AmBisome (liposomal amphotericin B): a comparative review

J Clin Pharmacol. 1998 Jul;38(7):583-92. doi: 10.1002/j.1552-4604.1998.tb04464.x.


AmBisome (NeXstarPharmaceuticals, San Dimas, CA) is a unilamellar liposomal formulation of amphotericin B that was recently approved for use as empirical treatment for presumed fungal infections in febrile neutropenic patients and for aspergillosis, candidiasis, and cryptococcosis infections refractory to amphotericin B. It is a small closed microscopic sphere (<100 nm in diameter) with an inner aqueous core (i.e., a true liposome). AmBisome remains as an intact sphere in vitro and for prolonged periods of time in vivo during the processes of systemic transport and pharmacologic action. As a consequence of its size and in vivo stability, AmBisome has physiochemical properties and a pharmacokinetic profile that are considerably different from those of currently available lipid-complexed amphotericin B formulations, with greatly increased area under the plasma concentration-time curve and much lower clearance at equivalent doses. AmBisome liposomes can be seen to accumulate at sites of fungal infection. Disruption of AmBisome liposomes occurs after attachment to the fungal cell wall and results in amphotericin B binding to fungal cell membrane ergosterol with subsequent cell lysis. AmBisome has been shown to penetrate the cell wall of both extracellular and intracellular forms of susceptible fungi.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amphotericin B / blood
  • Amphotericin B / pharmacokinetics*
  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use
  • Antifungal Agents / blood
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Combinations
  • Humans
  • Liposomes
  • Mycoses / drug therapy
  • Phosphatidylcholines / therapeutic use
  • Phosphatidylglycerols / therapeutic use


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