Comparison of vaginal ointment of honey and clotrimazole for treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis: A random clinical trial

J Mycol Med. 2017 Dec;27(4):494-500. doi: 10.1016/j.mycmed.2017.07.003. Epub 2017 Jul 29.


Background and objective: Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is the most prevalent vaginitis in women, accounting for 10 million medical referrals a year. Vaginal clotrimazole is a drug of choice for VVC treatment. However, increased drug resistance to this microorganism has led to an interest in naturally derived antifungal drugs. This study was conducted to compare honey vaginal ointment and clotrimazole vaginal ointment for VVC treatment.

Methods: Eighty women diagnosed with VVC were assigned to two groups for honey ointment and clotrimazole ointment treatment using a simple randomization rule. The ointments were applied at night for seven days. The disease symptoms including inflammation, vaginal discharge, and irritation at baseline in the fourth and eighth days of treatment were examined and compared between the two groups. The data was analyzed by SPSS version 20 with the Friedman test, Chi-square test, and independent t-test. P<0.05 was considered as the significance.

Results: The two groups were similar for inflammation severity, irritation, and discharge at baseline. In both the groups, the symptoms disappeared after treatment. On the eighth day of treatment, there was a significant difference in inflammation and vaginal discharge between the two groups. Inflammation (P=0.002) and vaginal discharge (P=0.003) recovered better in the clotrimazole group. But there was no significant difference in irritation severity and satisfaction with treatment between the two groups. In the two groups, no side effects were reported.

Conclusion: Honey contributes to treating VVC. Thanks to the popular positive attitudes of honey, its availability, no need for sterility, and its cost-effectiveness, it is a choice of treatment for VVC.

Keywords: Candida albicans; Clotrimazole; Honey; Vaginitis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antifungal Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Candida albicans / drug effects*
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal / drug therapy*
  • Clotrimazole / administration & dosage
  • Clotrimazole / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Honey*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / microbiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Vagina / microbiology


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Clotrimazole