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DIFLUCAN (FLUCANAZOLE) DEMONSTRATES SUPERIOR EFFICACY TO AMPHOTERICIN B IN PREVENTING RELAPSE OF AIDS-RELATED CRYPTOCOCCAL MENINGITIS

DIFLUCAN (FLUCANAZOLE) DEMONSTRATES SUPERIOR EFFICACY TO AMPHOTERICIN B
 IN PREVENTING RELAPSE OF AIDS-RELATED CRYPTOCOCCAL MENINGITIS
 NEW YORK, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Oral Diflucan (TM) (fluconazole) has been found to be more effective than weekly therapy with intravenous amphotericin B in preventing relapse in patients with AIDS-associated cryptococcal meningitis after primary treatment with amphotericin B, according to a study published March 19 in The New England Journal of Medicine.
 In a randomized, multicenter trial, the Mycoses Study Group of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NAIAD) and the AIDS Clinical Trials Group studied 189 patients with AIDS who had completed primary therapy for cryptococcal meningitis with amphotericin B. Cryptococcal meningitis is one of the most common life-threatening opportunistic fungal diseases in patients infected with HIV. A high relapse rate after the initial infection necessitates maintenance therapy.
 Patients were randomly assigned to receive either 200 mg oral Diflucan once-daily or 1 mg per kilogram of amphotericin B by intravenous infusion once weekly.
 Study findings indicate that the probability of being relapse-free with Diflucan maintenance therapy (97 percent after one year) was significantly higher than that with amphotericin B (78 percent; p less than 0.001).
 Treatment with Diflucan was associated with significantly fewer side effects (p less than 0.001). Sixty-two percent of the patients receiving Diflucan reported no adverse events, as compared with 33 percent of the amphotericin B group. Fever, chills, and hypotension were more common in the amphotericin B group, whereas skin rashes were more common in the Diflucan group. In addition, bacterial infections and bacteremia were more common in the amphotericin B group, probably related to the use of intravenous catheters necessary to administer the drug.
 The study investigators concluded: "At a dose of 200 mg per day, fluconazole is well tolerated and effective, and it should be regarded as the maintenance treatment of choice."
 Diflucan, an oral antifungal agent discovered by Pfizer Central Research and first introduced in the U.S. in 1990, has been used for fungal infections due to candida and cryptococcal meningitis. The most common side effects associated with Diflucan are nausea (3.7 percent), headache (1.9 percent) and skin rash (1.8 percent).
 Diflucan (fluconazole) is marketed in the U.S. by Roerig, a division of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE; PFE), a diversified, research-based health care company.
 Prescription information for Diflucan (fluconazole -- 50, 100 and 200 mg tablets) is available from Roerig on request.
 -0- 3/26/92
 /CONTACT: A.A. Biesada, 212-573-2055, or Rick Honey, 212-573-2051, both of Pfizer/
 (PFE) CO: Pfizer Inc.; Roerig ST: New York IN: MTC SU:


TQ -- NY084 -- 2150 03/26/92 16:56 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 26, 1992
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