Antifungal medications are a group of drugs to overcome fungal infections. Antifungal drugs are available in various dosage forms, ranging from tablets, creams, ointments, soaps, powders, to shampoos. The drug is used according to the doctor’s prescription.
Antifungal drugs work by attacking important structures and functions in fungal cells. The drug will damage the membranes and cell walls, so that the fungal cells will rupture and die. Some antifungal drugs can eradicate fungal cells, while others prevent cell development and growth.
Fungal infections can attack any part of the body. Although it can attack all parts of the body, fungal infections are most common in the skin, hair, or nails. Fungal infections are generally harmless, but can become serious if they occur in people with weakened immune system, for example, due to taking immunosuppressant drugs or suffering from HIV infection.
Antifungal Medications List
There are several types of antifungal drugs that are divided by chemical structure and how they work, including:
Included in this group are amphotericin and nystatin. Both are not orally perceived. The drug is used for oral, oropharyngeal and perioral infections administered topically in the mouth.
Antifungal of the azole class.
It is a broad-spectrum antifungal, meaning it can kill various types of fungi. Azole antifungal group works by damaging the cell membrane of fungi. If the fungal cell membrane is damaged, the cell will die. Examples of this drug are:
It is an antifungal that works by damaging the cell walls of fungi. If the fungal cell wall cannot be formed, then the cell will experience death. Examples of this drug are:
The antifungal polyene group is also known as antimycotic drugs. The drug also works by damaging the fungal cell membranes, causing the cell’s death. Examples of polyene antifungal medications are:
- Amphotericin B.
In addition to those mentioned above, there are several other antifungals that are not classified but can also kill fungi, for example griseofulvin, naftifine, and terbinafine. Antifungal drugs can generally be found in several dosage forms, namely:
Intravenous amphotericin infusion
Intravenous amphotericin infusion is used for systemic and active fungal infections against most fungi and yeasts. The drug is firmly bound to plasma proteins and its penetration into tissues and body fluids is poor. Amphotericin is toxic and side effects are common.
Amphotericin preparations in lipids are less toxic and are recommended when conventional preparations are contraindicated due to their toxicity, especially nephrotoxicity or if the response to conventional amphotericin is not satisfactory.
Antifungals in the form of lotions, creams or sprays (topical antifungals)
Used to treat fungal infections of the skin, scalp and nails. Includes clotrimazole, econazole, ketoconazole, miconazole, tioconazole, terbinafine, and amorolfine. These drugs are sold under a variety of different brand names.
The use of antifungal creams can be combined with other creams, for example, antifungal creams are often combined with mild steroid creams, such as hydrocortisone, to treat certain rashes. Antifungal creams clear infections, and mild steroid creams reduce inflammation caused by infections such as Candida yeast-induced skin infections, Scalp Ringworm and Nail Fungus Infections (Tinea Unguium).
Antifungal Medications Side Effects
Antifungals can cause several different side effects, depending on the dosage form of the antifungal drug used. Here’s an explanation:
Topical and intrava**ginal antifungals
Antifungal topical drugs can cause some side effects on the area of the skin that is applied. These side effects include:
- Burning sensation
Side effects that can appear due to oral antifungals include:
- Not feeling well
- Abdominal pain
- Digestive disorders.
The following are the side effects that can be caused by intravenous antifungals:
- Appetite is gone
- Not feeling well
- Muscle and joint pain
- Pain and soreness in the injection area.
In addition to the side effects mentioned above, the use of antifungals can also cause the onset of allergic reactions of the drug, which is characterized by the appearance of a rash that feels itchy on the skin, swelling of the lips or eyelids, and difficulty breathing.