Systemic antifungal therapy for tinea capitis in children: An abridged Cochrane Review

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Abstract

Background:

The comparative efficacy and safety profiles of systemic antifungal drugs for tinea capitis in children remain unclear.

Objective:

We sought to assess the effects of systemic antifungal drugs for tinea capitis in children.

Methods:

We used standard Cochrane methodological procedures.

Results:

We included 25 randomized controlled trials with 4449 participants. Terbinafine and griseofulvin had similar effects for children with mixed Trichophyton and Microsporum infections (risk ratio 1.08, 95% confidence interval 0.94-1.24). Terbinafine was better than griseofulvin for complete cure of T tonsurans infections (risk ratio 1.47, 95% confidence interval 1.22-1.77); griseofulvin was better than terbinafine for complete cure of infections caused solely by Microsporum species (risk ratio 0.68, 95% confidence interval 0.53-0.86). Compared with griseofulvin or terbinafine, itraconazole and fluconazole had similar effects against Trichophyton infections.

Limitations:

All included studies were at unclear or high risk of bias. Lower quality evidence resulted in a lower confidence in the estimate of effect. Significant clinical heterogeneity existed across studies.

Conclusions:

Griseofulvin or terbinafine are both effective; terbinafine is more effective for T tonsurans and griseofulvin for M canis infections. Itraconazole and fluconazole are alternative but not optimal choices for Trichophyton infections. Optimal regimens of antifungal agents need further studies.

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