Exploring the Drug Caspofungin for Candida

Caspofungin is developed by Merck & Co Inc under the brand name Cancidas and was the first of the new group of anti-fungals known as echinocandins to be made. Approved by the FDA and Europe in 2001 it works as the others do, by restricting the fungi’s cell production of 1,3-beta-D-glucan which is an essential part of the cells wall. An anti-fungal, docotrs use caspofungin for candida and for aspergillis infections. It is used in adult patients via IV, for invasive aspergillosis, candidemia, oesophagitis, peritonitis, intra-abdominal abscesses, pleural cavity infections, general invasive candidiasis.

Reactions and side effects to using caspofungin for candida
Taking caspofungin for candida may not be suitable for patients with liver problems. Pregnant and breast-feeding women should make sure their doctor is aware of the situation. Allergic reactions may include swelling of the face, a rash, anaphylaxis, pruritus, feeling of warmth. Side effects occur in 1% of patients and include;

  • fever
  • flu-like symptoms
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • headaches
  • chills
  • pain
  • respiratory problems
  • anemia
  • increased liver enzymes
  • hypersensitivity
  • tachycardia
  • liver damage
  • hypercalcemia

When using caspofungin for candida there are some cases where Candida albicans has been resistant or less sensitive to treatment. No other species is known to have a resistance and the cases are rare so far. It is believed that the candida albicans that have a resistance is because it has mutated and the 1,3-beta-D-glucan production gene is different enough for the anti-fungal to be less effective.

Tell your doctor
You should not take caspofungin for candida if you are taking cyclosporine, tacrolimus, inducers of drug clearance like carbamazepine, phenytoin, rifampin, dexamethason or other systemic antimycotic agents. You should also tell them if you are on any other medication, supplements, herbs, vitamins and so on.

Using caspofungin for candida at home
Usually this drug is used in a hospital setting but in the small chance you are prescribed it and shown how to self treat make sure you follow the doctor’s advice carefully and complete the full treatment. Usually treatment lasts for 14 days though it can be prescribed until it has been 7 days clear of symptoms or until 14 days have passed after lab tests confirm the infection has gone. Caspofungin for candida is meant to be administered slowly through an IV infusion that takes an hour to finish. It comes as a powder that then needs to be mixed with a diluent liquid to use. Make sure to throw away disposable needles after one use, in a proper container you can get from your pharmacy. If you think you have taken too much seek emergency medical care. If you miss a dose take it when you remember unless the next due dose is approaching in which case skip the missed one and wait for that next dose.

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