Medicina (Kaunas). 2021 Jun 26;57(7):656. doi: 10.3390/medicina57070656.
Background and Objectives: Overtreatment with antifungal drugs is often observed. Antifungal stewardship (AFS) focuses on optimizing the treatment for invasive fungal diseases. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the utility of a post-prescription audit plus beta-D-glucan (BDG) assessment on reducing echinocandin use in persons with suspected invasive candidiasis. Materials and Methods: This is a prospective, pre-post quasi-experimental study of people starting echinocandins for suspected invasive candidiasis. The intervention of the study included review of each echinocandin prescription and discontinuation of treatment if a very low probability of fungal disease or a negative BDG value were found. Pre-intervention data were compared with the intervention phase. The primary outcome of the study was the duration of echinocandin therapy. Secondary outcomes were length of hospital stay and mortality. Results: Ninety-two echinocandin prescriptions were reviewed, 49 (53.3%) in the pre-intervention phase and 43 (46.7%) in the intervention phase. Discontinuation of antifungal therapy was possible in 21 of the 43 patients in the intervention phase (48.8%). The duration of echinocandin therapy was 7.4 (SD 4.7) in the pre-intervention phase, 4.1 days (SD 2.9) in persons undergoing the intervention, and 8.6 (SD 7.3) in persons in whom the intervention was not feasible (p at ANOVA = 0.016). Length of stay and mortality did not differ between pre-intervention and intervention phases. Conclusions: An intervention based on pre-prescription restriction and post-prescription audit when combined with BDG measurement is effective in optimizing antifungal therapy by significantly reducing excessive treatment duration.