Introduction: Vulvovaginal candidiasis is estimated to be the second most common cause of vaginitis after bacterial vaginosis. Candida albicans accounts for 85% to 90% of cases.
Methods and outcomes: We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of drug treatments for acute vulvovaginal candidiasis in non-pregnant symptomatic women? What are the effects of alternative or complementary treatments for acute vulvovaginal candidiasis in non-pregnant symptomatic women? What are the effects of treating asymptomatic non-pregnant women with a positive swab for candidiasis? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to October 2013 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results: We found 23 studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
Conclusions: In this systematic review, we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: alternative or complementary treatments; douching; drug treatments; garlic; intravaginal preparations (nystatin, imidazoles, tea tree oil); oral fluconazole; oral itraconazole; and yoghurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus (oral or intravaginal).