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Antifungals

The development of oral medications to be used in the treatment of invasive fungal infections has represented an immense medical breakthrough. With oral treatment available, human patients no longer require hospitalization several days a week for intravenous treatment of their disease; a more normal and productive lifestyle is now possible. Further, the toxicity profiles of the newer oral drugs represents vast improvement over those of the injectables.


Fluconazole (Diflucan)
 Fluconazole works by inhibiting the fungal enzymes that produce ergosterol, an important component of the fungal cell wall. Without adequate ergosterol, the fungal cell becomes weak, leaky, and ultimately dies.
Griseofulvin (Fulvicin)
 This medication is used to treat ringworm, a fungal infection of the skin involving fungi. While it is possible for a ringworm lesion to be localized and require only topical therapy, this is not the usual situation and oral medication is necessary to control the skin disease.
Itraconazole (Sporonox)
 Itraconazole works by inhibiting the fungal enzymes that produce ergosterol, an important component of the fungal cell wall. Without adequate ergosterol, the fungal cell becomes weak, leaky and ultimately dies.
Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
 This drug fights fungal infections both minor and life threatening, but because of the way it works it can also be used to treat Cushing's disease (a cortisone imbalance).
Terbinafine (Lamisil)
 Terbinafine has activity against other types of fungi but at this time it is mostly used against ringworm.

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