Six RCTs (n=1,092) were included. The included trials were of low quality, with none meeting more than three of the six quality criteria.
There was no significant difference between treatments for: either clinical cure or mycologic cure at first or second visit; or between adverse events from the nervous system or the digestive system; or with respect to withdrawal of patients because of severe adverse events. A difference was detected in favour of fluconazole for the combined clinical and microbiologic cure (n=491) based on data from three RCTs (OR 0.5, 95% CI: 0.32, 0.79). There was no evidence of significant publication bias.
Intention to treat patients (n=186) had no adverse events from skin tissues noted for either treatment. The proportion of patients with adverse events in subcutaneous tissues was two per cent for fluconazole and 12 per cent for itraconazole. Recurrence of symptoms (n=376) was noted in nine per cent of fluconazole patients and 13 per cent of itraconazole patients.