Brand name: Fungizone
Class of drugs: Antifungal
Why is amphotericin B prescribed?
- Amphotericin B is prescribed to transplant patients to treat or prevent the development of aspergillus infection, a type of fungal infection.
- A transplant patient has an increased risk of developing infections because the immune system is suppressed.
- Amphotericin B will suppress the infection and help keep the symptoms from becoming worse.
How is amphotericin B given?
- This medication is given by infusion (IV).
- This drug works best when there is a constant amount of it in the bloodstream. In order to achieve this, you will receive amphotericin B daily in the hospital, starting the day after your transplant.
- Amphotericin B must be taken for the entire duration of treatment in order to achieve the best results.
- The dose of this drug will be different for each patient.
- A home care nurse will teach you how to give yourself this medication if it is needed on an outpatient basis.
What special instructions should I follow while using this drug?
- Drink plenty of fluids every day. (We recommend at least six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day.)
- Keep taking this medication for the full time of treatment.
- Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory so that your response to the drug can be monitored.
What are the common side effects and what can I do to treat them?
While you are taking amphotericin B, frequent blood tests will be taken to prevent or minimize the development of the following serious side effects:
- Electrolyte imbalance—(Taking your prescribed oral potassium and magnesium will help with this side effect.) It is not uncommon to require intravenous electrolyte replacement.
- Altered kidney or liver function
- Nausea, stomach upset, vomiting
- Weakness, muscle cramps
- Shaking, chills, fever (Medication such as Tylenol and Benadryl will be given before amphotericin B to prevent the development of fever or chills.)
- Generalized muscle or joint pain
Many of the side effects of amphotericin B are dose-related and may go away when your health care provider adjusts your dosage.
When should I notify my health care provider?
If you have any of these symptoms, please tell your health care provider right away so the dosage of your medication can be adjusted or additional medications can be prescribed to prevent or treat these side effects:
- Chills, fever or headache
- Nausea that does not improve after changing your eating habits
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Changes in the color of your urine
- Increased or decreased urination
- Changes in your vision
- Unusual skin changes
- Unusual fatigue
- Decreased appetite
- Extreme weight loss with unknown cause
- Difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Stomach pain
- Numbness or tingling in hands/feet
- Pain or swelling at the infusion site
- Shortness of breath
For More Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 216.444.8282. We will be happy to answer your questions.