Treatment of invasive fungal infections is increasingly complex. Amphotericin B deoxycholate has long been the mainstay of treatment. However, there has been increasing recognition of both the propensity for nephrotoxicity in haematology, transplant and intensive care patients as well as its adverse impact on morbidity and mortality. This has coincided with the availabilty of newer, and in certain settings, more effective antifungal agents. Although the newer agents clearly cause less nephrotoxicity than amphotericin B, drug interactions, hepatic effects and unique side-effects need to be considered. The spectrum of the newer triazoles and echinocandins varies, highlighting the importance of accurate identification of the causative organism where possible. Consensus Australian guidelines have been developed to assist clinicians with treatment choices by reviewing the current evidence for the efficacy, the toxicity and the cost of these agents.
- Antifungal therapy