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BMJ Clin Evid. 2013 Nov 8;2013:1304.

Candidiasis (oropharyngeal).

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King's College London at Guy's, King's and St Thomas's Dental Institute, London, UK.



Candida is a fungus present in the mouths of up to 60% of healthy people, but overt infection is associated with immunosuppression, diabetes, broad-spectrum antibiotics, and corticosteroid use. In most people, untreated candidiasis persists for months or years unless associated risk factors are treated or eliminated. In neonates, spontaneous cure of oropharyngeal candidiasis usually occurs after 3 to 8 weeks.


We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of interventions to prevent and treat oropharyngeal candidiasis in: adults undergoing treatments that cause immunosuppression; infants and children; people with dentures; and people with HIV infection? Which antifungal treatments reduce the risk of acquiring resistance to antifungal drugs? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to July 2013 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).


We found 47 RCTs or systematic reviews of RCTs that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.


In this systematic review, we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: antifungals (absorbed, partially or topically absorbed, or non-absorbed; for example, imidazole [ketoconazole, clotrimazole, toiconazole, miconazole], polyene [amphotericin B, nystatin], triazole [fluconazole, itraconazole], melaleuca and posaconazole), intermittent or continuous prophylaxis, or treatment, and denture hygiene.

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