Conference Coverage

New antifungals effective with shorter treatment course for tinea pedis




LAS VEGAS – Tinea pedis plagues millions of patients yearly, and treatment is lengthy, cumbersome, and often ineffective.

But two potent new antifungals promise an easier treatment regimen and a higher rate of successful treatment outcomes, according to Dr. David M. Pariser, who shared data about luliconazole and a new formulation of naftifine as topical treatments for tinea infections, at the Skin Disease Education Foundation’s annual Las Vegas dermatology seminar.

Dr. David M. Pariser

Dr. David M. Pariser

Dr. Pariser, professor in the department of dermatology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, pointed out that most antifungals currently approved for tinea pedis require at least daily – and sometimes twice daily – application for at least 4 weeks. Terbinafine and tolnaftate are the exceptions, with treatment periods ranging from 1-6 weeks for the two products, depending on clinical response.

A new formulation of naftifine hydrochloride 2%, (Naftin), a potent prescription topical allylamine antifungal available as a cream or a gel, has shown equivalent efficacy with just two weeks of treatment. Naftifine has lipophilic and keratinophilic properties; further, it has clinically significant anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects, in addition to its potent fungicidal and fungistatic effects against dermatophytes, Dr. Pariser said at the meeting. The preparations are currently approved for topical treatment of tinea pedis, tinea cruris, and tinea corporis.

Notably, naftifine maintains a “clinically relevant therapeutic reservoir effect after treatment completion, with naftifine detected in the stratum corneum for up to 4 weeks posttreatment,” he said. This reservoir effect permits a significantly easier treatment regimen, with topical application of either formulation daily for just 2 weeks.

The clinical trials of naftifine HCl 2% with daily administration for 2 weeks showed equivalence with the 1% formulation administered for 4 weeks; the higher concentration was well tolerated and was effective in both the moccasin and interdigital distributions of tinea pedis involvement. Trials also showed the mycologic and clinical cure rates of naftifine 2% to be equivalent or superior to those of terbinafine, econazole, clotrimazole, miconazole, and tolnaftate.

Clinical trials showed treatment effectiveness – defined as 90% improvement over baseline and achieving “essentially normal skin” – in 52% of patients receiving naftifine 2%, compared with 20% of patients receiving vehicle only. Overall clinical success – defined as mycologic cure and either clinical cure of effective clinical treatment – was seen in 78% of the naftifine 2% patients, compared with 49% of the vehicle patients.

The second antifungal Dr. Pariser discussed is luliconazole (Luzu), a prescription topical imidazole that is available as a 1% cream. Luliconazole is also a broad-spectrum, potent antifungal with effects that persist several weeks after treatment. The preparation is at least as effective as bifonazole, terbinafine, and lanoconazole, both in vitro and in vivo, Dr. Pariser said.

In two parallel clinical trials comparing luliconazole 1% cream to its vehicle, treatment was effective (at least 90% clearing and with normal-appearing skin) in 48% and 33% of patients receiving luliconazole, compared with 10% and 15% of patients receiving vehicle alone.

An advantage of the topical agents is that there are generally no major systemic side effects, since there is minimal systemic absorption, Dr. Pariser noted. Allergic contact dermatitis may be a local reaction, but tends to be mild and transient, he said.

Clinicians should always be alert for tinea pedis when treating onychomycosis, said Dr. Pariser, and untreated tinea can contribute to recurrence of nail fungus. “If you don’t look for tinea, you might not find it, and you’ve missed a treatment opportunity,” he said.

Dr. Pariser disclosed that he is an investigator and consultant for Valeant and an investigator for Anacor Pharmaceuticals.

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