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Systematic review of topical treatments for fungal infections of the skin and nails of the feet

Hart, Rachel, Crawford, Fay, Torgerson, David J., Young, Philip, Russell, Ian and Bell-Syer, Sally E.M. (1999) Systematic review of topical treatments for fungal infections of the skin and nails of the feet. British medical journal. 79-82F. ISSN 0959-8138

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To identify and synthesise the evidence for efficacy and cost effectiveness of topical treatments for superficial fungal infections of the skin and nails of the feet. DESIGN: Systematic review. INTERVENTIONS: Topical treatments for superficial fungal infections. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Cure confirmed by culture and microscopy for skin and by culture for nails in patients with clinically diagnosed fungal infections. RESULTS: Of 126 trials identified in 121 papers, 72 (57.1%) met the inclusion criteria. Placebo controlled trials yielded pooled relative risks of failure to cure skin infections: allylamines (0.30, 95% confidence interval 0.24 to 0.38); azoles (0.54, 0.42 to 0.68); undecenoic acid (0.28, 0.11 to 0.74); and tolnaftate (0.46, 0.17 to 1.22). Although meta-analysis of 11 trials comparing allylamines and azoles showed a relative risk of failure to cure of 0.88 (0.78 to 0.99) in favour of allylamines, there was evidence of language bias. Seven reports in English favoured allylamines (0.79, 0.69 to 0.91), but four reports in foreign languages showed no difference between the two drugs (1.01, 0.90 to 1.13). Neither trial of nail infections showed significant differences between alternative topical treatments. CONCLUSIONS: Allylamines, azoles, and undecenoic acid were efficacious in placebo controlled trials. There are sufficient comparative trials to judge relative efficacy only between allylamines and azoles. Allylamines cure slightly more infections than azoles but are much more expensive than azoles. The most cost effective strategy is first to treat with azoles or undecenoic acid and to use allylamines only if that fails.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd
Keywords: TERBINAFINE 1-PERCENT CREAM, RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIALS, INTERDIGITAL TINEA-PEDIS, NITRATE 2-PERCENT CREAM, DOUBLE-BLIND, COMPARATIVE EFFICACY, MULTICENTER TRIALS, CLINICAL-TRIALS, NAFTIFINE CREAM, AMOROLFINE
Academic Units: The University of York > Health Sciences (York)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2004
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2013 14:39
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7202.79
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/45

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