Anti Fungal Drugs

Prescription Drugs   Non-Prescription Drugs

Systemic Anti-Fungal Drugs are medicines taken by mouth or by injection to treat infections caused by a fungus.

Anti Fungal Drugs Definition

Anti fungal drugs are pharmaceutical formulations used for fungal treatment. Fungal infections like athlete's foot, ringworm, yeast infection, candidiasis (thrush), and other serious systemic infections like cryptococcal meningitis etc. are treated with anti fungal drugs. Systemic Anti-Fungal Drugs, such as Fluconazole, Itraconazole, Ketoconazole, and Miconazole are available only by prescription. They are available in tablet, capsule, liquid, and injectable forms. However, over-the-counter anti fungal medications like those for topical application (anti fungal cream, anti fungal ointment, anti fungal lotion) can be bought without a prescription by doctor.

Anti Fungal Drugs Mechanism of Action

Antifungal drugs work by recognizing differences between human cells and fungal cells and kills the fungal organism or fungi without affecting the human body. Both fungi and humans are categorized as eukaryotes ( as against the bacteria that are prokaryotes). As such, the molecular make up of fungi and human cells are almost similar. This makes it difficult to design and manufacture anti fungal drugs that can kill the fungi without having dangerous effect on human cells. This is the reason why it is always advised to use only those anti fungal drugs that are prescribed by doctor. An anti fungal drug that is not made properly can produce mild to life threatening side effects if not used properly as directed by the physician.

Anti Fungal Drug Classes

Although there are three main marketed drug classes of antifungals- Polyenes, Azoles, and Echinocandins- other classes are also there.

  • Polyenes (bind ergosterol)
  • Azoles (inhibit ergosterol synthesis)
  • Echinocandins (inhibit glucan synthase)
  • Allylamines (inhibit squalene epoxidase)
  • Nikkomycins (chitin synthesis inhibitors)
  • Sodarins (inhibit protein synthesis)
  • N-Myristoyl transferase inhibitors
  • Sphingolipid synthesis inhibitors
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Prescription Drugs   Non-Prescription Drugs