Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Aspergillosis treatments vary with the type of disease. Possible treatments include:

  • Observation. Simple, single aspergillomas often don't need treatment, and medications aren't usually effective in treating these fungal masses. Instead, aspergillomas that don't cause symptoms may simply be closely monitored by chest X-ray. If the condition progresses, then antifungal medications may be recommended.
  • Oral corticosteroids. The goal in treating allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis is to prevent existing asthma or cystic fibrosis from worsening. The best way to do this is with oral corticosteroids. Antifungal medications by themselves aren't helpful for allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, but they may be combined with corticosteroids to reduce the dose of steroids and improve lung function.
  • Antifungal medications. These drugs are the standard treatment for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Historically, the drug of choice has been amphotericin B, but the newer medication voriconazole (Vfend) is now preferred because it appears to be more effective and may have fewer side effects.

    All antifungals can cause serious problems, however, including kidney and liver damage, and they frequently interact with other medications given to people who have weakened immune systems.

  • Surgery. Because antifungal medications don't penetrate aspergillomas very well, surgery to remove the fungal mass is the first-choice treatment when bleeding from the mass in the lungs occurs. But the surgery is risky, and your doctor may instead suggest embolization.

    In this procedure, a radiologist threads a small catheter into the artery that supplies blood to the cavity containing the fungus ball and injects a material that clogs the artery. Though this procedure can stop massive bleeding, it doesn't prevent it from recurring, so it's generally considered a temporary treatment.

Aug. 05, 2014

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