As the fourth most common cause of hospital-acquired bloodstream infections in the United States, Invasive Candidiasis is a concern for any patient battling a fungal infection. Micafungin, also known as the brand name Mycamine, which is marketed by Astellas, is an effective antifungal agent. By inhibiting the synthesis of 1,3-beta-D-glucan, Micafungin proves to be a viable member of the echinocandin class of antifungaI therapies. Micafungin is classified as an antiinfective, antibiotic and antifungal drug. Concerns by medical professional worldwide for a rising number of systemic fungal infections over the past two decades are prevalent, with an increasing urgency for continued R&D to meet the needs of tomorrow’s patients. While the candida species are most commonly found in patients who are immunocompromised, the Candida organism is responsible for an overwhelming 80 percent of all major systemic fungal infections.
Micafungin is an approved treatment for patients with esophageal candidiasis, as well as for the prophylaxis of Candida infections in patients who are undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantations. Micafungin is determined to be effectual for treating the susceptible organisms C. tropicalis, C. albicans, C. glabrata, C. krusei, C. parapsilosis, and C. krusei. Off-label treatment with Micafungin is also used for patients with pulmonary Aspergillus infection. Micafungin is a successful therapy for treating and preventing a wide variety of fungal infections, with few adverse effects occurring. A minor number of patients experience injection site irritation, diarrhea, vomiting and headache.
As an injectable medication Micafungin is administered via an intravenous solution, typically given once daily for a set period of time. The injection is administered slowly, over at least a one hour period. Patients with Candidiasis usually receive a daily dose based on weight for between ten and thirty days’ time. Patients who are administered Micafungin as a prophylaxis prior to a hematopoietic stem cell transfer will typically receive 50 milligrams daily for between six and fifty days. Those patients who are diagnosed with Candidemia, Candida Peritonitis and Abscesses or Disseminated Candidiasis will likely be administered 100 milligrams daily for between ten and forty-seven days.
Clinical trials of Micafungin have proven to be valuable and successful. In June 2013 the FDA approved Micafungin, as Mycamine, for the treatment of fungal infections in pediatric patients ages four months and older. With Candida infections being a serious concern for the pediatric patient population due to limited treatment options, this approval was welcomed by the medical and pharmaceutical community. Two double-blind and randomized trials of Micafungin (Mycamine) demonstrated the safety and tolerability for pediatric patients who received this antifungal therapy for either the treatment of invasive Candidiasis and Candidemia or the prophylaxis of Candida infections. Of the 479 patients assessed, ages three days through 16 years old, the average once daily treatment regimen was 24.8 days. Every patient received at least one dosage of Micafungin. The most commonly reported adverse effects was vomiting, followed by diarrhea. The FDA did not evaluate or approve the use of Micafungin in patients younger than 4 months old, however.
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