Background Topical steroids are the first choice for the treatment of oral lichen planus (OLP). Antifungal drugs are often employed together with them, to prevent secondary oral candidosis, although it has been suggested anecdotally that they can also be beneficial for OLP itself.
Objectives To compare the effect of clobetasol propionate with and without a topical antifungal drug (miconazole) on the symptoms and extension of OLP.
Methods A randomized, parallel, double-blind trial was conducted at the Unit of Oral Medicine and Pathology of the University of Milan. Thirty-five outpatients with histologically proven OLP were randomly assigned to receive either clobetasol propionate and miconazole, or clobetasol propionate and placebo for 6 weeks. Primary outcomes included symptoms and extension of lesions; adverse effects were also recorded.
Results All the patients who concluded the study (30 of 35) showed clinical and subjective improvement within 3 weeks. The addition of miconazole did not affect in a significant way the signs and symptoms of OLP. No cases of clinical candidosis were seen in the patients taking miconazole, while one-third (five of 15) of the placebo group were affected.
Conclusions Although effective in preventing iatrogenic candidosis, the addition of miconazole to topical steroid treatment does not improve the efficacy of the therapy.