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Support Care Cancer. 2011 Jan;19(1):19-26. doi: 10.1007/s00520-009-0783-3. Epub 2009 Dec 3.

Efficacy and safety of intravenous voriconazole and intravenous itraconazole for antifungal prophylaxis in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome.

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Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Unit 428, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



To compare the efficacy and safety of voriconazole with itraconazole as prophylaxis in leukemia patients.


Open-label, randomized study. Patients with acute myelogenous leukemia or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome undergoing induction chemotherapy or first salvage were eligible. Patients received voriconazole (400 mg intravenous (i.v.) every 12 h for two doses, followed by 300 mg BID) or itraconazole (200 mg i.v. twice daily for 2 days, followed by 200 mg i.v. daily).


A total of 127 patients were enrolled. Four were excluded because they did not receive study drug (n=3) or received two antifungal agents during the first week on study (n =1), leaving 123 patients for analysis. None of the 71 patients receiving voriconazole developed proven or probable invasive fungal infection, compared to two (4%) of the 52 patients receiving itraconazole (P=0.17). Drug discontinuation because of adverse events occurred in 15 patients (21%) receiving voriconazole and six (11%) receiving itraconazole (P=0.23).


Voriconazole is a good alternative for prophylaxis in patients with leukemia. Elevated baseline bilirubin levels were associated with a higher risk of side effects in patients receiving i.v. voriconazole or i.v. itraconazole. Monitoring of liver function and drug levels should be considered for some patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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