Amphotericin B Cholesteryl Sulfate Complex

Amphotericin B cholesteryl sulphate complex is used in the treatment of serious fungal infections, including aspergillosis.

Overview

The antifungal medication amphotericin B cholesteryl sulphate complex is used in the treatment of a number of serious fungal infections, such as aspergillosis, which is caused by fungus. It is often used for patients who are intolerant to regular amphotericin treatment or where this first line of treatment has not proven to be effective. Amphotericin B cholesteryl sulphate complex works by preventing and stopping the growth of fungi before it begins to affect the patient’s health.

The medication is known under the brand name Amphotec in the US. It is available in powder form that is made into a solution for dosing. This medication is only available on prescription from your doctor and is administered intravenously, either in a hospital or at your local medical clinic. If you prefer, you can self-administer the medication at home.

Conditions treated

  • Fungal infections
  • Aspergillosis

Type of medicine

  • Antifungal
  • Powder for solution
  • Intravenous administration

Side effects

As well as the many benefits that treatment with amphotericin B cholesteryl sulphate complex can bring, you may suffer a few side-effects. Most of these effects might not affect you, but if you do suffer any unusual or unpleasant effects when you begin using the medicine, speak to your doctor immediately, as you may require medical attention.

Some commonly experienced side effects include fever, chills, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Less common are difficulties in breathing, increased heartbeat, fainting or feeling dizzy, and experiencing unusual bruising or bleeding. In rare cases, patients have reported difficulty in swallowing, hives, reddening of the skin around the ears, itching of the hands or feet, and swelling around the eyes, inside of the nose, or more generally of the face. Some people also find that they suddenly feel tired or weak.

Many of these effects will resolve themselves and do not usually require medical intervention or treatment. However, if you have any concerns or if the effects are particularly debilitating or worrying, you should consult your doctor for advice. There may be ways in which you can manage the more bothersome side effects until your course of treatment has finished.

Dosage

Amphotericin B cholesteryl sulphate complex is available in powder for suspension form, and the medication is administered intravenously.

For the treatment of aspergillosis:

  • Adults and children: 1.36 mg to 1.81 mg per pound of body weight, injected into a vein over two hours, once daily

The correct dosage of this medication will be different for different patients and also varies depending on your medical condition, your response to the therapy, and your body weight. Always follow your doctor’s instructions or refer to the dosage instructions on the product prescription label. The information given above reflects the average mean dose of this medicine. If you have been prescribed a different dose, do not change it unless your doctor instructs you to do so.

Do not share or pass on your medicine to anyone else.

If you find that your condition does not improve or actually becomes worse when you begin using this medication, you should consult your doctor immediately.

In order for the medication to work correctly, try to keep to your prescribed dosing schedule. If you miss a dose of this medication, contact your doctor immediately to work out a new dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to try to catch up.

Major drug interactions

Some drugs should not be used together, as interactions may occur. Interactions could prevent your medication from working correctly or they may increase your risk of suffering side effects. If this applies to you, your doctor may elect to change the dose, frequency, or strength of one or more of your medications.

Before using this drug, make a list of any medicines that you are currently using. This list should include prescription and non-prescription drugs, herbal remedies, and vitamin supplements. Give this list to your doctor. Do not change the frequency or dose of any of these medicines, unless your doctor tells you to.

The following drugs may interact with amphotericin B cholesteryl sulphate complex:

  • anti-cancer drugs, including mechlorethamine and nitrogen mustard
  • azole antifungal drugs, including ketoconazole, itraconazole, cidofovir, digoxin, flucytosine
  • pentamidine, tacrolimus
  • gentamicin
  • tubocurarine
  • zidovudine
  • cyclosporine

Amphotericin B cholesteryl sulphate complex may interfere with the results of some laboratory test, including tests for phosphate levels), potentially causing false results. If you are attending hospital or medical clinic for any form of testing, remember to tell your treating physician or nurse that you are taking this medication.

Warnings

If you are self-administering this medication at home, be sure to learn how to properly prepare and use it, as per your doctor’s instructions. Before using the product, make sure that it contains no discoloration or circulating particles. If either is present, do not use the medication; ask your doctor for a replacement prescription.

Do not stop taking this medication before you complete the course, as this may allow the infection to return.

Before you begin using amphotericin B cholesteryl sulphate complex, be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any known allergies. The medication may contain certain inactive ingredients that may cause allergic reactions or other side-effects. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to food dyes, preservatives, foodstuffs (especially shellfish or milk), or animal derivatives.

Some medication can cause side-effects or a bad reaction when combined with certain foodstuffs, tobacco, or alcohol. Remember to mention to your doctor if you smoke or drink alcohol to excess.

Tell your doctor immediately if you have a history of white blood cell transfusions, irregular heartbeat, congestive heart failure, liver disease, or kidney disease.

You should only use this medication when absolutely necessary during pregnancy. Before commencing a course of treatment with this medication, discuss the benefits and risks with your treating physician. If there is a possibility that you might become pregnant during your course of treatment with this drug, ask your doctor for advice on suitable contraceptive methods.

It is not known if this drug can pass into breast milk and thence to nursing infants. However, it is best to err on the side of caution and consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Do not express breast milk for storage or freezing, as this may contain traces of the drug.

This medication can affect liver and kidney function. You will be required to attend your doctor for regular liver and kidney function tests, to check potassium/magnesium levels, and for complete blood counts. These tests are necessary to check your progress and monitor you for side-effects.

In the event that you or someone in your household overdoses with this medication, they may lose consciousness or have trouble breathing. In such circumstances, call 911 or contact your local poison control centre immediately.

Storage

Refer to your doctor or pharmacist for storage instructions for this medication. Once you have made-up the solution, do not keep it or store it for later use.

Always keep your eye medication away from children or pets. If a pet does consume your medication, you should seek veterinary advice without delay.

Do not keep any unused supplies of the medication. Do not use any medicine that has passed its use-by date. Do not flush unused medication down the toilet or tip it down the drain. Do not discard unused medication in the garbage where it could be found by children or pets.

Summary

Amphotericin B cholesteryl sulphate complex is an antifungal drug that is used in the treatment of a number of serious infections, such as aspergillosis, which are caused by fungus. The drug is very effective and works by preventing and stopping the growth of fungi.

Although the drug is very safe to use, some patients do experience side effects, the most common of which include fever, chills, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. The medication is suitable for use in children and adults of all ages. Although there have been no findings to suggest that using this medication could harm an unborn baby, you should mention to your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Amphotericin B cholesteryl sulphate complex is very effective in stopping the growth of harmful fungi, such as aspergillosis, which could cause dangerous fungal infections. In order to benefit fully from using this drug, you must consult closely with your doctor or treating specialist in order to work out the most suitable dose and dosage schedule for the medication.

In some patients, this medication has been seen to affect proper liver and kidney function. To guard against this, you will need to have regular liver and kidney function tests. Your potassium and magnesium levels will also be tested and you will have complete blood counts too. These tests are necessary to check your progress and monitor you for side-effects.

Resources
Last Reviewed:
December 23, 2017
Last Updated:
December 22, 2017
Content Source: