Why is this medication prescribed?
Caspofungin injection is used in adults and children 3 months of age and older to treat yeast infections in the blood, stomach, lungs, and esophagus (tube that connects the throat to the stomach.) and certain fungal infections that could not be treated successfully with other medications. It is also used to treat serious fungal infections in people with a weakened ability to fight infection. Caspofungin injection is in a class of antifungal medications called echinocandins. It works by slowing the growth of fungi that cause infection.
How should this medicine be used?
Caspofungin injection comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid and injected intravenously (into a vein) over approximately 1 hour once a day. The length of your treatment depends on your general health, the type of infection that you have, and how well you respond to the medication. You may receive caspofungin injection in a hospital or you may administer the medication at home. If you will be receiving caspofungin injection at home, your healthcare provider will show you how to use the medication. Be sure that you understand these directions, and ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions.
Your doctor may start you on a standard dose of caspofungin injection and increase your dose depending on your response to the medication and any side effects you experience. Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment.
You should begin to feel better during the first few days of treatment with caspofungin injection. If your symptoms do not improve or get worse, tell your doctor. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish caspofungin injection, tell your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before receiving caspofungin injection,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to caspofungin, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in caspofungin injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), dexamethasone, efavirenz (Sustiva, in Atripla), nevirapine (Viramune), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), rifampin (Rifadin, Rifamate), and tacrolimus (Prograf). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with caspofungin injection, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while receiving caspofungin injection, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Caspofungin injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- pain, redness, and swelling of a vein
- stomach pain
- back pain
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, or lips
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
- shortness of breath
- sensation of warmth
- fast heartbeat
- extreme tiredness
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- lack of energy
- loss of appetite
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- flu-like symptoms
Caspofungin injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to caspofungin injection.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.