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Placebo Cure Rates in the Treatment of Onychomycosis

Aditya K. Gupta MD, PhD1,2 and Maryse Paquet PhD2
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  • 1 Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
  • | 2 Mediprobe Research Inc, London, ON, Canada.
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Placebo cure rates vary among randomized clinical trials for onychomycosis, but the factors influencing these cure rates have not been systematically investigated. The PubMed database and reference sections of relevant publications were searched for randomized controlled trials of dermatophyte toenail onychomycosis that included a placebo control and that assessed cure rates. From 21 studies, the pooled mean ± SD placebo cure rates regarding mycological, clinical, and complete cure were 8.7% ± 3.7%, 3.4% ± 2.2%, and 1.2% ± 1.4%, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between oral and topical treatments. None of the cure rates significantly correlated with any of the participant or study design characteristics analyzed. Placebo cure rates in randomized controlled trials of toenail onychomycosis are relatively low and are independent of the study characteristics.

Corresponding author: Aditya K. Gupta, MD, PhD, 645 Windermere Rd, London, ON, N5X 2P1 Canada. (E-mail: agupta@execulink.com)