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Pharmacotherapy. 1998 Sep-Oct;18(5):1053-61.

Chest discomfort associated with liposomal amphotericin B: report of three cases and review of the literature.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


Liposomal formulations of amphotericin B are designed to maintain therapeutic efficacy of amphotericin B deoxycholate while reducing its associated toxicities. In three patients chest discomfort occurred during planned 1-hour infusions of liposomal amphotericin B (AmBisome) 3 mg/kg/day during an open-label trial. The first patient experienced chest tightness and difficulty breathing and the second had dyspnea and acute hypoxia, both within 10 minutes of the start of the infusion. The third patient complained of chest pain 5 minutes after the start of two infusions. All symptoms resolved on terminating therapy. Two patients were later rechallenged with slower infusions and tolerated the drug well. A review of the English-language literature revealed only two other case reports of infusion-related chest or pulmonary reactions with the drug, although similar reactions were noted in several reports of clinical trials. Further review of the literature revealed reports of chest and pulmonary adverse events with other liposomal formulations of amphotericin B, liposomal daunorubicin, liposomal doxorubicin, and liposomes. The pathophysiology of such reactions remains unclear, and premedication with diphenhydramine did not completely prevent this reaction in one of our patients. We recommend infusing liposomal amphotericin B over at least 2 hours with careful monitoring for adverse reactions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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