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Fluconazole Prophylaxis for the Prevention of Candidiasis in Infants Less Than 750 Grams Birthweight

This study has been completed.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Thrasher Research Fund
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Daniel Benjamin, Duke University Medical Center Identifier:
First received: August 13, 2008
Last updated: July 27, 2014
Last verified: July 2014

The most common etiology of infection-related death or neurodevelopmental impairment in neonates with birthweight <750 g is invasive candidiasis. Over 70% of the premature neonates who develop invasive candidiasis will die or suffer severe, permanent neurologic impairment. Fluconazole has been commonly used off-label in the neonatal intensive care unit, but definitive recommendations for its use in the nursery have been hampered by the limited number of well-designed trials. In neonates weighing <750 g, appropriate dosing is not known, definitive safety and long-term follow up trials have not been completed, and there have not been well-powered trials conducted to establish the efficacy of the product using mortality as part of the primary endpoint. Three recent proof-of-concept studies suggest that fluconazole will be safe and effective, and a recently completed pharmacokinetic study is providing data to give preliminary dosing guidance. The next logical step in drug development is proposed by this research: to conduct a pivotal trial to determine the safety and efficacy of fluconazole in premature neonates with 2-year neurodevelopmental follow-up assessment.

362 neonates, with a birthweight <750g, were randomized at 33 US centers, to twice weekly fluconazole (6 mg/kg) or placebo for the first 6 weeks of life. The primary efficacy endpoint will be Candida-free survival at study day 49. The research will establish definitive dosing, safety, and efficacy of fluconazole; it will also provide critical information on the effects of fluconazole on neurodevelopmental impairment and antifungal resistance.

Potential Impact:

Approximately 17,000 neonates are born <750 grams each year in the United States. Over 5000 will die or develop invasive Candida infections. Demonstrating safety and efficacy of fluconazole in preterm neonates will improve the survivability and long term outcomes for these neonates.

Condition Intervention Phase
Drug: fluconazole
Drug: placebo
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Fluconazole Prophylaxis for the Prevention of Candidiasis in Infants < 750 Grams Birth

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Duke University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Death or Candidiasis [ Time Frame: study day 49 ]

    The primary endpoint for the study is death or candidiasis.

    1. Death prior to study day 49.
    2. Candidiasis prior to study day 49

      1. Definite: isolation of Candida from normally sterile body fluid (blood, CSF, urine [obtained via sterile catheterization or suprapubic tap], peritoneal fluid).
      2. Probable:

      i. > 5 days of consecutive antifungal therapy

      AND both:

      ii. Thrombocytopenia <150,000/mm3 iii. Positive Candida culture from nonsterile site (ETS, bag urine)

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Neurodevelopmental Impairment [ Time Frame: 18-22 months corrected gestational age ]
    Bayley-III cognition composite score of less than 70, blindness, deafness, or cerebral palsy

  • Candidiasis [ Time Frame: prior to hospital discharge, up to 15 ½ months ]
    Definite or probable

  • Stage II or Higher Necrotizing Enterocolitis [ Time Frame: prior to hospital discharge, up to 15 ½ months ]
  • Focal Intestinal Perforation [ Time Frame: prior to hospital discharge, up to 15 ½ months ]
  • Chronic Lung Disease [ Time Frame: 36 weeks corrected gestational age ]
  • Patent Ductus Arterious Requiring Surgical Ligation [ Time Frame: prior to hospital discharge, up to 15 ½ months ]
  • Periventricular Leukomalacia [ Time Frame: prior to hospital discharge, up to 15 ½ months ]
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity Requiring Laser Surgery [ Time Frame: prior to hospital discharge, up to 15 ½ months ]
  • Length of Hospitalization [ Time Frame: prior to hospital discharge, up to 15 ½ months ]
  • Positive Bacterial Infection From a Sterile Site [ Time Frame: prior to hospital discharge, up to 15 ½ months ]
  • Intraventricular Hemorrhage [ Time Frame: prior to hospital discharge, up to 15 ½ months ]
    Grade 3 or 4

Enrollment: 362
Study Start Date: November 2008
Study Completion Date: April 2013
Primary Completion Date: December 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: 1
fluconazole 6mg/kg IV or PO twice weekly for 6 weeks
Drug: fluconazole
6mg/kg IV/PO twice weekly for a total of up to 12-13 doses
Other Name: Diflucan
Placebo Comparator: 2
Placebo IV or PO twice weekly for 6 weeks
Drug: placebo
normal saline (IV) or 3 parts Ora Plus oral suspension vehicle and 1 part simethicone suspension (PO): will be given twice weekly PO/IV for a total of up to 12-13 doses

Detailed Description:
362 subjects were randomized to the study at 33 US sites. Final study visits of Month 18-22 corrected age long term follow up were completed. Study database is locked.

Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 5 Days   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Informed consent from the legally authorized representative.
  • > 48 hours of age and < 120 hours old at time of first drug administration
  • < 750 g birth weight
  • Negative blood cultures for Candida

Exclusion Criteria:

  • History of a hypersensitivity or severe vasomotor reaction to any azole
  • receiving antifungal therapy for suspected/proven invasive fungal infection
  • medical condition, in the opinion of the Investigator, may create an unacceptable additional risk
  • diagnosed with invasive candidiasis or congenital Candida infection.
  • liver failure (AST and ALT > 250 U/L)
  • renal failure (creatinine > 2 mg/dL)
  • major lethal congenital or genetic anomalies
  • triplet or higher multiple gestations
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00734539

  Show 33 Study Locations
Sponsors and Collaborators
Daniel Benjamin
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Thrasher Research Fund
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Principal Investigator: Daniel K Benjamin, MD MPH PhD Duke Univerisity Medical Center, Duke Clinical Research Institute
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Daniel Benjamin, Professor of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center Identifier: NCT00734539     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Pro00001538
1R01HD057956-01 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Pro00017720 ( Other Identifier: DUMC )
Study First Received: August 13, 2008
Results First Received: June 17, 2014
Last Updated: July 27, 2014

Keywords provided by Duke University:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Antifungal Agents
Anti-Infective Agents
14-alpha Demethylase Inhibitors
Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme Inhibitors
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Steroid Synthesis Inhibitors
Hormone Antagonists
Hormones, Hormone Substitutes, and Hormone Antagonists
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C9 Inhibitors
Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C19 Inhibitors processed this record on May 24, 2017