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Caspofungin (Intravenous route)

Pronunciation:

kas-poe-FUN-jin

Brand Names:

  • Cancidas

Dosage Forms:

  • Powder for Solution

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Antifungal

Pharmacologic—

Glucan Synthesis Inhibitor

Chemical—

Echinocandin

Uses of This Medicine:

Caspofungin is an antifungal medicine. It is used to help the body overcome serious fungus infections, including Candida and Aspergillosis infections. It is also used to treat serious fungus infections when other medicines (e.g., amphotericin B, itraconazole) have failed.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of caspofungin in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established in children below 3 months of age.

Older adults—

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of caspofungin in the elderly.

Pregnancy—

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersCAnimal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast-feeding—

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Cyclosporine
  • Tacrolimus

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Carbamazepine
  • Dexamethasone
  • Efavirenz
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Nevirapine
  • Phenytoin
  • Rifampin

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Liver disease, moderate to severe (e.g. hepatitis, liver failure)—Higher blood levels of caspofungin may result, increasing the chance of side effects.

Proper Use of This Medicine:

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins. The medicine must be injected slowly, so the needle will remain in place for about 1 hour.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child while you are taking this medicine to make sure the medicine has worked properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have any symptoms of liver problems including dark-colored urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach, or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you or your child have a rash; itching; hoarseness; trouble breathing; trouble swallowing; or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after receiving this medicine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
blue lips, fingernails, or skin
blurred vision
changes in skin color
chest pain
confusion
convulsions (seizures)
cough
cracked lips
decreased urine
diarrhea
difficult or troubled breathing
difficulty with swallowing
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
dry mouth
fever
headache
increased thirst
irregular heartbeat
irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
loss of appetite
mood changes
muscle pain or cramps
nausea or vomiting
nervousness
numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, or lips
pain or redness at the injection site
pain, tenderness, or swelling of the foot or leg
pale skin
pounding in the ears
rapid weight gain
shortness of breath
slow or fast heartbeat
sneezing
sore throat
sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips, tongue, or inside the mouth
sweating
tightness in the chest
troubled breathing with exertion
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
unusual weight gain or loss
wheezing
Less common
Bloody urine
decreased frequency or amount of urine
increased blood pressure
lower back or side pain
weight gain
yellow eyes or skin
Incidence not known
Abdominal or stomach pain or tenderness
black, tarry stools
bladder pain
bleeding gums
blood in the urine or stools
bloody nose
chest pain or discomfort
clay-colored stools
cloudy urine
constipation
dark urine
decreased appetite
depression
drowsiness
fever with or without chills
flushed, dry skin
frequent urge to urinate
fruit-like breath odor
general feeling of tiredness or weakness
incoherent speech
increased hunger
increased urination
indigestion
itching
light-colored stools
metallic taste
muscle spasms (tetany) or twitching seizures
muscle weakness
no blood pressure or pulse
noisy, rattling breathing pain or discomfort in arms, jaw, back, or neck
pains in stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
pinpoint red spots on skin
rapid, shallow breathing
rapid weight gain
rash
right upper abdominal or stomach pain and fullness
shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
stomach pain, continuing
stopping of heart
trembling or shaking of hands or feet
troubled breathing at rest
ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
unconsciousness
unexplained weight loss
unpleasant breath odor
vomiting of blood
weakness
weight loss

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Flushing, redness of skin
unusually warm skin
Incidence not known
Acid or sour stomach
back pain
belching
blistering, peeling, or loosening of skin
bumps on skin
difficulty in moving
dry, red, hot, or irritated skin
fear
flaking and falling off of skin
full or bloated feeling
heartburn
hives or welts
indigestion
joint or muscle pain
lack or loss of strength
muscle pain or stiffness
pressure in the stomach
red skin lesions, often with a purple center
red, irritated eyes
redness of skin
sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
sleeplessness
small red or purple spots on skin
stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
swelling of abdominal or stomach area
trouble sleeping
unable to sleep

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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