Treatment of cutaneous sporotrichosis with itraconazole--study of 645 patients

Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Jun 15;52(12):e200-6. doi: 10.1093/cid/cir245.


Background: Itraconazole has become the first choice for treatment of cutaneous sporotrichosis. However, this recommendation is based on case reports and small series. The safety and efficacy of itraconazole were evaluated in 645 patients who received a diagnosis on the basis of isolation of Sporothrix schenckii in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Methods: A standard regimen of itraconazole (100 mg/day orally) was used. Clinical and laboratory adverse events were assessed a grades 1-4. A multivariate Cox model was used to analyze the response to treatment.

Results: The median age was 43 years. Lymphocutaneous form occurred in 68.1% and fixed form in 23.1%. Six hundred ten patients (94.6%) were cured with itraconazole (50-400 mg/day): 547 with 100 mg/day, 59 with 200-400 mg/day, and 4 children with 50 mg/day. Three patients switched to potassium iodide, 2 to terbinafine, and 4 to thermotherapy. Twenty-six were lost to follow-up. Clinical adverse events occurred in 18.1% of patients using 100 mg/day and 21.9% of those using 200-400 mg/day. The most frequent clinical adverse events were nausea and epigastric pain. Laboratory adverse events occurred in 24.1%; the most common was hypercholesterolemia, followed by hypertriglyceridemia. Four hundred sixty-two patients (71.6%) completed clinical follow-up, and all remained cured. Only 2 variables were significant in explaining the cure: patients with erythema nodosum healed faster, and lymphocutaneous form took longer to cure.

Conclusions: In the current series, the therapeutic response was excellent with the minimum dose of itraconazole, and there was a low incidence of adverse events and treatment failure.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Antifungal Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antifungal Agents / adverse effects
  • Brazil
  • Humans
  • Itraconazole / administration & dosage*
  • Itraconazole / adverse effects
  • Sporothrix / drug effects
  • Sporothrix / isolation & purification
  • Sporotrichosis / diagnosis
  • Sporotrichosis / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Itraconazole