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Centre Ramps Up Production Of Amphotericin B To Treat 'Black Fungus' As Cases Rise

Tackling the Mucormycosis known as 'Black fungus' infection witnessed in several post-COVD-19 patients, Centre on Wednesday ramped production of Amphotericin B

black fungus


Tackling the Mucormycosis known as 'Black fungus' infection witnessed in several post-COVD-19 patients, Centre on Wednesday engaged with pharmaceutical manufacturers to ramp up production of Amphotericin B which was being prescribed by most physicians. The Centre stated that the supply position is expected to improve with extra imports and increase in domestic production.  Moreover, on reviewing the demand pattern for Amphotericin, Centre's Department of Pharma has allocated the drug to states/UT from May 10 to May 31.

Centre allocates Amphotericin B for Black fungus treatment

The Centre has requested states to equitably distribute the drugs amongst government and private hospitals. Urging states to publicise its 'point of contact' for private and govt hospitals, Centre requested states to use the drug judiciously. The arrangements of supply will be monitored by National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA).  

What is the 'Black Fungus' infection?

Mucormycosis is a fungal infection that mainly affects people who are on medication for other health problems that reduce their ability to fight environmental pathogens. While it is very rare, it can lead to loss of the upper jaw and sometimes even the eye. Sinuses of such individuals get affected after fungal spores are inhaled from the air. Warning signs include pain and redness around the eyes and/or nose, fever, headache, coughing, shortness of breath, bloody vomit and altered mental status. According to the government's advisory, the black fungus infection should be suspected when there is sinusitis, one-sided facial pain, numbness or swelling, toothache, blurred or double vision with pain, chest pain, etc. 

This infection has been witnessed in cases of uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression by steroids, prolonged ICU stay and co-morbidities. The management of such patients is a team effort involving microbiologists, internal medicine specialists, intensivist neurologists, ENT specialists, ophthalmologists, dentists, surgeons and others. The medical treatment entails installing peripherally inserted central catheter, maintaining adequate systemic hydration, infusing normal saline IV before Amphotericin B infusion and conducting antifungal therapy for 4-6 weeks. The patients have to be monitored clinically and with radio-imaging to ascertain disease progression. Several cases of 'Black fungus' have been reported in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Gujarat - with both Odisha & Maharashtra offering treatment of such cases.

Disclaimer: The content provided above is in no way intended a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, especially related to COVID-19.

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