Objective: To review the currently available information on the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, efficacy, adverse effects, drug interactions, and dosage guidelines of voriconazole. Comparative data for voriconazole and other azole antifungal agents are described where available.
Data sources: A MEDLINE search restricted to English-language articles (1966 to September 1999) was conducted, and an extensive review of journals and meeting abstracts was performed. MeSH headings included itraconazole, fluconazole, voriconazole, UK-109,496, and amphotericin B.
Data extraction: The data on pharmacokinetics, adverse effects, and drug interactions were obtained from open-label and controlled studies and case reports. Controlled studies and case reports were evaluated to demonstrate the efficacy of voriconazole in treatment of various fungal infections.
Data synthesis: Voriconazole is a derivative of fluconazole that demonstrates enhanced in vitro activity against existent and emerging fungal pathogens. Limited data have revealed a favorable pharmacokinetic and safety profile for the agent. Moreover, select clinical trials and case studies of voriconazole suggest good in vivo efficacy against several fungal pathogens including Candida, Aspergillus, and Scedosporium.
Conclusions: Voriconazole has shown promise in the treatment of superficial and systemic mycoses. While several unresolved issues remain, voriconazole may be a viable therapeutic alternative for fluconazole-resistant mucocutaneous candidiasis and in cases of mild to moderate systemic mycoses requiring chronic treatment or that are refractory to currently available agents.