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Although some patients may tolerate full intravenous doses of amphotericin B without difficulty, most will exhibit some intolerance, often at less than the full therapeutic dose.
Tolerance may be improved by treatment with aspirin, antipyretics (e.g., acetaminophen), antihistamines, or antiemetics. Meperidine (25 to 50 mg IV) has been shown in some patients to decrease the duration of shaking chills and fever that may accompany the infusion of amphotericin B.
Intravenous administration of small doses of adrenal corticosteroids just prior to or during the amphotericin B infusion may help decrease febrile reactions. Dosage and duration of such corticosteroid therapy should be kept to a minimum (see PRECAUTIONS: DRUG INTERACTIONS).
Extravasation may cause chemical irritation.
The adverse reactions most commonly observed are:
Hematologic: normochromic, normocytic anemia.
Local: pain at the injection site with or without phlebitis or thrombophlebitis.
Musculoskeletal: generalized pain, including muscle and joint pains.
Renal: decreased renal function and renal function abnormalities including: azotemia, hypokalemia, hyposthenuria, renal tubular acidosis; and nephrocalcinosis. These usually improve with interruption of therapy. However, some permanent impairment often occurs, especially in those patients receiving large amounts (over 5 g) of amphotericin B or receiving other nephrotoxic agents. In some patients hydration and sodium repletion prior to amphotericin B administration may reduce the risk of developing nephrotoxicity. Supplemental alkali medication may decrease renal tubular acidosis.
The following adverse reactions have also been reported:
General (body as a whole): flushing.
Allergic: anaphylactoid and other allergic reactions; bronchospasm; wheezing.
Altered Laboratory Findings
Renal Function Tests: Elevations of BUN and serum creatinine.
Read the Fungizone (amphotericin b) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »
When administered concurrently, the following drugs may interact with amphotericin B
Antineoplastic agents: may enhance the potential for renal toxicity, bronchospasm and hypotension. Antineoplastic agents (e.g., nitrogen mustard, etc.) should be given concomitantly only with great caution.
Corticosteroids and Corticotropin (ACTH): may potentiate amphotericin B-induced hypokalemia which may predispose the patient to cardiac dysfunction. Avoid concomitant use unless necessary to control side effects of amphotericin B. If used concomitantly, closely monitor serum electrolytes and cardiac function (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).
Digitalis glycosides: amphotericin B-induced hypokalemia may potentiate digitalis toxicity. Serum potassium levels and cardiac function should be closely monitored and any deficit promptly corrected.
Flucytosine: while a synergistic relationship with amphotericin B has been reported, concomitant use may increase the toxicity of flucytosine by possibly increasing its cellular uptake and/or impairing its renal excretion.
Imidazoles (e.g., ketoconazole, miconazole, clotrimazole, fluconazole, etc.): in vitro and animal studies with the combination of amphotericin B and imidazoles suggest that imidazoles may induce fungal resistance to amphotericin B. Combination therapy should be administered with caution, especially in immunocompromised patients.
Other nephrotoxic medications: agents such as aminoglycosides, cyclosporine, and pentamidine may enhance the potential for drug-induced renal toxicity, and should be used concomitantly only with great caution. Intensive monitoring of renal function is recommended in patients requiring any combination of nephrotoxic medications (see PRECAUTIONS: Laboratory Tests).
Skeletal muscle relaxants: amphotericin B-induced hypokalemia may enhance the curariform effect of skeletal muscle relaxants (e.g., tubocurarine). Serum potassium levels should be monitored and deficiencies corrected.
Leukocyte transfusions: acute pulmonary toxicity has been reported in patients receiving intravenous amphotericin B and leukocyte transfusions (see PRECAUTIONS: General).
Last reviewed on RxList: 4/8/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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