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Antifungal micafungin launched

A new drug for the treatment of serious fungal infections has been launched by Astellas Pharma.

Micafungin (marketed as Mycamine) is intravenously administered and is indicated — for patients of any age, including neonates and the elderly — for the treatment of invasive candidiasis, and as prophylaxis against candida infection for patients undergoing allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation or patients who are expected to have neutropenia for 10 or more days.

It is also indicated for the treatment of oesophageal candidiasis in patients aged 16 years and older for whom intravenous therapy is appropriate.

Dosing of micafungin is based on body weight and indication, ranging from a minimum dose of 1mg/kg/day to a maximum dose of 200mg/day. In the treatment of invasive candidiasis, a minimum of 14 days’ treatment is recommended, to be continued for at least one week after negative blood cultures are obtained and clinical signs and symptoms of infection have resolved.

For prophylaxis against candida infection, the drug should be continued for at least one week after neutrophil recovery, Astellas recommends.

Micafungin treatment was associated with significant impairment of liver function in clinical trials, with paediatric patients under one year of age more prone to liver injury. The drug is a non-competitive inhibitor of 1,3-ß-D-glucan synthesis, and exhibits fungicidal activity against most Candida species.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10026900

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