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Dermatologic Manifestations of Sporotrichosis Medication

  • Author: Scott D Miller, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
Updated: May 17, 2016

Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce morbidity and prevent complications. Continue systemic therapy until clinical resolution is achieved, typically 4-6 months.


Antifungal agents

Class Summary

These agents are used for fungicidal or fungistatic eradication of the infective organism S schenkii.

Amphotericin B (AmBisome)


Amphotericin B is produced by a strain of Streptomyces nodosus; it can be fungistatic or fungicidal. Amphotericin B binds to sterols, such as ergosterol, in the fungal cell membrane, causing intracellular components to leak with subsequent fungal cell death. This is the drug of choice for systemic disease, although more recent literature indicates itraconazole or terbinafine may replace amphotericin B as the drug of choice for systemic sporotrichosis.

Itraconazole (Sporanox)


Itraconazole is a synthetic triazole antifungal agent that slows fungal cell growth by inhibiting cytochrome P-450-dependent synthesis of ergosterol, a vital component of fungal cell membranes. Itraconazole is the drug of choice for cutaneous disease and second drug of choice (likely to soon be first DOC) for systemic disease. It is available as a 100-mg capsule.

Potassium iodide (SSKI, Pima)


Potassium iodide is a saturated solution containing approximately 142 g potassium iodide in 100 mL water. It inhibits thyroid hormone secretion. The mechanism of action against Sporothrix is unknown. It is the third drug of choice for cutaneous disease. Potassium iodide is not effective for systemic disease. It contains 8 mg of iodide per drop and may be mixed with juice or water for intake.

Fluconazole (Diflucan)


Fluconazole is a synthetic oral antifungal (broad-spectrum bistriazole) that selectively inhibits fungal cytochrome P-450 and sterol C-14 alpha-demethylation. It is the fourth drug of choice for systemic disease, modestly effective and thus reserved for itraconazole-intolerant patients.

Terbinafine (Lamisil)


Terbinafine is a synthetic allylamine hypothesized to act by inhibiting squalene epoxidase, thus blocking synthesis of ergosterol, a vital component of fungal cell membranes. Terbinafine is an alternative for cutaneous disease, with promise for systemic disease.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Scott D Miller, MD Dermatologist and Dermatologic Surgeon, High Plains Dermatology Center

Scott D Miller, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Richard P Vinson, MD Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Mountain View Dermatology, PA

Richard P Vinson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Texas Medical Association, Association of Military Dermatologists, Texas Dermatological Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Lester F Libow, MD Dermatopathologist, South Texas Dermatopathology Laboratory

Lester F Libow, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Society of Dermatopathology, Texas Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Kathryn Schwarzenberger, MD Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, University of Vermont College of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Division of Dermatology, Fletcher Allen Health Care

Kathryn Schwarzenberger, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Women's Dermatologic Society, American Contact Dermatitis Society, Medical Dermatology Society, Dermatology Foundation, Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Close-up of an ulcerated nodule reveals the satellite lesions characteristic of lymphangitic (sporotrichoid) spread.
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