Fluconazole is a triazole antifungal agent that is widely used in the nursery. It is available in both intravenous and oral formulation, and is active against most of the fungal pathogens that require treatment when retrieved from culture samples in neonatal intensive care units. Although clinical use has been wide for over 15 years, there have been small safety and efficacy studies completed in young infants. Randomised clinical trials assessing effectiveness of this agent in prevention of systemic fungal infections in neonates have been published in the last decade, and one large additional randomised study has been recently completed. Nevertheless, a certain degree of uncertainty still exists regarding the kinetics and appropriate dosing of this agent in premature and term infants, as well as regarding safety. Areas of poignant debate include the feasibility of loading dose strategies, appropriate dosages in the early days of life in the different subgroups of preterm infants, and long-term safety of fluconazole administered in prophylaxis during the first weeks of life in extremely premature infants. This paper reviews the most recent evidence on fluconazole and its role in the NICU settings.
- Fungal infections
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology