A comparison of fluconazole oral suspension and amphotericin B oral suspension in older patients with oropharyngeal candidosis. Multicentre Study Group

Age Ageing. 2000 Mar;29(2):117-23. doi: 10.1093/ageing/29.2.117.


Background: the optimum treatment for oropharyngeal candidosis, particularly in older patients, has not been established. Local treatment with nystatin and amphotericin B can be problematic. The oral suspension formulation of fluconazole may offer a good alternative to these conventional agents.

Objective: to compare the safety and efficacy of fluconazole oral suspension with amphotericin B oral suspension in the treatment of older patients with oropharyngeal candidosis.

Design: randomized open-label study.

Patients: three hundred and five patients, aged 62 or older, with at least one sign or symptom of oropharyngeal candidosis.

Methods: we evaluated patients for the signs and symptoms of candidosis before receiving the study drug and on days 4, 7 and 14. We assessed patients who were cured or improved after 7-14 days of treatment 2 weeks after the end of treatment (follow-up). We obtained specimens from buccal lesions for microscopic examination (baseline only) and culture at baseline and on days 7 and 14. Patients were evaluated for adverse events on days 4, 7 and 14.

Results: one hundred and fifty patients received fluconazole and 155 received amphotericin B. There were no statistically significant differences in clinical or mycological response between fluconazole and amphotericin B at the end of treatment or at follow-up. At the end of treatment, 122 (81%) of 150 fluconazole-treated and 135 (87%) of 155 amphotericin B-treated patients were clinically cured or improved. Mycological cure rates were 35% and 46% for fluconazole and amphotericin B, respectively. The symptoms of burning sensation and buccal pain resolved significantly sooner (P < 0.05) in fluconazole-treated patients. The presence of dentures did not affect the response to antifungal therapy. The incidence of adverse events was 46% in the fluconazole group and 50% in the amphotericin B group (not statistically significant).

Conclusion: fluconazole oral suspension is a good therapeutic alternative to amphotericin B oral suspension in the treatment of older patients with oropharyngeal candidosis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amphotericin B / adverse effects
  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use*
  • Antifungal Agents / adverse effects
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Candidiasis, Oral / drug therapy*
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Female
  • Fluconazole / adverse effects
  • Fluconazole / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Amphotericin B
  • Fluconazole