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J Pharm Sci. 2008 Jul;97(7):2405-25.

Amphotericin B formulations and drug targeting.

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Dpto Farmacia y Tecnología Farmacéutica, Facultad de Farmacia, Complutense University of Madrid, Plaza Ramón y Cajal, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


Amphotericin B is a low-soluble polyene antibiotic which is able to self-aggregate. The aggregation state can modify its activity and pharmacokinetical characteristics. In spite of its high toxicity it is still widely employed for the treatment of systemic fungal infections and parasitic disease and different formulations are marketed. Some of these formulations, such as liposomal formulations, can be considered as classical examples of drug targeting. The pharmacokinetics, toxicity and activity are clearly dependent on the type of amphotericin B formulation. New drug delivery systems such as liposomes, nanospheres and microspheres can result in higher concentrations of AMB in the liver and spleen, but lower concentrations in kidney and lungs, so decreasing its toxicity. Moreover, the administration of these drug delivery systems can enhance the drug accessibility to organs and tissues (e.g., bone marrow) otherwise inaccessible to the free drug. During the last few years, new AMB formulations (AmBisome, Abelcet, and Amphotec) with an improved efficacy/toxicity ratio have been marketed. This review compares the different formulations of amphotericin B in terms of pharmacokinetics, toxicity and activity and discusses the possible drug targeting effect of some of these new formulations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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