Clinical Uses

Flucytosine has significant antifungal activity against C. albicans, other Candida spp., C. neoformans, and the fungal organisms responsible for chromomycosis. Not considered the drug of choice for these fungal infections, 5-FC does remain useful as part of combination therapy for systemic candidiasis and cryptococcal meningitis and as an alternative drug for chromomyco-sis. When it is used as monotherapy, resistance and clinical failure are common. Potential mechanisms for drug resistance include decreased fungal cell membrane permeability and reduced levels of fungal cytosine deaminase. Combination therapy with am-photericin B and flucytosine in the treatment of cryptococcal meningitis and deep-seated Candida infections, such as septic arthritis and meningitis, permits reduced dosing of amphotericin B and prevents the emergence of 5-FC resistance. When higher doses of amphotericin B are used, combination therapy with 5-FC confers no additional clinical benefit except in the treatment of Candida endophthalmitis, where tissue penetration remains problematic.

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