Objective: To review the pharmacology, mycology, chemistry, in vitro susceptibility, pharmacokinetics, clinical efficacy, safety, tolerability, dosage, and administration of micafungin, an echinocandin antifungal agent.
Data sources: A MEDLINE search, restricted to English language, was conducted from 1978 to November 2003. Supplementary sources included program abstracts from the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy and the Infectious Diseases Society of America from 1996 to 2003 and information available through the manufacturer's Web site.
Study selection and data extraction: In vitro and preclinical studies, as well as Phase II and III clinical trials, were evaluated to summarize the clinical efficacy and safety of micafungin. All published and unpublished trials and abstracts citing micafungin were selected.
Data synthesis: Micafungin has shown in vitro activity against many yeasts and a variety of molds. Micafungin can be administered only parenterally. Efficacy has been illustrated in open noncomparative studies of esophageal candidiasis in HIV-infected patients and in comparative trials as antifungal prophylaxis in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation. Adverse events appear mild and limited; the most commonly reported adverse events include hyperbilirubinemia, nausea, and diarrhea.
Conclusions: Micafungin has activity against Aspergillus spp. and a variety of Candida spp., including azole-resistant strains. Micafungin demonstrates efficacy in the treatment of esophageal candidiasis in HIV-infected patients and appears superior to fluconazole as antifungal prophylaxis in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation. Based on case reports and in vitro efficacy, micafungin may prove to be a clinically useful agent in the treatment of other fungal diseases; however, these indications await the results of clinical trials.