An antifungal drug is a medication used to treat fungal infections such as athlete's foot, ringworm,candidiasis (thrush), serious systemic infections such as cryptococcal meningitis, and others. Such drugs are usually obtained by a doctor's prescription or purchased over-the-counter.
Mode of action
Antifungals work by exploiting differences between mammalian and fungal cells to kill the fungal organism without dangerous effects on the host. Unlike bacteria, both fungi and humans are eukaryotes. Thus fungal and human cells are similar at the molecular level. This makes it more difficult to find or design drugs that target fungi without affecting human cells. As a consequence, many antifungal drugs cause side-effects. Some of these side-effects can be life-threatening if the drugs are not used properly.
Apart from side-effects like liver-damage or affecting estrogen levels, many medicines can cause allergic reactions in people. For example, the azole group of drugs is known to have caused anaphylaxis.