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Capsules

Antifungal drug can curb yeast infections

August 30, 2004|From Associated Press

Three out of four women get at least one vaginal yeast infection sometime in their lives. But up to 8% of all women get four or more of these infections a year, some as often as once a month.

Now a study has found that regular preventive doses of the antifungal drug fluconazole can ward off the painful infections.

The study, led by Dr. Jack D. Sobel, chief of infectious disease at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Michigan, involved 387 women suffering from recurrent Candida albicans, the most frequent cause of yeast infections. Each participant took three fluconazole pills three days apart. For the next six months, one group took a weekly dose and another group took dummy pills.

At the end of six months, 91% of those on fluconazole were clear of the yeast, compared with 36% of the placebo group. During the next six months, nearly 43% of the women who had taken fluconazole stayed infection-free, compared with 22% of those on the placebo.

The study was published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine and was underwritten by Pfizer, which makes the fluconazole pill Diflucan.

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