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November 7, 1980

Oral antifungal agent effective even for widespread infections

JAMA. 1980;244(18):2019-2020. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310180003001

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Evidence continues to amass on the effectiveness of the investigational drug ketoconazole in the treatment of both superficial and disseminated fungal infections (JAMA [MEDICAL NEWS] 1980;243:12).

Amphotericin B also is efficacious, according to investigators, but chronic fungal infections often require long-term drug administration to prevent relapse. The advantage of ketoconazole is that it is an oral agent, in contrast to amphotericin B, which must be given intravenously and therefore necessitates a lengthy and expensive hospital stay.

The most recent report, involving 12 consecutive patients with chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis, was given at the 20th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in New Orleans.

In a double-blind trial, Eskild A. Petersen, MD, and colleagues at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) randomly allocated the patients to treatment with ketoconazole or an oral placebo. All but one had been afflicted for more than six years. The subjects were continued