most recently, the echinocandins have been added to our antifungal regimen with the introduction of caspofungin (Cancidas, Merck and Co.) and voriconazole (Vfend, Pfizer), a new triazole, has come to market. The introduction of the echinocandins has invigorated the discussion about combination antifungal therapy. Evidence-based studies using these new agents are accumulating, and they are assuming important roles in the pharmacotherapy of invasive fungal infections in seriously ill and complex patients.
Gallagher, JC; MacDougall, C; Ashley, ESD; Perfect, JR
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