New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Surgeons have found that the treatment of black fungus or mucormycosis can be made 100 times cheaper costing from Rs 35,000 to Rs 350, if blood creatinine levels in patients are carefully tracked, said a media report.

According to a Times of India report, this can be made possible by using the conventional form of amphotericin injections- a key drug used in treating black fungus but prohibitively priced- which costs 100 times less than the liposomal form.

However, it needs to be administered carefully with frequent blood tests every alternative day to make sure that the drug does not affect the patient’s kidneys.

As per the report, if the creatinine levels are raised, the 21-day course can be finished with just 2 to 3 “pit shots” or “amphotericin holidays” that allow the body to normalise. For those who don’t know creatinine is a waste product that is channelised out of the system through the kidneys.

Dr Samir Joshi, Ear Nose Throat (ENT) surgeon, told the English daily that the popular concerns related to the conventional amphotericin causing damage to the kidney led to the high demand for the drug’s liposomal form. However, the doctor said that the efficacy of both the form of amphotericin in treating black fungus is equal.

"Liposomal amphotericin is, no doubt, safer than the conventional one and everyone would want the safer version, But there is no difference in efficacy of both forms of the drug," said Dr Joshi, as quoted by The Times of India.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that the conventional form of amphotericin drug should not be given to patients with significant comorbidities including diabetic ketoacidosis and renal failure. In the rest of the black fungus patients the conventional form of amphotericin can be given while monitoring creatinine levels and clear damaged tissue, the report claimed.

As of now, reportedly around 65 Black fungus patients have been treated by Dr Joshi using the conventional amphotericin drug out of which 63 have recovered and survived. Currently, neither the conventional form of amphotericin or its liposomal is available easily as the supply is limited.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha