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The in vitro activity of ciclopirox olamine was evaluated against Cryptococcus spp. obtained from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of immunocompromised patients.The antifungal activity of ciclopirox olamine was tested against Cryptococcus spp. obtained from the CSF of immunocompromised patients, using amphotericin B and fluconazole as controls. The minimal inhibitory concentration was determined following the microdilution method indicated by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. The minimal fungicide concentration was determined by the absence of growth on Sabouraud dextrose agar. The data obtained showed that antifungal activity of ciclopirox olamine ranged from 0·25 to 1 μg ml−1.This paper underscores the importance of the antifungal potential of ciclopirox olamine against Cryptococcus spp. as an alternative treatment against systemic cryptococosis. In vivo experiments are essential for future medical use.This was the first time that ciclopirox olamine was tested against Cryptococcus spp. using the reference method. The antifungal activity of this drug against this species suggests an applicable potential for systemic cryptococcosis therapy.