Drug information

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Other Names
ABLC, Abelcet, AmBisome, Amphotec, amphotericin B deoxycholate, liposomal amphotericin B
Drug Class
Antifungal (Polyene)
What is amphotericin B?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 and cryptococcosis. Amphotericin B is also FDA-approved for the treatment of two forms of leishmaniasis, which is a parasitic infection. The FDA-approved uses for amphotericin B vary depending on the formulation of the drug.

Many of the infections for which amphotericin B treatment is FDA-approved can be opportunistic infections (OIs) of HIV. 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 HIVinfo 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?

How is amphotericin B used in people with HIV?

The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV and the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Children with and Exposed to HIV include recommendations on the uses of amphotericin B to:

Treat:

Prevent

  • Visceral leishmaniasis from recurring

The recommended uses may not always be consistent with FDA-approved uses of amphotericin B. See the Adult and Pediatric Opportunistic Infection Guidelines for complete information on recommended uses of amphotericin B in adults and children with HIV. Amphotericin B may have other recommended uses not listed above.

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

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

Before receiving 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, including kidney and heart problems.
  • If you are receiving white blood cell transfusions.
  • About any health conditions that may prevent you from receiving medicine by intravenous infusion.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Talk to your health care provider about the risks and benefits of using amphotericin during pregnancy. The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV may include other recommendations on the use of amphotericin B during pregnancy. Please refer to these guidelines for additional information.
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. For women with HIV in the United States, the Guideline does not recommend breastfeeding. Before your baby is born, or if you are already breastfeeding, talk to your health care provider to discuss alternative options for feeding your baby.
  • 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 will I receive amphotericin B?How will I receive amphotericin B?

How will I receive amphotericin B?

Amphotericin B is given by intravenous infusion over a period of time. It may be administered by a health care provider in a hospital or clinic. Some people may use amphotericin B at home. If you use amphotericin B at home, your health care provider will teach you how to infuse the medicine. It is important that you use amphotericin B exactly as your health care provider has instructed. If you do not understand how to use amphotericin B, ask your health care provider.

How should amphotericin B be stored?How should amphotericin B be stored?

How should amphotericin B be stored?

  • Amphotericin B comes in different formulations. Each formulation has its own FDA label. Please see the FDA labels for specific instructions on how to store the different formulations.
  • Do not use amphotericin B if the original seal over the vial 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?

Where can I find more information about amphotericin B?

Last Reviewed: October 21, 2021