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Isavuconazole for the treatment of invasive aspergillosis and mucormycosis: current evidence, safety, efficacy, and clinical recommendations

Authors Natesan SK, Chandrasekar PH

Received 1 October 2016

Accepted for publication 1 November 2016

Published 7 December 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 291—300


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Suresh Antony

Suganthini Krishnan Natesan,1,2 Pranatharthi H Chandrasekar1

1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Wayne State University, 2John D Dingell VA Medical Center, Detroit, MI, USA

Abstract: The majority of invasive mold infections diagnosed in immunocompromised cancer patients include invasive aspergillosis (IA) and mucormycosis. Despite timely and effective therapy, mortality remains considerable. Antifungal agents currently available for the management of these serious infections include triazoles, polyenes, and echinocandins. Until recently, posaconazole has been the only triazole with a broad spectrum of anti-mold activity against both Aspergillus sp. and mucorales. Other clinically available triazoles voriconazole and itraconazole, with poor activity against mucorales, have significant drug interactions in addition to a side effect profile inherent for all triazoles. Polyenes including lipid formulations pose a problem with infusion-related side effects, electrolyte imbalance, and nephrotoxicity. Echinocandins are ineffective against mucorales and are approved as salvage therapy for refractory IA. Given that all available antifungal agents have limitations, there has been an unmet need for a broad-spectrum anti-mold agent with a favorable profile. Following phase III clinical trials that started in 2006, isavuconazole (ISZ) seems to fit this profile. It is the first novel triazole agent recently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of both IA and mucormycosis. This review provides a brief overview of the salient features of ISZ, its favorable profile with regard to spectrum of antifungal activity, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters, drug interactions and tolerability, clinical efficacy, and side effects.

Keywords: isavuconazole, aspergillosis, mucormycosis, efficacy, antifungal therapy, novel azole, tolerability, drug interactions

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