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Amphotericin B

Amphotericin B

Other Names: ABLC, Abelcet, AmBisome, Amphotec, amphotericin B deoxycholate, liposomal amphotericin B Drug Class: Opportunistic Infections and Coinfections
What is amphotericin B?

What is amphotericin B?

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) and cryptococcosis. 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 (OIs). An OI is an infection that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened immune systems—such as people with HIV—than in people with healthy immune systems. To learn more about OIs, read the AIDSinfo What is an Opportunistic Infection? fact sheet.

How is amphotericin B used in people with HIV?

How is amphotericin B used in people with HIV?

The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents include recommendations on the HIV-related uses of amphotericin B.

Using a medicine as indicated on the medicine label is called on-label use; using the medicine in a different way is called off-label use. Off-label use, for example, can include using a drug for a different disease or medical condition. Good medical practice and the best interests of a patient sometimes require that a medicine be used off-label.

The guidelines include recommendations on the following uses of amphotericin B:

On-label uses:

Off-label uses:

The above list may not include all of the HIV-related uses of amphotericin B recommended in the guidelines. Some recommended uses, such as uses in certain rare circumstances, may have been omitted.

What should I tell my health care provider before taking amphotericin B?

What should I tell my health care provider before taking amphotericin B?

Before taking amphotericin B, tell your health care provider:

  • If you are allergic to amphotericin B or any other medicines.
  • About any medical conditions you have or have had, for example, diabetes or liver problems.
  • About anything that could affect your ability to take medicines, such as missing a scheduled dose or any health conditions that may prevent your use of intravenous medicines.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Whether amphotericin B can harm an unborn baby is unknown. Talk to your health care provider about possible risks with taking amphotericin B when pregnant.
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you have HIV.
  • About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Amphotericin B may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how amphotericin B works. Ask your health care provider if there are interactions between amphotericin B and the other medicines you take.

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.

How should I take amphotericin B?

How should I take amphotericin B?

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.

How should amphotericin B be stored?

How should amphotericin B be stored?

  • Amphotericin B comes in many different formulations. Each formulation has its own storage instructions. Please see the FDA labels for specific instructions on how to store the different formulations.
  • Do not use amphotericin B if the original seal on the carton is broken or missing.
  • Throw away amphotericin B that is no longer needed or expired (out of date). Follow FDA guidelines on how to safely dispose of unused medicine.
  • Keep amphotericin B and all medicines out of reach of children.

Where can I find more information about amphotericin B?

Where can I find more information about amphotericin B?

More information about amphotericin B is available:

The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Injection (amphotericin B lipid complex); Injection (powder, lyophilized, for solution; amphotericin B deoxycholate); Injection (powder, lyophilized, for solution; amphotericin B liposome).

Last Reviewed: January 10, 2018