Systemic fungal infections are difficult to treat and often fatal. Established treatment options include conventional amphotericin B or one of its lipid-based or liposomal formulations, or a triazole antifungal such as fluconazole or itraconazole. ▼Caspofungin (Cancidas - Merck Sharp & Dohme) and ▼voriconazole (Vfend - Pfizer) are two new antifungals for severe infections caused by Candida spp. (invasive candidiasis) and Aspergillus spp. (invasive aspergillosis). Caspofungin is the first licensed echinocandin antifungal, while voriconazole is a triazole. Promotional claims for caspofungin include that it "provides an effective, yet less toxic, alternative to amphotericin B" while voriconazole is claimed to offer "significantly improved survival in invasive aspergillosis compared with amphotericin B". Here we consider the place of caspofungin and voriconazole in managing patients with severe fungal infections.
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