Which medications in the drug class Antifungals, Systemic are used in the treatment of Meningitis?

Updated: Jul 16, 2019
  • Author: Rodrigo Hasbun, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Antifungals, Systemic

Antifungal agents are used in the management of infectious diseases caused by fungi.

Amphotericin B deoxycholate (Amphotericin B (conventional), Fungizone)

A polyene antibiotic produced by a strain of Streptomyces nodosus, amphotericin B can be fungistatic or fungicidal. It binds to sterols, such as ergosterol, in the fungal cell membrane, causing intracellular components to leak with subsequent fungal cell death. The drug is used to treat severe systemic infection and meningitis caused by susceptible fungi (ie, Candida albicans, Histoplasma capsulatum, and Cryptococcus neoformans).

Amphotericin B does not penetrate the CSF well. Intrathecal amphotericin may be needed in addition.

Amphotericin B lipid complex (Abelcet)

This agent is amphotericin B in phospholipid complexed form; it is a polyene antibiotic with poor oral availability. Amphotericin B is produced by a strain of S nodosus; it can be fungistatic or fungicidal. The drug binds to sterols (eg, ergosterol) in the fungal cell membrane, causing leakage of intracellular components and fungal cell death. Toxicity to human cells may occur via this same mechanism.

Fluconazole (Diflucan)

Fluconazole has fungistatic activity. It is a synthetic oral antifungal (broad-spectrum bistriazole) that selectively inhibits fungal cytochrome P450 and sterol C-14 alpha-demethylation, which prevents conversion of lanosterol to ergosterol, thereby disrupting cellular membranes.

Flucytosine (Ancobon)

Flucytosine is converted to fluorouracil after penetrating fungal cells and inhibits RNA and protein synthesis by competing with uracil. It is active against candidal and cryptococcal species and is used in combination with amphotericin B.

Itraconazole (Sporanox, Onmel)

Itraconazole has fungistatic activity. It is a synthetic triazole antifungal agent that slows fungal cell growth by inhibiting cytochrome P450-dependent synthesis of ergosterol, a vital component of fungal cell membranes.


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