Caspofungin: a review of its use in the treatment of fungal infections

Drugs. 2005;65(14):2049-68. doi: 10.2165/00003495-200565140-00009.


Caspofungin (Cancidas) is the first of a new class of antifungal agents, the echinocandins, that inhibit the synthesis of the fungal cell wall component beta-(1,3)-D-glucan. Caspofungin is administered once daily by slow intravenous infusion and is used to treat infections caused by Candida spp. and Aspergillus spp. Caspofungin is a valuable new antifungal agent with a novel mechanism of action. In comparative clinical trials, caspofungin was no less effective than liposomal amphotericin B in the empirical treatment of neutropenic patients with persistent fever, amphotericin B deoxycholate in the treatment of invasive candidiasis or fluconazole in the treatment of oesophageal candidiasis. Caspofungin also displayed broadly similar efficacy to amphotericin B deoxycholate in oesophageal or oropharyngeal candidiasis and was effective as salvage therapy in patients with invasive aspergillosis who were refractory to or intolerant of standard therapy. The tolerability profile of caspofungin was similar to that of fluconazole and superior to that of amphotericin B deoxycholate and liposomal amphotericin B. Therefore, in the appropriate indications, caspofungin is a viable alternative to amphotericin B deoxycholate, liposomal amphotericin B or fluconazole.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / adverse effects
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Aspergillosis / drug therapy*
  • Candidiasis / drug therapy*
  • Caspofungin
  • Echinocandins
  • Humans
  • Lipopeptides
  • Peptides, Cyclic / adverse effects
  • Peptides, Cyclic / pharmacokinetics
  • Peptides, Cyclic / therapeutic use*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Echinocandins
  • Lipopeptides
  • Peptides, Cyclic
  • Caspofungin