Efficacy, Safety and Cost-Effectiveness of Amphotericin B Lipid Complex (ABLC): A Review of the Literature

Curr Med Res Opin. 2004 Apr;20(4):485-504. doi: 10.1185/030079904125003179.


Amphotericin B Lipid Complex (ABLC) was the first lipid-based formulation of amphotericin B (AmB) to be developed, it was designed to provide a less toxic alternative to conventional AmB without compromising efficacy. Preclinical and early clinical data relating to ABLC have been presented in previous reviews. This paper reviews more recent published data on the efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness of ABLC. All published manuscripts and conference abstracts were searched on MEDLINE, BIOL and SCIN for the period between January 1997 and August 2003. Comparative and non-comparative studies of ABLC are usually mild or moderate and are manageable were considered. Comparative studies and additional data from non-comparative studies suggest that ABLC 5 mg/kg/day is safe and effective for the treatment of documented or suspected systemic fungal infections in adults and children who are refractory to or intolerant of conventional AmB. ABLC is effective against a wide range of pathogens and efficacy is at least as good as conventional AmB or the other lipid-based formulations. The safety profile of ABLC is improved compared with conventional AmB; ABLC is less nephrotoxic than conventional AmB and can be given safely to patients with pre-existing renal impairment. The most commonly reported adverse effects are transient infusion-related events, including chills, fever, nausea and vomiting, which with premedication. Comparative studies suggest that ABLC is a cost-effective treatment option compared with conventional AmB or other lipid-based formulations of amphotericin B.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amphotericin B / adverse effects
  • Amphotericin B / economics
  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use*
  • Antifungal Agents / adverse effects
  • Antifungal Agents / economics
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Drug Combinations
  • Humans
  • Phosphatidylcholines / adverse effects
  • Phosphatidylcholines / economics
  • Phosphatidylcholines / therapeutic use*
  • Phosphatidylglycerols / adverse effects
  • Phosphatidylglycerols / economics
  • Phosphatidylglycerols / therapeutic use*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Phosphatidylglycerols
  • liposomal amphotericin B
  • Amphotericin B