Amphotericin B is an antifungal prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of several types of fungal infections, such as histoplasmosis (also known as Histoplasma capsulatum infection), cryptococcosis, and aspergillosis. Amphotericin B is also FDA-approved for treating two types of leishmaniasis, which is an infection caused by parasitic protozoans. The different formulations of amphotericin B are FDA-approved for different uses.
Many of the infections for which amphotericin B treatment is FDA-approved are opportunistic infections. An opportunistic infection is an infection that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened immune systems—such as those infected with HIV—than in people with healthy immune systems.
Amphotericin B can also be used “off-label” to prevent and treat other opportunistic infections of HIV infection. “Off-label” use refers to use of an FDA-approved medicine in a manner different from that described on the medicine label. Good medical practice and the best interests of a patient sometimes require that a medicine be used “off-label.”
The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents, prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the HIV Medicine Association of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA-HIVMA), includes recommendations on the HIV-related uses of amphotericin B to:
Treat the following fungal infections:
Treat the following leishmaniasis infections:
Before taking amphotericin B, tell your health care provider:
Ask your health care provider about possible side effects from amphotericin B. Your health care provider will tell you what to do if you have side effects.
Take amphotericin B according to your health care provider’s instructions. Your health care provider will tell you how much amphotericin B to take and when to take it. Before you start amphotericin B and each time you get a refill, read any printed information that comes with your medicine.
More information about amphotericin B is available:
Last Reviewed: May 7, 2013
Last Updated: May 7, 2013