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Polyene Antifungals: Uses, Common Brands, and Safety Info

"Polyene antifungals are a class of medications used to treat fungal infections. They work by binding to the cell membrane of the fungus, causing cell death. They are commonly used for systemic fungal infections and can be used topically for certain conditions. Common brands include amphotericin B and nystatin. While generally safe, they may cause side effects and interact with other medications."

Polyene Antifungals

Polyene antifungals are a class of medications used to treat fungal infections. They work by binding to the cell membrane of the fungus, causing it to become porous and leading to cell death. This class of drugs is primarily used for treating systemic fungal infections, but can also be used topically for certain conditions.


Polyene antifungals are commonly prescribed to treat invasive fungal infections, such as invasive aspergillosis, candidemia, cryptococcal meningitis, and mucormycosis. These infections can be life-threatening, particularly in individuals with weakened immune systems. Polyene antifungals are also used as a prophylactic treatment in high-risk individuals, such as patients undergoing organ transplantation or receiving chemotherapy.

Additionally, some polyene antifungals, such as nystatin and amphotericin B, can be used topically to treat superficial fungal infections, including oral thrush, vaginal yeast infections, and fungal skin infections.

Common Brands

There are several common brands of polyene antifungals available on the market. Amphotericin B is a widely used medication available in various formulations, including conventional amphotericin B and liposomal amphotericin B (brand names Ambisome, Abelcet, and AmBisome, among others). Nystatin, another polyene antifungal, is available as a cream, ointment, or oral suspension (brand names Mycostatin, Nilstat, and Nystop, among others).


Polyene antifungals are generally safe and well-tolerated, but they may cause some side effects. Common side effects include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, headache, and muscle or joint pain. In some cases, more serious side effects may occur, such as allergic reactions, kidney damage, or liver problems.

Polyene antifungals may interact with other medications, so it is important to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking before starting treatment. It is also essential to follow the prescribed dosage and duration of treatment to ensure efficacy and minimize the risk of developing drug-resistant fungal strains.

If you experience any concerning side effects or have questions about the use of polyene antifungals, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for further guidance.

Disclaimer: The information provided above is for informational purposes only and should not substitute professional medical advice. Always consult a healthcare professional for personalized recommendations.

List of Polyene Antifungals