Objectives: Candida vaginitis is currently treated with a wide range of intravaginal preparations usually prescribed over several days. Fluconazole with its marked activity against Candida species and favorable pharmacokinetics offered a safe, effective, and convenient alternative to topical therapy in a single-dose regimen.
Study design: We conducted a multicenter, randomized, prospective, single-blinded study of 429 patients with acute Candida vaginitis, comparing the efficacy and safety of a single oral 150 mg dose of fluconazole with 7-day clotrimazole 100 mg vaginal treatment. Posttherapy evaluations and mycologic eradication rates were conducted.
Results: No statistically significant differences were seen between fluconazole and clotrimazole in the clinical, mycologic, or therapeutic responses. At the 14-day evaluation clinical cure or improvement was seen in 94% of fluconazole-treated patients and 97% of clotrimazole-treated patients. Mycologic and therapeutic cures were seen in 77% and 76% of the fluconazole and 72% of the clotrimazole groups, respectively. At the 35-day evaluation 75% of both groups remained clinically cured, and 56% of the fluconazole and 52% of the clotrimazole group were considered therapeutic cures. In both treatment groups patients with a history of recurrent vaginitis (33/84) compared with those without a history of recurrent vaginitis (177/266) were significantly less likely to respond clinically and mycologically (p < 0.001). Twenty-seven percent of the fluconazole-treated patients and 17% of the clotrimazole-treated patients reported mild side effects only.
Conclusion: Fluconazole administered as a single 150 mg oral dose proved to be as safe and effective as 7 days of intravaginal clotrimazole therapy for Candida vaginitis. Therapy of vaginitis should be individualized, taking into consideration severity of disease, history of recurrent vaginitis, and patient preference.