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Eur J Med Res. 2011 Apr 28;16(4):159-66.

Pharmacology and metabolism of anidulafungin, caspofungin and micafungin in the treatment of invasive candidosis: review of the literature.

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Charitè University Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Oncology/ Hematology, Charitè Campus Mitte, Berlin, Germany.


Echinocandins represent the newest class of antifungal agents. Currently, three echinocandins, anidulafungin, caspofungin and micafungin are licensed for clinical use in various indications. They act as inhibitors of β-(1,3)-glucan synthesis in the fungal cell wall and have a favorable pharmacological profile. They have a broad spectrum of activity against all Candida species. Higher MIC's have been observed against C. parapsilosis and C. guilliermondii. Data from clinical trials for invasive Candida infections / candidaemia suggest that the clinical outcome of patients treated with either drug may be very similar. A comparison has been done between caspofungin and micafungin but for anidulafungin a comparative trial with another echinocandin is still lacking. All three drugs are highly effective if not superior to treatment with either fluconazole or Amphotericin B, particularly in well-defined clinical settings such as invasive Candida infections, Candida oesophagitis and candidaemia. Differences between the three echinocandins with regard to the route of metabolism, requirement for a loading dose, dose adjustment in patients with moderate to severe hepatic disease and different dosing schedules for different types of Candida infections have to be considered. Relevant drug-drug interactions of Caspofungin and Micafungin are minimal. Anidulafungin has no significant drug interactions at all. However, echinocandins are available only for intravenous use. All three agents have an excellent safety profile.

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