Drugs in this class are easily recognizable, as they share the "-azole" suffix. Examples include fluconazole and ketoconazole.
These medications can be used to treat local and less serious systemic mycoses. Exceptions to this include fluconazole, which can be used for chronic suppression of cryptococcus, along with candidiasis in AIDS patients.
These medications work by inhibiting fungal ergosterol synthesis. This leads to defective cell membrane synthesis in fungi.
Fungal ergosterol (an important component of cell membranes) synthesis is inhibited by inhibiting an important cytochrome P-450 enzyme. This enzyme in the fungus is responsible for converting lanosterol to ergosterol, and inhibition of it leads to defect cell membrane synthesis.
These medications can lead to liver damage, and can worsen pre-existing liver disease.
Medications like ketoconazole inhibit testosterone synthesis by inhibition of cholesterol desmolase, and can lead to symptoms such as gynecomastia and hormone imbalance.
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