Active Ingredient History
Voriconazole (vor-i-KON-a-zole, brand name Vfend, Pfizer) is a triazole antifungal medication. VFEND® (voriconazole) is available as film-coated tablets for oral administration, and as a lyophilized powder for solution for intravenous infusion. Voriconazole is a triazole antifungal agent indicated for use in the treatment of fungal infections including invasive aspergillosis, esophageal candidiasis, and serious fungal infections caused by Scedosporium apiospermum (asexual form of Pseudallescheria boydii) and Fusarium spp. including Fusarium solani. Fungal plasma membranes are similar to mammalian plasma membranes, differing in having the nonpolar sterol ergosterol, rather than cholesterol, as the principal sterol. Membrane sterols such as ergosterol provide structure, modulation of membrane fluidity, and possibly control of some physiologic events. Voriconazole effects the formation of the fungal plasma membrane by indirectly inhibiting the biosynthesis of ergosterol. This results in plasma membrane permeability changes and inhibition of growth. The primary mode of action of voriconazole is the inhibition of fungal cytochrome P-450-mediated 14 alpha-lanosterol demethylation, an essential step in fungal ergosterol biosynthesis. The accumulation of 14 alpha-methyl sterols correlates with the subsequent loss of ergosterol in the fungal cell wall and may be responsible for the antifungal activity of voriconazole. Voriconazole has been shown to be more selective for fungal cytochrome P-450 enzymes than for various mammalian cytochrome P-450 enzyme systems. The most common side effects associated with voriconazole include transient visual disturbances, fever, rash, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, headache, sepsis, peripheral edema, abdominal pain, and respiratory disorder. Unlike most adverse effects, which are similar to other azole antifungal agents, visual disturbances (such as blurred vision or increased sensitivity to light) are unique to voriconazole. Though rare, there have been cases of serious hepatic reactions during treatment with voriconazole (a class effect of azole antifungal agents). Liver function tests should be evaluated at the start of and during the course of therapy. Voriconazole is phototoxic. It has been associated with an increased risk of squamous-cell carcinoma of the skin NCATS
Drug Pricing (per unit)
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