Brand Name(s):

  • Abelcet®

WHY is this medicine prescribed?

Your doctor has ordered amphotericin B lipid complex, an antifungal medication, to help treat your fungal infection. It will be added to an intravenous fluid that will drip through a needle or catheter placed in your vein for several hours, once a day.

Amphotericin B lipid complex is used to kill some types of fungus that can cause serious and life-threatening infections. Amphotericin B lipid complex is not effective against bacterial infections or viruses. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Your health care provider (doctor, nurse, or pharmacist) may measure the effectiveness and side effects of your treatment using laboratory tests and physical examinations. It is important to keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. The length of treatment depends on how your infection and symptoms respond to the medication.

What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?

Before administering amphotericin B lipid complex,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to amphotericin B lipid complex or any other medications.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: aminoglycoside antibiotics such as amikacin (Amikin), gentamicin (Garamycin), kanamycin (Kantrex), neomycin (Nes-RX, Neo-Fradin), paramomycin (Humatin), streptomycin, and tobramycin (Tobi, Nebcin); certain antifungals such as clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex, others), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), and miconazole (Desenex, Lotrimin, Monistat, others); corticotropin (ACTH, H.P., Acthar Gel); cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); digoxin (Digitek, Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin); flucytosine (Ancobon); medications for the treatment of cancer; oral steroids such as dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexone), methylprednisolone (Medrol), and prednisone (Deltasone); pentamidine (NebuPent, Pentam 300); and zidovudine (AZT, Retrovir, in Combivir, Trizivir).
  • tell your doctor if you are receiving transfusions, or have or have ever had diabetes or kidney disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking amphotericin B lipid complex, call your doctor.
  • Do not breastfeed if you are taking amphotericin B lipid complex.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking amphotericin B lipid complex.

HOW should this medicine be used?

Before you administer amphotericin B lipid complex, look at the solution closely. It should be clear and free of floating material. Gently squeeze the bag or check the solution container to make sure there are no leaks. Do not use the solution if it is discolored, if it contains particles, or if the bag or container leaks. Use a new solution, but show the damaged one to your health care provider.

It is important that you use your medication exactly as directed. Do not stop your therapy on your own for any reason because your infection could worsen and result in hospitalization. Do not change your dosing schedule without talking to your health care provider. Your health care provider may tell you to stop your infusion if you have a mechanical problem (such as a blockage in the tubing, needle, or catheter); if you have to stop an infusion, call your health care provider immediately so your therapy can continue.

What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?

Amphotericin B lipid complex may cause side effects. Some side effects are usually more common and more severe with the first few doses of amphotericin B lipid complex. Your health care provider may prescribe other medications to decrease these side effects. If you have never experienced any of the following side effects from previous doses and suddenly have symptoms, stop your infusion and call your health care provider immediately.

  • fever
  • chills
  • difficult or rapid breathing
  • changes in heartbeat
  • fainting
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • cold clammy skin

Tell your health care provider if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • diarrhea
  • stomach cramping or pain
  • excessive tiredness
  • pale skin
  • headache
  • difficulty sleeping
  • weakness
  • confusion
  • fever, sore throat, cough, chills, and other signs of infection

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your health care provider immediately:

  • hives
  • rash
  • blisters on the palms or skin
  • itching
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • hoarseness
  • chest pain
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • black and tarry stools
  • red blood in stools
  • bloody vomit
  • vomiting material that looks like coffee grounds
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • decreased urination

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at Web Site] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I know about STORAGE and DISPOSAL of this medication?

Talk to your health care provider about how you should store your medication. Your health care provider will probably tell you to store your medication in the refrigerator and to protect it from light. Do not allow this medication to freeze. Your health care provider will tell you when and how you should throw away any unused medication and will probably mark this date on the medication container. Ask your health care provider if you do not understand the directions or if you have any questions.

Keep your supplies in a clean, dry place when you are not using them, and keep all medications and supplies out of reach of children. Your health care provider will tell you how to throw away used needles, syringes, tubing, and containers to avoid accidental injury.

What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

If you are receiving amphotericin B lipid complex in your vein or under your skin, you need to know the symptoms of a catheter-related infection (an infection where the needle enters your vein or skin). If you experience any of these effects near your intravenous catheter, tell your health care provider as soon as possible:

  • tenderness
  • warmth
  • irritation
  • drainage
  • redness
  • swelling
  • pain

AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.

Last Reviewed: September 1, 2010.