Single-Dose Fluconazole Therapy for Oral Thrush in Hospice and Palliative Medicine Patients

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Abstract

Background:

Oral thrush is a common fungal infection of the mouth experienced by palliative medicine and hospice patients who have advanced cancer. Individuals often experience distressing symptoms that affect their oral intake with most regimens adding to pill burden. This is an open-label prospective observational study to assess the efficacy of a single-dose fluconazole 150 mg for oral thrush.

Methods:

Palliative medicine and hospice patients with a clinical diagnosis of oral thrush, a life expectancy of more than 1 week, and were able to swallow were enrolled. Signs and symptoms were evaluated on day 1 prior to administration of 150 mg of fluconazole and between days 3 to 5 after treatment.

Results:

Of 57 patients, 55 (96.5%) had more than 50% improvement in signs and symptoms. Both the number and severity of symptoms changed significantly posttreatment (P < .001). Side effects were few.

Conclusion:

Single-dose fluconazole 150 mg is an effective treatment of oral thrush for individuals with advanced cancer.

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