Using Antifungal Pharmacodynamics to Improve Patient Outcomes
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In vitro and in vivo studies of available and investigational antifungals have broadened our understanding of the pharmacodynamics of these agents as well as the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic characteristics that are associated with efficacy. These data are increasingly being used as surrogate means to answer questions about dosing and administration of antimicrobial agents in order to improve outcomes in patients with invasive fungal infections, as these questions are difficult to answer in clinical trials. The objective of this article is to review the pharmacodynamic activity of widely used classes of antifungal agents, including the azoles, amphotericin B, and the echinocandins, discuss the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic parameters associated with efficacy of these agents in preclinical studies, and describe how this information is being translated into the clinical arena to optimize patient outcomes.