Does Treating Asthma with Antifungal Medication Work?

Doctors have been treating some kinds of severe asthma (i.e. SAFS) with antifungal medication for some years now but there is still dispute over whether or not it helps. The first group to report results of research in 2009 (Denning et. al.) found that asthma in patients who were given antifungal medication become more stable and enabled a lower dose of steroid to be given safely. In contrast Agbetile et.al (2014) found that using a different antifungal medication had no such effect.

This latest research looked back at a group of patients who have severe asthma that is sensitive to fungi. 41 patients were treated with a range of antifungal medications for 12 weeks and clear, significant improvements in asthma control, together with a reduction in the signs of allergy to fungi were found.

The results of this research support the conclusions of Denning et.al. that antifungal mediation is useful for many patients who have severe asthma with fungal sensitivity and that many patients can reduce or eliminate their use of corticosteroid drugs after taking an antifungal medication for a prolonged period >12 weeks.

It is worth pointing out that although it is good to reduce or eliminate the amount of steroid medication for many patients, especially those experiencing lots of adverse side effects, antifungal medication is very powerful too and also carries the liklihood of the patient experiencing a range of side effects. Nonetheless if this result is confirmed with further, larger clinical trials the it would appear that antifungal drugs could be a viable option to doctors treating severe asthma.

 

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