Amphotericin therapy in humans has been reported to cause severe pulmonary dysfunction in some patients, and these abnormalities have been reproduced in unanesthetized sheep. To determine the role of cyclooxygenase products in this response, paired, random-order experiments in 11 sheep were done using the cyclooxygenase inhibitor ibuprofen. Ibuprofen blunted increases in pulmonary artery pressure (Ppa) after amphotericin (peak Ppa 38 +/- 3 cm H2O in amphotericin-alone group vs. 30 +/- 1 cm H2O in ibuprofen + amphotericin group, P less than .05) and reduced peak lung lymph flow to approximately 170% of baseline compared with 350% of baseline in amphotericin-alone group (P less than .05). In addition, the increase in airflow resistance across the lung and the decrease in partial pressure of oxygen seen after amphotericin was blocked by ibuprofen. Therefore, amphotericin-induced lung dysfunction is produced in part through the generation of cyclooxygenase products of arachidonic acid metabolism and can be ameliorated by pretreatment with the cyclooxygenase inhibitor ibuprofen.