Saturday, July 22, 2006

Antifungal Treatment Wins FDA Approval

TUESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A drug designed to treat yeast-like fungal infections that often strike hospital patients and people with compromised immune systems has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Pfizer's Eraxis (anidulafungin) treats infections caused by Candida fungus, which often affects the bloodstream, esophagus, and abdominal cavity, the FDA said. Candidemia, a bloodstream infection caused by the fungus, is among the most deadly hospital-acquired infections of its type, with a fatality rate of about 40 percent, Pfizer said in a statement.

Candidemia affects about 1 in 5,000 people in the United States -- an estimated 60,000 cases each year. The infection causes patients to spend an average of about 10 additional days in the hospital, at a cost of about $39,000 per patient, Pfizer said.

The most common adverse side effects seen during clinical testing of the new drug included diarrhea, mild elevations in certain liver enzymes, headache, and mild allergic reactions, the FDA said.

More information
To learn more about Candida infections, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Last reviewed: 02/21/2006 Last updated: 02/21/2006

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