Itraconazole pulse therapy improves the quality of life of patients with toenail onychomycosis.
BACKGROUND: Toenail onychomycosis is a common disease that can have serious adverse effects on the quality of life (QOL) of patients.
AIM: To evaluate the impact of itraconazole pulse therapy on the QOL of patients with toenail onychomycosis.
METHODS: A total of 20 patients with disto-lateral subungual toenail onychomycosis were treated with itraconazole 200 mg twice daily for 1 week every 4 weeks for 12 weeks. The patients were asked to complete a QOL questionnaire before treatment and on the last follow-up visit (week 48). A score of 0-4 was given according to the five possible responses to each question and these were summed to give the final score of the patient. The mean of the final scores of the patients before and after treatment were compared using the Wilcoxon matched-pairs test.
RESULTS: At 48 weeks after commencing treatment, 14 patients (70%) responded to treatment (nine patients were cured with almost totally clear toenails and five patients improved), and 16 patients (80%) were mycologically cured (negative KOH smear and culture). The mean of the QOL scores of the patients before treatment was 18.0+/-7.8, which reduced to 13.1+/-11.3 after treatment (two-tailed, p=0.009).
CONCLUSION: Itraconazole pulse therapy is an effective treatment and can improve the QOL of patients with toenail onychomycosis.