Caspofungin


Brand Name: Cancidas
Active Ingredient: caspofungin
Strength(s): 50 mg and 70 mg single use vials
Dosage Form(s): Intravenous injection
Company Name: Merck & Co.
Availability: Prescription only, Professional use only
*Date Approved by FDA: January 29, 2001
*Approval by FDA does not mean that the drug is available for consumers at this time.

What is Cancidas used for?

Cancidas is used for:

* presumed fungal infections in patients who have a fever and neutropenia (low neutrophils in blood)
*

Candida fungal infections of the blood (candidemia), intra-abdominal abscesses, peritonitis, and pleural space infections. It has not been studied in endocarditis, osteomyelitis, and meningitis due to Candida.
*

esophageal Candidiasis
*

possibly fatal fungal infections (invasive aspergillosis) in adults who are unsuccessful with or cannot tolerate standard treatments such as amphotericin B, lipid formulations of amphotericin B, and/or itraconazole. Cancidas was not studied as an initial treatment for invasive aspergillosis.

Who should not be treated with Cancidas?

You should not be treated with Cancidas if you are allergic to Cancidas or to any of the ingredients in Cancidas.

General Precautions:

Because the use of Cancidas with cyclosporin may temporarily increase liver enzymes, this combination should only be used when the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk.

What should I tell my health care provider?

Tell your health care provider if you:

* have or had liver problems
* are trying to become pregnant, are already pregnant, or are breast-feeding

Tell your health care provider about all the medicines you are taking including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some medicines may affect how Cancidas works or Cancidas may affect how your other medicines work. Be sure to tell your health care provider if you take tacrolimus (Prograf®) or medicines called antivirals.

What are some possible side effects of Cancidas? (This is not a complete list of side effects reported with Cancidas. Your health care provider can discuss with you a more complete list of side effects.)

Cancidas and other medicines like it can cause a serious allergic reaction. Signs of a serious allergic reaction are:

* sudden problems breathing
* swelling of your lips or tongue
* sudden cough
* hives
* rash

Other side effects include:

* fever
* injection site reactions
* nausea
* flushing
* vomiting

For more detailed information about Cancidas, ask your health care provider or pharmacist.


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