Liposomal amphotericin B, AmBisome

J Infect. 1994 May;28 Suppl 1:35-43. doi: 10.1016/s0163-4453(94)95956-0.


The unilamellar liposomal formulation of amphotericin B, AmBisome, is composed of hydrogenated soy phosphatidylcholine, distearoyl phosphatidylglycerol and cholesterol. Early studies of its efficacy in an open design showed that remissions could be induced in candidosis and aspergillosis and that doses of up to 5 mg/kg could be used. Adverse events were infrequent, with the main abnormality seen being hypokalaemia in about 18% of patients. Subsequent developments have extended this work. AmBisome has been used in two open studies of patients with invasive aspergillosis; in one of these remission was achieved in 77% of 17 patients with confirmed infection who had failed to respond to conventional amphotericin B. In AIDS patients with cryptococcosis AmBisome given for 6 weeks at 3 mg/kg daily produced mycological remission of meningitis in 67%. Other infections treated with the drug include zygomycete (mucormycosis) and Fusarium infections. AmBisome has also been used as preventative therapy in bone marrow transplant recipients and was found to reduce fungal colonisation rates. There were fewer systemic fungal infections in the treated versus placebo groups although this did not achieve statistical significance. Lack of renal and liver toxicity or anaemia has been confirmed in subsequent studies. In addition febrile reactions to the AmBisome are rare. The drug has also been used effectively in children, including infants, with systemic fungal infections. In visceral leishmaniasis patients, including HIV positive individuals, remissions have been obtained using drug regimens of 1-2 mg/kg of 2.1 days and 3 mg/kg for 10 days.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amphotericin B / administration & dosage
  • Amphotericin B / pharmacology
  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use*
  • Aspergillosis / drug therapy
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Cryptococcosis / drug therapy
  • Drug Carriers
  • Humans
  • Liposomes
  • Mycoses / drug therapy*
  • Mycoses / prevention & control


  • Drug Carriers
  • Liposomes
  • liposomal amphotericin B
  • Amphotericin B