In spite of the development of new antifungal drugs, amphotericin B deoxycholate (d-AMB) remains the gold standard in the treatment of severe fungal infections in immunosuppressed hosts. However, d-AMB is a toxic drug, the most important dose-limiting toxicities being nephrotoxicity and infusion-related allergic reactions. Lipid and liposomal formulations of d-AMB have relatively lower toxicity and are considered alternative choices. However, the routine use of these formulations is limited by their higher cost. Using retrospective analysis, we explored the incidence of nephrotoxicity and allergic reactions requiring the cessation of conventional d-AMB in 113 cases treated with the drug. In contrast to knowledge in the relevant literature, we did not detect significant toxicity, which would have required discontinuation of the d-AMB treatment. Mean serum creatinine levels were 0.72 +/- 0.25 and 0.84 +/- 0.31 mg dl(-1) before and after therapy, respectively. Although the difference between creatinine levels before and after d-AMB is statistically significant, the creatinine level increased twofold in only eight cases. Mean serum potassium levels were 3.8 +/- 0.54 and 3.6 +/- 0.7 mmol l(-1) before and after d-AMB respectively. Potassium levels below 3 mmol l(-1) were found in 7 and 17 cases before and after d-AMB respectively. Potassium levels were statistically lower in cases with fungal mucositis. Severe infusion-related allergic reactions were observed in three cases. Antihistamine and corticosteroid were added to the treatment in these cases. With these findings, we can conclude that d-AMB is a tolerable, low cost drug which can be safely used provided there is suitable premedication and monitoring of blood urea nitrogen, serum potassium and magnesium levels.