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Thirty-one patients with malignancy and endoscopy-confirmed symptomatic esophageal candidiasis were randomly assigned to receive oral fluconazole, 200 mg once daily, or intravenous amphotericin B, 0.3 mg/kg, over 1-4 weeks. Clinical efficacy was determined weekly and follow-up esophageal endoscopy with biopsy and culture performed whenever possible. Both agents produced rapid resolution of symptoms, especially dysphagia and odynophagia. All 13 evaluable patients in the fluconazole group and 10/12 treated with amphotericin had clinical improvement. Endoscopy showed eradication of the fungus in all 11 patients undergoing repeat endoscopy, with cure or improvement of esophagitis. The incidence of adverse effects attributable to treatment was higher in the amphotericin group. The efficacy of oral fluconazole in esophageal candidiasis appears to be equivalent to that of amphotericin, with fewer adverse reactions.


D E Lake, J Kunzweiler, M Beer, D N Buell, M Z Islam. Fluconazole versus amphotericin B in the treatment of esophageal candidiasis in cancer patients. Chemotherapy. 1996 Jul-Aug;42(4):308-14

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PMID: 8804799

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