Amphotericin B can cause serious side effects. This medication should only be used for the treatment of potentially life-threatening fungal infections and not to treat less serious fungal infections of the mouth, throat, or vagina in patients with a normal immune system (body's natural protection against infection).
Your doctor has ordered amphotericin B, an antifungal medication, to help treat your infection. It will be added to an intravenous fluid that will drip for about 2 to 6 hours through a needle or catheter placed in your vein once a day or once every other day.
Amphotericin B is used to kill fungus that can cause serious or life-threatening infections. Amphotericin B is not effective against bacterial infections or viruses. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Your health care provider (doctor, nurse, or pharmacist) may measure the effectiveness and side effects of your treatment using laboratory tests and physical examinations. It is important to keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. The length of treatment depends on how your infection and symptoms respond to the medication.
Before you administer amphotericin B, look at the solution closely. It should be clear and free of floating material. Gently squeeze the bag or observe the solution container to make sure there are no leaks. Do not use the solution if it is discolored, if it contains particles, or if the bag or container leaks. Use a new solution, but show the damaged one to your health care provider. Protect the solution from light during administration.
It is important that you use amphotericin B exactly as directed. Do not stop your therapy on your own for any reason because your infection could worsen and result in hospitalization. Do not change your dosing schedule without talking to your health care provider. If your therapy is stopped for longer than one week for any reason, call your health care provider. If your infusion is restarted, it probably will be restarted at a lower dose. Your health care provider may tell you to stop your infusion if you have a mechanical problem (such as a blockage in the tubing, needle, or catheter); if you have to stop an infusion, call your health care provider immediately so your therapy can continue.
changes in heart beat
loss of appetite
muscle or joint pain
ringing in the ears
pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
difficulty breathing or swallowing
loss of responsiveness or consciousness
change in heartbeat
pain in the upper right part of the stomach
unusual bleeding or bruising
black and tarry stools
red blood in stools
vomiting material that looks like coffee grounds
lack of energy
yellowing of the skin or eyes
changes in vision
sore throat, chills, cough, and other signs of infection
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Talk to your health care provider about how you should store your medication. Your health care provider will probably tell you to store your medication in the refrigerator and to protect this solution from light. Your health care provider will tell you when and how you should throw away any unused medication and will probably mark this date on the medication container. Ask your health care provider if you do not understand the directions or you have any questions.
Keep your supplies in a clean, dry place when you are not using them, and keep all medications and supplies out of reach of children. Your health care provider will tell you how to throw away used needles, syringes, tubing, and containers to avoid accidental injury and to properly dispose of medical waste.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Last Reviewed - 09/01/2010
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.