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Amphotericin B



Amphotericin B is used in the treatment of serious fungal infections and kala-azar.

How it works

Amphotericin B belongs to class of medications called polyene antimycotics. It acts on the outer covering (cell membrane) of the fungus resulting in leakage of essential nutrients from within the cells, thereby killing them.

Common side effects

Increased glucose level in blood, Loss of appetite, Fever, Chills, Blurred vision, Nausea, Abnormal heart rhythm, Headache, Abnormal breathing, Fainting, Dizziness, Vomiting, Decreased potassium level in blood


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Expert advice

  • Before you take amphotericin B, inform your doctor if you suffer from diabetes, liver/kidney problem or are on dialysis or have low potassium level in blood.
  • You should monitor your condition through regular laboratory evaluation of potassium, magnesium as well as renal, hepatic and hematopoietic function.
  • Take precautions as amphotericin B may reduce the ability to drive or operate machinery.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions

Amphotericin B

Q.Is amphotericin B an antibiotic?
Yes, amphotericin B is an antifungal antibiotic for the treatment of serious infections caused by fungi like fungal infections of one or more deep organs of the body, suspected fungal infections in patients with a raised temperature and neutropenia (reduced number of white blood cells [neutrophils]) and Visceral leishmaniasis (disease caused by a parasite)

Q.Is amphotericin B fungistatic or fungicidal?
Amphotericin B is fungicidal in nature, it acts by killing the fungus

Q.Is amphotericin B testing dose needed?
Yes, administration of amphotericin B is associated with allergy (severe and serious allergic) reaction, therefore it is recommended to administer a test dose before starting the therapy to check for sensitivity

Q.Is amphotericin B light sensitive?
Amphotericin B is not light sensitive

Q.How is amphotericin B administered?
Amphotericin B is either administered as intravenous injection or infusion by a registered medical professional only

Q.What is amphotericin B liposomal?
Liposomal amphotericin B is a lipid-associated formulation. Liposomal encapsulation or incorporation into a lipid complex of amphotericin B can substantially improves drug safety especially nephrotoxicity associated with the drug

Q.How does amphotericin B cause nephrotoxicity and hyperkalemia?
Amphotericin B can disrupt the lipid components of human kidney cells, thereby causing nephrotoxicity. The exact mechanism of hypokalemia is not known, but kidney damage may result in excessive loss of potassium in urine.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)