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.
The systemic antifungals are administered as tablets or by injection. Like the topical antifungals these medicines can be fungistatic - in other words they inhibit or slow multiplication of the fungus - or fungicides. In this case they kill the fungi. An antifungal can act as different levels in the fungus.
Known allergy to the medicine, pregnancy or breast-feeding, some therapeutic combinations, known hepatic, cardiac or rental 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 Roos, Dermatologist in Paris, 20 June 2011
Orally, when topical treatment is ineffective. © Phovoir