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What is Flucytosine?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 21 April 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Flucytosine is an antifungal medication designed to be effective against several different species of fungi. This medication can be used to treat patients infected with organisms like Candida yeasts. One brand name for the product is AncobonĀ® and it is available by prescription only to patients who have received a physical exam and diagnostic workup. This product is not recommended for use in pregnant and breastfeeding women and it can be dangerous in people with kidney disease.

This medication is fully synthetic and is in the pyrimidine class of drugs. It works by mimicking the pyrimidines naturally found in the body to block protein synthesis in infectious fungus. This prevents the fungus from spreading and eventually kills off the fungi, resolving the infection. Flucytosine dosage is based on body weight and the medication is provided in the form of tablets of varying dosages to allow patients to achieve the correct dosage mixture.

Common flucytosine side effects include nausea, vomiting, intestinal upset, dizziness, confusion, and bleeding problems. Patients on this medication tend to heal more slowly from injuries, can bleed more freely, and may bruise easily. If a patient needs to go to the dentist, the dentist should be alerted to the use of this medication as special precautions may need to be observed. Flucytosine is also linked with increased sun sensitivity. It is important to wear sunscreen and take other protective measures to avoid sunburns.

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Because this medication is eliminated through the kidneys, patients with compromised kidneys are at risk of complications if they take this medication. It is important to evaluate a patient carefully before prescribing and to check on kidney health during a course of flucytosine. Certain medications, including other antifungals, can have adverse interactions with flucytosine. These medications may be less effective while the patient takes them simultaneously and if flucytosine is being used in combination therapy, it is important to select medications known to be safe for use together.

Patients should follow dosage instructions for this medication carefully. It is advisable to try to take doses at the same time each day. If patients find that they become nauseous immediately after taking a dose, they may want to space multiple pills out over the course of half an hour to give their stomachs time to settle between pills. If extreme side effects are experienced, they should be reported so that a doctor can determine if the patient should switch medications or receive additional treatment.

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