ONCOLOGY Vol 15 No 11

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European Experience With Oral Solution and Intravenous Itraconazole

November 1st 2001

The availability of an improved oral solution and an intravenous (IV) formulation of itraconazole (Sporanox) promises to have an effect on prevention and treatment of fungal infection in immunocompromised patients. Use of itraconazole in neutropenic patients with hematologic malignancies has been evaluated in a number of European studies. Treatment with IV followed by oral itraconazole resulted in response or stable disease in two-thirds of patients with invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Empiric treatment with IV followed by oral solution itraconazole was at least as effective as, and significantly less toxic than, amphotericin B. Several studies of oral solution prophylaxis indicate effectiveness in prevention of fungal infection. Oral solution and IV itraconazole are useful in a variety of situations in prophylaxis, empiric therapy, and treatment of probable/confirmed infection. Itraconazole exhibits a broad spectrum of activity against Aspergillus and Candida species. It has potential advantages over fluconazole (Diflucan), which does not exhibit in vitro activity against Aspergillus and most non-albicans Candida species, and amphotericin B, which is associated with a high incidence of toxicity. Aggressive use of itraconazole and amphotericin B preparations in treatment of fungal infection at Royal Free Hospital may have reduced mortality associated with aspergillosis. [ONCOLOGY 15(Suppl 9):27-32, 2001]