Itraconazole therapy for blastomycosis and histoplasmosis. NIAID Mycoses Study Group

Am J Med. 1992 Nov;93(5):489-97. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(92)90575-v.


Objective: To assess the efficacy and toxicity of orally administered itraconazole in the treatment of nonmeningeal, nonlife-threatening forms of blastomycosis and histoplasmosis.

Design: Prospective, nonrandomized, open trial.

Setting: Multicenter trial at 14 university referral centers.

Patients: Eighty-five patients with culture or histopathologic evidence of blastomycosis (48 patients) or histoplasmosis (37 patients). Patients receiving other systemic antifungal therapy were excluded.

Interventions: Itraconazole was administered orally at doses of 200 to 400 mg/d. Patients in whom treatment was considered a success were treated for a median duration of 6.2 months (blastomycosis) and 9.0 months (histoplasmosis). Disease activity was assessed at baseline; drug efficacy and toxicity were evaluated at monthly intervals during therapy, and efficacy was evaluated at regular follow-up visits after completion of therapy. The median duration of posttreatment evaluation for successfully treated patients was 11.9 months (blastomycosis) and 12.1 months (histoplasmosis).

Measurements and main results: Among the 48 patients with blastomycosis, success was documented in 43 (90%). The success rate for patients treated for more than 2 months was 95% (38 of 40). Among the 37 patients with histoplasmosis, success was documented in 30 (81%). The success rate for patients treated for more than 2 months was 86% (30 of 35). All patients with histoplasmosis in whom treatment failed had chronic cavitary pulmonary disease. Toxicity was minor; only 25 (29%) patients experienced any side effects, and itraconazole toxicity necessitated stopping therapy in only 1 patient.

Conclusions: Itraconazole is a highly effective therapy for nonmeningeal, nonlife-threatening blastomycosis and histoplasmosis. The drug is associated with minimal toxicity.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antifungal Agents / adverse effects
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blastomycosis / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Histoplasmosis / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Itraconazole
  • Ketoconazole / adverse effects
  • Ketoconazole / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ketoconazole / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Itraconazole
  • Ketoconazole