Pharmaceutical Microbiology

Griseofulvin & mechanism of action

Written by MicroDok

Griseofulvin (Figure 1) is a naturally synthesized antifungal agent that is produced by Penicillium species (particularly P. griseofulvum). Griseofulvin is available both for topical and oral administration, but the drug is mainly used for topical treatment of superficial mycoses. The drug is poorly absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), and this limits their usage for oral administration.

Figure 1: Chemical structure of griseofulvin

CLINICAL APPLICATION OF GRISEOFULVIN

Griseofulvin is mainly used to treat superficial mycoses caused by dermatophytes. And the antifungal agent exists only as creams or solutions which are applied topically on the site of the infection. Fungal infections of the hairs, skin, scalp and ringworm are best treated with griseofulvin. However, griseofulvin is also available for oral administration but the drug is poorly absorbed by the GIT.

MECHANISM OF ACTION OF GRISEOFULVIN

The mechanism of action of griseofulvin is mainly based on its ability to interfere with cell division (particularly mitosis) in fungal cells. Particularly, griseofulvin disrupts microtubule formation or mitotic spindle and this interferes with mitosis in fungi, thus affecting the biosynthetic machinery of other molecules such as the synthesis of DNA, RNA and proteins in fungi.

SIDE EFFECTS AND FUNGAL RESISTANCE TO GRISEOFULVIN

Hypersensitivity is one of the notable side effects of the topical application of griseofulvin for treating fungal infections. Other untoward effects associated with the clinical use of griseofulvin include headache and stomach upset. Resistance to griseofulvin is rare.

REFERENCES

Denyer S.P., Hodges N.A and Gorman S.P (2004). Hugo & Russell’s Pharmaceutical Microbiology. 7th ed. Blackwell Publishing Company, USA. Pp.152-172.

Drusano G.L (2007).  Pharmacokinetics   and   pharmacodynamics   of   antimicrobials.  Clin   Infect   Dis, 45(suppl):89–95.

Ashutosh Kar (2008). Pharmaceutical Microbiology, 1st edition. New Age International Publishers: New Delhi, India.

Axelsen P. H (2002). Essentials of Antimicrobial Pharmacology. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ.

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