One hundred and twelve patients with progressive pulmonary, skeletal, or soft tissue infections caused by Coccidioides immitis were randomly assigned to treatment with 400 or 800 mg per day dosages of ketoconazole. During therapy, if response was unsatisfactory, the protocol provided for treatment with higher doses. With 400 mg, ketoconazole resulted in 23.2 percent successes, which was similar to 32.1 percent successes with 800-mg treatments (p = 0.29). An additional six of 23 patients in whom initial therapy failed and who later received 1,200 or 1,600 mg per day of ketoconazole also showed improvement. However, among patients completing successful courses of therapy, relapses were more frequent in those requiring higher than 400-mg dosages for their success. From these studies, it is concluded that ketoconazole in doses above those currently recommended offer little or no benefit for most patients with non-meningeal forms of coccidioidomycosis.
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