A comparative evaluation of properties and clinical efficacy of the echinocandins

Rose Kim, Deborah Khachikian, Annette C. Reboli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

With the increase in prevalence of fungal infections, newer antifungal agents are needed to effectively treat invasive disease, and at the same time minimize adverse effects from therapy. The echinocandins comprise a novel class of antifungals; their mechanism of action involves inhibiting 1,3-β-D-glucan synthase, which is essential in cell wall synthesis for certain fungi. All three echinocandins are US FDA-approved for the treatment of esophageal candidiasis. Caspofungin and anidulafungin are licensed for the treatment of candidemia, and other select forms of invasive candidiasis. Micafungin is at present the only echinocandin approved for prophylaxis of fungal infections in hematopoietic stem cell transplants; whereas caspofungin is approved for empiric therapy of febrile neutropenia. Although all three echinocandins are active against Aspergillus, only caspof ungin is presently approved for salvage therapy in invasive aspergillosis. Combination therapy with echinocandins plus other licensed antifungal therapy shows promise in treating invasive aspergillosis. This article will explore the similarities and differences among the echinocandins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1479-1492
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Volume8
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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