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Micafungin: A new echinocandin antifungal (PDF)

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A new echinocandin, micafungin (Mycamine, Fujisawa), is currently under review for the treatment of systemic mycoses. If approved, micafungin would be the second agent in the echinocandin class available for use in the United States. It is believed to exhibit fungicidal or fungistatic activity against a variety of commonly encountered fungal pathogens including Candida and Aspergillus species. In addition to its broad spectrum of activity, initial clinical studies with micafungin have identified relatively few side effects and drug interactions. Micafungin exerts its antifungal activity at the level of the fungal cell wall via inhibition of 1,3 b?d-glucan synthase. Plasma concentrations follow a 2-compartment model with a half-life of 10 to 15 hours and a volume of distribution of 0.2 to 0.27 L/kg. Dose adjustments of micafungin due to hepatic or renal dysfunction appear to be unnecessary. Adverse events associated with micafungin are infrequently encountered and are generally mild in severity. Micafungin has been available in Japan since late 2002 and is also currently under review in Canada and Europe. Micafungin may offer advantages over other recently approved antifungal agents because of its excellent tolerability and minimal drug interactions.

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