Current treatment options for vulvovaginal candidiasis caused by azole-resistant Candida species

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2018 Jun;19(9):971-977. doi: 10.1080/14656566.2018.1476490. Epub 2018 Jun 22.


Introduction: Clinicians are increasingly challenged by patients with refractory vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) caused by azole-resistant Candida species. Fluconazole resistant C.albicans is a growing and perplexing problem following years of indiscriminate drug prescription and unnecessary drug exposure and for which there are few therapeutic alternatives. Regrettably, although the azole class of drugs has expanded, new classes of antifungal drugs have not been forthcoming, limiting effective treatment options in patients with azole resistant Candida vaginitis.

Areas covered: This review covers published data on epidemiology, pathophysiology and treatment options for women with azole-resistant refractory VVC.

Expert opinion: Fluconazole resistant C.albicans adds to the challenge of azole resistant non-albicans Candida spp. Both issues follow years of indiscriminate drug prescription and unnecessary fluconazole exposure. Although an understanding of azole resistance in yeast has been established, this knowledge has not translated into useful therapeutic advantage. Treatment options for such women with refractory symptoms are extremely limited. New therapeutic options and strategies are urgently needed to meet this challenge of azole drug resistance.

Keywords: Azole resistance vulvovaginal candidiasis; fluconazole resistant vaginitis refractory candida vulvovaginitis; recurrent candida vulvovaginitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 14-alpha Demethylase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • 14-alpha Demethylase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Boric Acids / pharmacology
  • Boric Acids / therapeutic use
  • Candida / drug effects
  • Candida / isolation & purification
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal / drug therapy*
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal / microbiology
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal / pathology
  • Drug Resistance, Fungal / drug effects
  • Female
  • Fluconazole / pharmacology
  • Fluconazole / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests


  • 14-alpha Demethylase Inhibitors
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Boric Acids
  • Fluconazole
  • boric acid