Managing Patients with Vulvovaginal Candidiasis

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Epidemiologic studies have demonstrated a continuing increase in the prevalence of vulvovaginal candidiasis. Although in the past most of these infections were caused by Candida albicans, an increasing percentage are caused by non-albicans Candida species that are less sensitive to the most frequently used antifungal agents. An accurate diagnosis of these infections and the subsequent choice of the most appropriate therapy can only be made after a thorough evaluation of the patient. Successful treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis is dependent on compliance with therapy; thus, the treatment regimen chosen should fit the patient's daily lifestyle. Newer single-dose regimens offer the option of completing therapy with a single treatment for most patients with uncomplicated vaginal candidiasis. Use of topical agents avoids the potential systemic adverse effects and drug interactions that have been noted with oral antifungals. Patient education and support can also enhance satisfaction with the treatment plan and promote compilance.

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