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What Is Micafungin?

By Jacquelyn Gilchrist
Updated May 17, 2024
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Micafungin is a generic medication often marketed under the brand name Mycamine®. It is prescribed to prevent fungal infections in people who will undergo a transplant, such as a bone marrow or a stem cell transplant. A doctor can also use it to treat existing infections of the esophagus caused by the Candida fungus. Micafungin is an antifungal classified as an echinocandin.

This antifungal is administered intravenously by a health care professional. It is not available as an oral drug. The vial will be checked prior to use for abnormalities, such as discoloration or loose particles. A nurse or doctor will then mix micafungin with a liquid to dilute it and insert a needle into a vein to start the intravenous therapy.

Typically, patients will receive one dose over the course of an hour once daily. Several weeks may be needed to fully clear up the infection. It is essential that the full course of micafungin be completed, otherwise the fungal infection may grow back.

Some side effects may occur with the use of micafungin, which should be reported to the physician if they are bothersome or persistent. Irritation, swelling, or mild pain at the injection site has been reported. Patients have also experienced insomnia, headache, and a tingly feeling under the skin. Nausea, vomiting, and constipation have also occurred, along with stomach pain or indigestion.

Rarely, an allergic reaction may occur, which requires immediate medical help. Signs of this complication can include facial swelling, problems breathing, and severe dizziness. Patients should also be aware of the signs of a possible infection, which may include chills and a fever. An infection may also cause pain during urination and a persistent sore throat.

Other serious side effects may rarely occur. Dark urine, jaundice, and unusual fatigue have been reported. Persistent nausea and vomiting may also occur, along with an irregular or rapid heartbeat. Patients have reported swelling of the hands and feet, mood changes, and extreme thirst.

Before having micafungin intravenous therapy, patients must disclose their other medical conditions. As of 2011, it is unknown whether the drug may pass into a breast milk. It can cause birth defects, so women who are pregnant should avoid its use. The drug may be contraindicated for use by those who have liver or kidney disease, blood disorders, or certain drug allergies.

Patients should also disclose their other medications and supplements before using micafungin. This medicine may interact with sirolimus, nifedipine, and itraconazole. Other antifungal drugs the patient may be taking should also be disclosed.

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