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Int J Clin Pract. 2014 Jan;68(1):20-7. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.12231.

Antifungal step-down therapy based on hospital intravenous to oral switch policy and susceptibility testing in adult patients with candidaemia: a single centre experience.

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Department of Microbiology, University Hospital Crosshouse, Kilmarnock, UK.



Echinocandins are recommended for the treatment of candidaemia in moderately severe to severely ill patients. Step-down or de-escalation from echinocandin to fluconazole is advised in patients who are clinically stable but data in relation to step-down therapy are sparse. Using our hospital intravenous to oral switch therapy (IVOST) policy to guide antifungal de-escalation in patients with candidaemia, we aimed to determine what proportion of patients are de-escalated to fluconazole, the timescale to step-down, associated reduction in consumption of echinocandins and antifungal cost savings.


Patients with candidaemia were followed from April 2011 to March 2013.


A total of 37 episodes of candidaemia were documented during the study period. Twenty-seven patients were commenced on an echinocandin or voriconazole and 19 (70.3%) were de-escalated to fluconazole based on the IVOST policy. The mean and median number of days to de-escalation of therapy was 4.6 and 5 days, respectively. One patient whose therapy was de-escalated relapsed. The overall 30 day crude mortality was 37.1%. The step-down approach led to significant saving in antifungal drug cost of £1133.88 per candidaemic episode and £2208.08 per de-escalation.


Implementation of IVOST policy led to streamlining of antifungal therapy.

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