New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: The shortage of crucial anti-fungal drug Amphotericin B used to treat Black fungus infection (mucormycosis), has led doctors in many parts of the country to look for alternatives of the anti-fungal drug. Following drugs are being considered as alternatives of Amphotericin B by Doctors across the country:

Posaconazole or Isavuconazole: While Amphotericin B continues to be the primary line of treatment, other options such as Posaconazole or Isavuconazole are being explored by the Doctors. Dr Prashant Nikhade, President, ENT (Eyes, Nose and Throat) Doctors’ Association was quoted as saying by The Times of India that these drugs ‘will keep the fight on’, though their efficacy is not as high as Amphotericin B. Azole reportedly blocks the synthesis of Ergosterol, and thus stopping the fungal growth.

Itraconazole: Dr Samir Thakare, an ENT specialist at Nagpur-based New Era Hospital was quoted as saying that another triazole derivative Itraconazole may be used as a treatment in the absence of Amphotericin-B.

Echinocandin-based antifungal drugs: The US National Institute of Health, in a widely cited paper, suggested the use of Echinocandin based antifungal drugs to control the incidents of invasive fungal infections.

Efforts to resolve Amphotericin-B shortage continues

Five pharmaceutical companies have additionally got the approval for producing Amphotericin-B, in addition to the six existing production units. The companies have additionally placed orders for 6 lakh vials of Amphotericin-B to tackle the immediate crisis.

“The existing pharma companies have already started ramping up the production. Indian Companies have also placed orders for importing 6 lakh vials of Amphotericin B. We are leaving no stone unturned to smoothen the situation," Union minister of state for chemicals and fertilisers Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted on Thursday.

To tackle the rising case of Mucormycosis, a rare fungal infection being reported among the recovered Covid-19 patients in India, the Health Ministry invoked Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 on May 20th, and urged the individual states to declare it an epidemic.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan