Fluconazole combined with flucytosine for treatment of cryptococcal meningitis in patients with AIDS

Clin Infect Dis. 1994 Oct;19(4):741-5. doi: 10.1093/clinids/19.4.741.


Treatment of cryptococcal meningitis with amphotericin B or fluconazole is often unsuccessful; in only 35%-40% of cases do CSF cultures become negative by 10 weeks after initiation of such therapy. We conducted a prospective, open-label clinical trial involving persons with AIDS to determine whether the rate of clinical success would improve when fluconazole (400 mg daily) was combined with flucytosine (150 mg/kg daily). At the conclusion of 10 weeks of therapy, 75% (95% confidence interval, 58%-87%) of 32 subjects' CSF cultures were negative. The Kaplan-Meier estimate of clinical success at 10 weeks was 63% (95% confidence interval, 48%-82%). The median time to negativity of the CSF culture was 23 days. Toxic side effects that were sufficiently severe to lead to the withdrawal of flucytosine were observed in nine subjects (28%). In this pilot study of fluconazole combined with flucytosine, the rate of clinical success at 10 weeks was greater than that previously reported with regard to the use of fluconazole alone or amphotericin B alone.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / drug therapy*
  • Adult
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / microbiology
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / isolation & purification
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Fluconazole / administration & dosage
  • Fluconazole / therapeutic use*
  • Flucytosine / administration & dosage
  • Flucytosine / adverse effects
  • Flucytosine / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Cryptococcal / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Meningitis, Cryptococcal / drug therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis


  • Fluconazole
  • Flucytosine