Background: Fluconazole prophylaxis is effective in preventing invasive candidiasis in extremely low-birthweight (ELBW) infants. The authors previously reported an increased incidence of cholestasis with fluconazole prophylaxis in ELBW infants, which led to fluconazole prophylaxis being changed to a less frequent dosing (LFD) schedule of twice a week at their institution. The purpose of the present study was therefore to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of LFD fluconazole prophylaxis in preventing invasive candidiasis in ELBW infants.
Methods: ELBW infants who received the LFD regimen of fluconazole (twice a week for up to 6 weeks) were compared with infants who received the frequent dosing (FD) schedule (every 72 h for first 2 weeks, every 48 h for next 2 weeks and every 24 h for the final 2 weeks). The two groups were compared for baseline demographics, risk factors for candidiasis, the rate of invasive fungal infection and the incidence and severity of cholestasis.
Results: There was no significant difference in the incidence of invasive candidiasis in infants who received the LFD (2/104, 2%) compared to FD (0/140, 0%; P= 0.4) fluconazole prophylaxis. The severity of cholestasis was lower and a trend towards decreased incidence of cholestasis was observed on the LFD schedule.
Conclusion: The LFD regimen of fluconazole prophylaxis is effective in preventing invasive fungal infection in ELBW infants. The severity of cholestasis was decreased with the LFD schedule.