Infect Chemother.  2005 Apr;37(2):71-78.

Itraconazole Oral Solution versus Fluconazole Syrup for Prevention of Invasive Fungal Infections in Patients Receiving Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Prospective, Randomized, Comparative Clinical Trial

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. fire@catholic.ac.kr

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Though fluconazole is widely used for antifungal prophylaxis, it is ineffective against mould infections including Aspergillus species. Itraconazole has a broader spectrum than fluconazole but the capsule form shows erratic bioavailability in neutropenic patients. In this study, we compared itraconazole oral solution (ITZS) with fluconazole syrup (FCZS) for the prevention of invasive fungal infection (IFI) in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Adults receiving allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) from september 2001 to June 2002, were randomly allocated to either the ITZS group or the FCZS group. We prospectively evaluated the safety and efficacy of each drug.
RESULTS
Out of 78 patients (40 patients in the ITZS group and 38 patients in the FCZS group) who were eligible for this study, 37 patients completed the course of prophylaxis without any evidence of IFI. The mean duration of prophylaxis was 16.4 days for the ITZS group and 21.9 days for the FCZS group (P<0.006). Drug-related adverse events occurred in 28 patients (70.0%) and 19 patients (50.0%) in the ITZS group and the FCZS group, respectively. Common adverse events of ITZS were nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Drug-related reversible hepatotoxicity occurred in 4 patients in the ITZS group. There was a significant elevation of total bilirubin level in the ITZS group. The incidence of suspected IFI occurred in 5 patients (12.5%) who received ITZS, compared with 8 (21.1%) who received FCZS (P=0.372). There were no proven IFIs or superficial (oral/vaginal) fungal infections in both groups. Overall mortality was not different between the two groups (2.5% in the ITZS group versus 5.3% in the FCZS group, P=0.610).
CONCLUSION
ITZS and FCZS showed similar protection against IFI during pre-engraftment period. Poor tolerability due to gastrointestinal troubles of ITZS might limit its success as prophylactic therapy. Well matched controlled study with large number of patients will be required in the future.

Keyword

Itraconazole; Fluconazole; Neutropenia; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Invasive fungal infection

MeSH Terms

Adult
Aspergillus
Bilirubin
Biological Availability
Diarrhea
Fluconazole*
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
Hematopoietic Stem Cells*
Humans
Incidence
Itraconazole*
Mortality
Nausea
Neutropenia
Prospective Studies
Transplantation
Vomiting
Bilirubin
Fluconazole
Itraconazole
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