Chapter: Modern Pharmacology with Clinical Applications: Antifungal Drugs

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Antifungal Drugs

Fungal infections are usually more difficult to treat than bacterial infections, because fungal organisms grow slowly and because fungal infections often occur in tis-sues that are poorly penetrated by antimicrobial agents (e.g., devitalized or avascular tissues).

Antifungal Drugs

Fungal infections are usually more difficult to treat than bacterial infections, because fungal organisms grow slowly and because fungal infections often occur in tis-sues that are poorly penetrated by antimicrobial agents (e.g., devitalized or avascular tissues). Therapy of fungal infections usually requires prolonged treatment. Poten-tially life-threatening infections caused by dimorphic fungi are becoming more common because increasing numbers of immunocompromised patients are seen in clinical practice; AIDS, organ and bone marrow trans-plantation, and illnesses associated with neutropenia all predispose individuals to invasive fungal infection.

 

Superficial fungal infections involve cutaneous sur-faces, such as the skin, nails, and hair, and mucous mem-brane surfaces, such as the oropharynx and vagina. 

A growing number of topical and systemic agents are available for the treatment of these infections. Deepseated or disseminated fungal infections caused by di-morphic fungi, the yeasts Cryptococcus neoformans, and various Candida spp. respond to a limited number of systemic agents: amphotericin B desoxycholate (a poly-ene), amphotericin B liposomal preparations, flucyto-sine (a pyrimidine antimetabolite), the newer azoles, in-cluding ketoconazole, fluconazole, itraconazole and voriconazole, and capsofungin (an echinocandin).

 

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