The antifungal or antifungal antibiotic, or antifungal as you like to call it, is part of a category of substances that can control and combat the growth and multiplication of fungi, those responsible for fungal or fungal infections, also more simply called mycosis.
Antifungal antibiotic, the family of antimicrobials
Antifungals, in general, belong to the antimicrobial family. These can be synthetic or natural substances, in any case their task is to kill microorganisms or inhibit their growth. Antifungals are divided into two categories: fungistatic, which inhibit the proliferation of fungi, and fungicides, which kill fungi.
What are mycoses
When we talk about mycosis, basically, we are talking about infections caused by fungi that can affect different parts of the body, from nails to skin, from mucous membranes to muscles, from eyes to urinary tract. Among the main types of mycosis we find: aspergillosis, candidiasis, blastomycosis, coccidioidomycosis, maduromycosis, tigne, athlete’s foot, pityriasis versicolor.
The action of the antifungal antibiotic
An antifungal antibiotic drug acts through 3 main mechanisms:
interfering with the synthesis of the fungus cell wall, thus causing osmotic instability and making it vulnerable to the action of other drugs;
interfering with the cell membrane of the fungus by inhibiting the synthesis of ergosterol, which is fundamental for survival with the fungus and can be broadly compared to cholesterol in humans;
interfering with the fungus’ metabolism.
Normally antifungals are well tolerated topically while they can produce some side effects if administered by mouth or intravenously. Among the most frequent disorders are those affecting the gastrointestinal tract, heart, systemic, musculoskeletal, haematological changes, kidney disorders.
Naturally, the extent of the symptoms depends very much on the individual’s state of health and the duration of therapy. Every antifungal drug, before being placed on the market, undergoes a long series of tests to verify its effectiveness and possible adverse events.