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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2012 Aug;13(12):1695-705. doi: 10.1517/14656566.2012.698263. Epub 2012 Jun 20.

Pharmacotherapy approaches to antifungal prophylaxis.

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School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.



Invasive fungal infection (IFI) is a serious problem due to difficulties in early diagnosis and high mortality. Different approaches are adopted for the treatment and management of IFI, including prophylactic, empiric, preemptive and directed strategies.


This paper reviews the type of pharmacotherapy used for antifungal prophylaxis in infants with extremely low birth weights, pediatric patients with cardiac disease, preterm neonates, pediatric oncology patients, adult cancer patients with neutropenia, adult patients with hematologic malignancy, hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation recipients, organ transplant recipients, HIV-infected patients, immunosuppressed patients treated with moderate or high doses of corticosteroids, and patients with invasive fusariosis, candidemia, invasive candidiasis, systemic mycoses and immunocompromised patients.


Azole drugs are the drugs most often used in cost-effective antifungal prophylaxis of patients with conditions such as immunodeficiency and cancer, which render them highly susceptible to IFI. Fluconazole is the most outstanding example. However, there are many azoles with different pharmacological characteristics that the physician can choose from. Echinocandins have favorable characteristics that make them useful for treating Candida infections. Antibodies, or their engineered derivatives directed against cell-wall polysaccharides and glycopeptides, and some protein epitopes of Candida albicans, appear to be a promising novel approach for prophylaxis against Candida infection and deserve further in-depth investigations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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