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Central Nervous System Toxicity Associated with Liposomal Amphotericin B Therapy for Cutaneous Leishmaniasis

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  • Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland; University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas

AmBisome (liposomal amphotericin B) is used for prophylaxis and treatment of fungal infections, treatment of visceral leishmaniasis, and more recently, treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis. Although the package insert cites neurologic toxicities in up to 20% of cases, review of the literature did not reveal any specific cases describing this side effect, particularly in a patient without comorbidities. We describe a healthy 38-year-old male treated with liposomal amphotericin B for cutaneous leishmaniasis acquired during military duties in Iraq. Shortly after completion of his treatment course, he reported memory difficulties and confusion. Further evaluation revealed no other source, and his cognitive issues were attributed to liposomal amphotericin B toxicity. These issues resolved over a few weeks, which is consistent with data about the drug's tissue penetration and metabolism available in the literature. This is a potential side effect of liposomal amphotericin B that can be observed in otherwise healthy patients.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Jessie S. Glasser, US Infectious Disease Service, Brooke Army Medical Center, 3851 Roger Brooke Drive, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234. E-mail: Jessie.glasser@amedd.army.mil

Authors' addresses: Jessie S. Glasser and Clinton K. Murray, US Infectious Disease Service, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX, E-mails: Jessie.glasser@amedd.army.mil and Clinton.Murray@amedd.army.mil.

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