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J Dermatol. 2010 Aug;37(8):699-702. doi: 10.1111/j.1346-8138.2010.00908.x.

Single-dose oral fluconazole versus topical clotrimazole in patients with pityriasis versicolor: A double-blind randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Dermatology, 5th Azar Hospital, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran.


This study was designed to compare the therapeutic effects of topical clotrimazole and systemic fluconazole in pityriasis versicolor. A double-blind randomized controlled trial was carried out in the dermatological clinic of Gorgan, northern Iran, between April 2006 and May 2007. All consecutive patients with pityriasis versicolor were included and randomly divided into two groups. In the first group (G1), patients underwent treatment with a single dose of fluconazole capsule (400 mg) and placebo cream. In the second group (G2), patients underwent treatment with clotrimazole cream (twice daily) and placebo capsule. The course of treatment was 2 weeks. All subjects were re-evaluated 2, 4 and 12 weeks after the end of the therapeutic course. After 2 weeks, the rate of complete resolution of disease was significantly higher in G2 than G1 (49.1% vs 30%). After 4 weeks, 41 patients (81.2%) of G1 and 52 patients (94.9%) of G2 showed complete resolution. After 12 weeks, 46 patients (92%) in G1 and 45 patients (81.8%) in G2 showed complete resolution. Recurrence rate in G1 and G2 were 6% and 18.2%, respectively. No complications were seen in either group. In this study, clinical response at week 4 was greater in the clotrimazole group than the fluconazole group. Recurrence at week 12 after treatment was less with oral fluconazole than clotrimazole cream. So, for better evaluation, more studies need to be done.

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