DETROIT – A once-daily medication option for treating the most common mouth infection in HIV/AIDS patients has shown to be just as effective and safe as taking an anti-fungal pill five times a day, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.
Researchers found that a small tablet applied daily that sticks to the gum and dissolves inside the mouth with few or no side effects is a novel, convenient option for treating an infection called oral candidiasis (OC), which occurs in about one third to one half of HIV patients and up to 90 percent of AIDS patients.
The study is believed to be the largest to date involving HIV/AIDS patients with OC. The infection is also common in patients suffering from many forms of cancer, especially those with head and neck cancer, in which the infection rate is as high 77 percent.
The study is being presented Monday at the 49th annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in San Francisco.
"This is an exciting new, convenient way for treating this infection," says Jose A. Vazquez, M.D., the study's lead author and a Henry Ford Infectious Disease physician.
"It's a tablet that you just stick on the gum and it releases an anti-fungal agent over the course of six to eight hours. Because the anti-fungal agent stays in the mouth, it provides the same relief as the oral medication but with few or no side effects."
Dr. Vazquez says medication taken orally or by injection often is absorbed into other parts of the body, thus causing side effects for patients such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and liver dysfunction.
The study compared the effectiveness and safety of taking 50 milligrams of a miconazole mucoadhesive buccal tablet once-daily to 10 milligrams of clotrimazole, a common anti-fungal pill five times a day. Of the 578 patients enrolled in the randomized study, 291 received the tablet and 287 received the clotrimazole pill.