Renal magnesium wasting associated with amphotericin B therapy

Am J Med. 1984 Sep;77(3):471-4. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(84)90106-2.


The effect of amphotericin B on magnesium metabolism was studied in 10 patients (aged 30 to 68 years) with systemic fungal infections. Renal magnesium wasting resulting in mild to moderate hypomagnesemia was demonstrated by the second week of therapy following relatively small cumulative dosages of amphotericin B (208 +/- 40 mg). The lowest serum levels and largest fractional excretions of magnesium were observed by the fourth week of therapy after cumulative dosages of 510 +/- 118 mg. A plateauing of the renal magnesium wasting is suggested, as there were no further increases or reductions in fractional magnesium excretion and serum magnesium level, respectively, despite continued amphotericin B administration. Reversibility of the magnesium wasting is indicated by data in three of the patients approximately one year following discontinuation of amphotericin B therapy, in whom the serum magnesium level and fractional magnesium excretion had returned to pretreatment baseline values. Although the available data do not allow precise localization of this defect, increased urinary excretion of magnesium despite its reduced filtered load suggests a tubular defect in magnesium reabsorption. Therefore, routine monitoring of the serum magnesium level during treatment with amphotericin B is recommended.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amphotericin B / adverse effects*
  • Aspergillosis / drug therapy
  • Candidiasis / drug therapy
  • Coccidioidomycosis / drug therapy
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Cryptococcosis / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / blood
  • Magnesium / urine*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies


  • Amphotericin B
  • Creatinine
  • Magnesium