Amphotericin B Injection : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More

IMPORTANT WARNING:

Amphotericin B injection can cause serious side effects. It should only be used to treat potentially life-threatening fungal infections and not to treat less serious fungal infections of the mouth, throat, or vagina in patients with a normal immune system (body’s natural protection against infection).

Talk to your doctor about the risks of receiving amphotericin B injection.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Amphotericin B injection is used to treat serious and life-threatening fungal infections. Amphotericin B injection is in a class of medications called antifungals. It works by slowing the growth of fungi that cause infections.

How should this medicine be used?

Amphotericin B injection comes as a solid powder cake that a nurse or doctor injects intravenously (into a vein). Amphotericin B injection is usually infused (slowly injected) intravenously over a period of 2 to 6 hours once a day. Before receiving your first dose, you may receive a test dose for 20 to 30 minutes to see if you can tolerate the medicine. The length of your treatment depends on your general health, how you tolerate the medicine, and the type of infection you have.

You may experience a reaction while receiving a dose of amphotericin B injection. These reactions usually occur 1 to 3 hours after starting the infusion and are more severe with the first few doses. Your healthcare provider may prescribe other medications to lessen these side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms while receiving amphotericin B injection: fever, chills, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, breathing problems, or headache.

You can receive amphotericin B injection in a hospital or you can use the medicine at home. If you are going to use amphotericin B injection at home, your healthcare provider will show you how to infuse the medicine. Make sure you understand these instructions and consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions. Ask your healthcare provider what to do if you have a problem with amphotericin B injection.

If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse while receiving Amphotericin B, tell your doctor. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish your amphotericin B injection, tell your doctor.

This medicine may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before receiving amphotericin B injection,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to amphotericin B, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in amphotericin B injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: aminoglycoside antibiotics such as amikacin, gentamicin, or tobramycin (Bethkis, Kitabis Pak, Tobi); antifungals such as clotrimazole, fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox), ketoconazole (Extina, Nizoral, Xolegel) and miconazole (Oravig, Monistat); corticotropin (H.P. Acthar Gel); cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune); digoxin (Lanoxin); flucytosine (Ancobon); cancer treatment drugs such as nitrogen mustard; pentamidine (Nebupent, Pentam); and oral steroids such as dexamethasone, methylprednisolone (Medrol), and prednisone (Rayos). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are receiving leukocyte (white blood cell) transfusions.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while receiving amphotericin B injection, call your doctor. Do not breastfeed while receiving amphotericin B injection.
  • If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are receiving an injection of amphotericin B.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Amphotericin B injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • stomach pain or cramping
  • heartburn
  • diarrhea
  • weight loss
  • bone, muscle, or joint pain
  • lack of energy
  • redness or swelling at the injection site
  • pale skin
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • coldness in the hands and feet

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • rash
  • blisters or hives
  • flushing
  • wheezing
  • difficulty breathing
  • itching
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • decreased urination

Amphotericin B injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medicine.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • loss of consciousness
  • fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests during your treatment to check your body’s response to amphotericin B injection.

Don’t let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you every time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.

Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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