Amphotericin B (Rx)
Amphotericin B is an injectable antifungal agent used to treat very serious fungal infections in dogs and cats. Because this medication is hard on the kidneys, pets are usually given intravenous fluids and hospitalized during treatment. Treatment may be repeated two to three times a week. Blood tests will needed to be performed periodically to check kidney status during treatment.
WHAT IS THIS DRUG?
- A polyene antifungal drug
- Several injectable forms are available; liposomal amphotericin B may exhibit fewer side effects, but is more expensive
- Given intravenously
- Registered for use in humans only, but can be prescribed legally by your veterinarian
REASONS FOR PRESCRIBING:
- Treatment of serious fungal infections (systemic mycoses, septicemias and urinary tract infections)
- Treatment of the protozoal disease leishmaniasis
- Not effective against viral, bacterial or rickettsial infections
WHAT DOGS/CATS SHOULD NOT TAKE THIS MEDICATION?
- Use with caution in pets with poor kidney function
- Safe use in breeding, pregnant and/or nursing animals has not been confirmed
- Pets known to have had an allergic reaction to Amphotericin B or like products before
Amphotericin B is administered intravenously at your veterinarian’s office either by ‘rapid infusion’ (over 5 minutes), or by ‘slow infusion’ over 4-6 hours (in dogs only).
Your pet may need two to three treatments per week for several weeks.
Other treatment protocols (including other medications) may be used.
Patient tolerance varies greatly and the dosage will be individualized and adjusted according to the patient’s clinical status.
What if a dose is missed?
STORAGE AND WARNINGS:
Prior to reconstitution, Amphotericin B should be stored in the fridge, protected against exposure to light. The reconstituted concentrate may be stored in the dark, at room temperature for 24 hours, or at refrigerator temperatures for one week with minimal loss of potency and clarity. Any unused drug should then be discarded. Solutions prepared for intravenous infusion should be used promptly after preparation and should be protected from light during administration.
Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS:
- Kidney damage (especially in cats), liver damage, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, muscle and joint pain
- Liposomal amphotericin B preparations may exhibit fewer side effects, while having similar efficacy. Various preparations have recently been introduced. All of these are more expensive than plain amphotericin B.
- If you think your pet has a medical problem or side effect from this product's therapy, contact your veterinarian
CAN THIS DRUG BE GIVEN WITH OTHER DRUGS?
- Yes, but possible interactions may occur with aminoglycosides, anti-cancer drugs (e.g. cisplatin, doxorubicin, fluorouracil, methotrexate), corticosteroids, cyclosporine, digoxin, and other antifungal drugs (e.g. fluconazole, flucytosine, ketoconazole, etc.)
- If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian.
Amphotericin B overdoses can result in potentially fatal cardiac or cardiopulmonary arrest. If an overdose is suspected, therapy should be discontinued and the patient’s clinical status monitored (e.g., cardiorespiratory, kidney, and liver function, serum electrolytes) and supportive therapy administered, as required.
WHAT TO TELL/ASK VETERINARIAN BEFORE GIVING MEDICATION?Talk to your veterinarian about:
- When will your pet need to be rechecked
- What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
- Risks and benefits of using this drug
- If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
- If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
- If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
- If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
- All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet's medicines can be given together.
- If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW?
Notify your veterinarian if your animal's condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.
As therapy may be long-term, periodic blood tests may be necessary to monitor the drug's effect on your pet's body.
This is just a summary of information about Amphotericin B. If you have any questions or concerns about Amphotericin B or for the condition it was prescribed, contact your veterinarian.