Pfizer announced Tuesday that it has received Food and Drug Administration approval to market its new antifungal medication Vfend to treat esophageal candidiasis, a common AIDS-related complication often called thrush. Candida organisms are found on the skin and mucous membranes of most people, but those with weakened immune systems, including people with HIV, those receiving chemotherapy, and organ transplant recipients are often unable to control the fungus, and it multiplies uncontrollably. This can result in serious infections, including esophageal candidiasis, in which the fungus coats much of the surface of the mouth, causing pain and difficulty swallowing. It may also lead to a more serious, invasive fungal infection.
Vfend was approved after a clinical trial showed it had a higher success rate in treating thrush than the commonly prescribed antifungal medication fluconazole. Vfend has already been approved by the FDA for the treatment of acute invasive aspergillosis and as salvage therapy for several serious fungal infections. The drug can be administered orally or intravenously. For more information about the medication, go online to www.vfend.com.