The systemic antifungals are used when the organism responsible – a microscopic fungus - is resistant or if local treatment is impossible. This applies to widespread infections, recurring local infections such as some genital infections in women - specific sites (particularly gastro-intestinal tract) or in a context of immunosuppression.
How do the systemic antifungals work?
The systemic antifungals are administered as tablets or by injection. Like the local antifungals, these medicines can be fungistatic (i.e. they inhibit or delay the multiplication of the fungus) or fungicidal. In this case they kill the fungi. An antifungal can act at different levels in the fungus.
Do they have contraindications or precautions?
Known allergies to the medicine, pregnancy orbreast-feeding, some associations of medicines, known liver, cardiac or renal impairment are all major contraindications. In terms of side effects, the most commonly reported are liver function abnormalities, gastro-intestinal and visual problems and skin rashes.
Source: Interview with Dr Nina Coos, dermatologist, Paris, 20 June 2011
The systemic antifungals are given orally when topical treatment is ineffective. © Phovoir
Systemic antifungal - 1 Photo