How is cryptococcal meningitis treated?

Updated: Jul 16, 2019
  • Author: Rodrigo Hasbun, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Cryptococcal meningitis is a major opportunistic infection in AIDS patients. For initial therapy in these cases, administer amphotericin B (0.7-1 mg/kg/day IV) for at least 2 weeks, with or without flucytosine (100 mg/kg orally), in 4 divided doses. Liposomal preparations of amphotericin B may be used in patients who either have or are predisposed to develop renal dysfunction (amphotericin B liposome 3-4 mg/kg/day or amphotericin B lipid complex 5 mg/kg/day).

Fluconazole is given for consolidation therapy (400 mg/day for 8 weeks); itraconazole is an alternative if fluconazole is not tolerated. For maintenance therapy, long-term administration of fluconazole (200 mg/day) is most effective in preventing relapse (superior to itraconazole and amphotericin B at 1 mg/kg weekly). The risk of relapse is high in patients with AIDS.


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