Amphotericin (Liposomal) - AmBisome Intravenous Infusion for Adults

Who can administer

May be administered by registered competent doctor or nurse/midwife

Important information

  • Prescribe by brand name - Ambisome is not interchangeable with other amphotericin preparations
  • Initial test dose must be given before each new course of this drug - in case of anaphylaxis
  • Line must be flushed before and after with Glucose 5%
  • Reserve antimicrobial: Restricted to indications in the antimicrobial prescribing guidelines, or following approval by microbiology/infectious diseases

Available preparations

AmBisome 50mg vial (50,000 units encapsulated in liposomes))


Water for injection

  • Add 12ml per 50mg vial and immediately shake vials vigorously for 30 seconds or longer
  • This produces a solution of 50mg in 12.5mL (4mg/1ml))
  • Withdraw calculated amount of Ambisome into a sterile syringe and dilute further prior to administration
  • Using the 5 micron filter provided, add the required dose to a suitable volume of infusion fluid

Infusion fluids

Glucose 5% ONLY

Methods of intravenous administration

Flush line before and after with Glucose 5%

Intermittent intravenous infusion (using an electronically controlled infusion device)

Test dose required (1mg over 10 minutes) - see below

The volume for dilution depends on dose as the final concentration must be between 0.2 and 2mg/ml

Dose Final recommended infusion volume Nearest available bag/bottle size
50mg (in 12.5ml) 25 to 250ml 100 or 250ml bag (* see below)
70mg (in 17.5ml) 35 to 350ml 100 or 250ml bag (* see below)
100mg (in 25ml) 50 to 500ml 100, 250 or 500ml bag (* see below)
150mg (in 37.5ml) 75 to 750ml 100, 250 or 500ml bag
200mg (in 50ml) 100 to 1000ml 100, 250, 500 or 1000ml bag
300mg (in 75ml) 150 to 1500ml 250, 500 or 1000ml bag
400mg (in 100ml) 200 to 2000ml 250, 500 or 1000ml bag
500mg (in 125ml) 250 to 2500ml 250, 500 or 1000ml bag
  • Withdraw the same volume from the infusion bag as the volume of drug to be added e.g 100mg dose - remove 25ml from bag before addition of drug
  • Administer over 30 to 60 minutes (doses greater than 5mg/kg should be given over 120 minutes)
  • * A 50ml infusion may be used if required (eg fluid restriction) but the residual volume in the infusion line must be flushed through at the same rate to avoid significant underdosing

Dose in adults

Test dose

  • All patients must receive a test dose before a new course of drug. In order to minimise waste of a very expensive product, prepare as follows
  • Make up the dose for day 1 in the largest allowable volume e.g. 200mg in 1000mL
  • Calculate the volume which contains 1mg
  • Set the pump at a rate which will deliver the 1mg dose over 10 minutes
  • Stop the infusion pump, and observe the patient for 30 minutes
  • If no severe allergic or adverse reactions develop, restart the infusion pump and administer the remainder of the dose over 30 to 60 minutes

Micro/ID consult recommended

Treatment of fever of unknown origin in neutropenic patients

  • Give 3mg/kg once daily

Treatment of systemic fungal infections

  • Give 1 to 3mg/kg once daily

Prophylaxis in neutropenic patients (unlicensed) (ref 1)

  • Give 1mg/kg three times per week
  • Doses tend to be rounded to vial size- usually rounded up- ie 80kg give 100mg, 45kg, give 50mg


  • Higher doses (up to 10mg/kg - single one-off dose) may rarely be indicated (e.g.Cryptococcal meningitis) (ref 2)- used on direction of Micro/ID only

Renal impairment

  • Ambisome has been successfully administered to patients with pre-existing renal impairment in clinical trials, and no adjustment in dose or frequency of administration was required
  • Caution should be exercised particularly when prolonged therapy is required
  • If clinically significant reduction in renal function or worsening of other parameters occurs, consideration should be given to dose reduction, treatment interruption or discontinuation


  • Monitor potassium, magnesium, and renal function
  • Monitor LFTs and blood counts
  • Monitor for infusion related reactions at every infusion

Further information

  • If infusion related reactions occur (non-anaphylactic) - the rate of infusion should be slowed (administer over two hours), or routine doses of chlorphenamine, paracetamol and/or hydrocortisone may be given (unless contraindicated)
  • Patients on Ambisome should also receive amiloride 5mg po once daily (unlicensed) with potassium supplements (Kay-Cee-L syrup 15mls TDS) with regular monitoring of renal function and serum potassium to reduce potassium renal loss. They may also need Magnesium replacement. (ref 1)


  • Unopened vials: store below 250C
  • Infusion: once diluted in glucose 5% should be used as soon as possible


SPC 12th November 2019

1. GUH guidelines for the management of neutropenic sepsis July 2014 Q pulse CLN-HAEM-020

2: Single-Dose Liposomal Amphotericin B Treatment for Cryptococcal Meningitis NEJM March 24, 2022 vol. 386 no. 12 (attached)

Therapeutic classification


IV Guide Type