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Placebo-controlled trial of itraconazole for treatment of acute vaginal candidiasis.

Author(s): Stein GE, Mummaw N

Affiliation(s): Department of Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824.

Publication date & source: 1993-01, Antimicrob Agents Chemother., 37(1):89-92.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

Itraconazole is a new orally active triazole antifungal agent with enhanced activity against Candida species. In the clinical trial described in this paper, we compared the efficacy and safety of itraconazole capsules with those of clotrimazole vaginal tablets and placebo oral capsules for women with acute vulvovaginal candidiasis. Ninety-five patients were randomized in a 2:1:1 fashion to receive itraconazole (200 mg/day), clotrimazole (200 mg/day), or placebo (two capsules per day) for 3 consecutive days. Clinical success rates (cure and improvement) were similar for women who received itraconazole (96%) and clotrimazole (100%) 1 week posttreatment. These response rates were statistically superior to those obtained with placebo treatment (77%, P < 0.05). Negative mycological cultures were found in 95, 73, and 32% of the patients treated with clotrimazole, itraconazole, and placebo, respectively (P < 0.005) [active treatments versus placebo]). By 4 weeks posttreatment, the clinical failure rate for itraconazole was less than that observed for clotrimazole (17 versus 30%), but this difference did not reach statistical significance (P > 0.05; beta = 0.81). Mycological response rates for itraconazole and clotrimazole were also similar. No patients enrolled in this study discontinued treatment because of an adverse event. Minor side effects were reported by 35, 4, and 41% of patients who received itraconazole, clotrimazole, and placebo, respectively. The most common side effects associated with itraconazole therapy were nausea and headache. In summary, itraconazole was found to be as effective and safe as clotrimazole in women with acute candida vaginitis. Moreover, oral therapy was highly favored over intravaginal treatment in our survey of patients.

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