This study was designed to compare the effectiveness of fluconazole vs. itraconazole as maintenance therapy for AIDS-associated cryptococcal meningitis. HIV-infected patients who had been successfully treated (achieved negative culture of CSF) for a first episode of cryptococcal meningitis were randomized to receive fluconazole or itraconazole, both at 200 mg/d, for 12 months. The study was stopped prematurely on the recommendation of an independent Data Safety and Monitoring Board. At the time, 13 (23%) of 57 itraconazole recipients had experienced culture-positive relapse, compared with 2 relapses (4%) noted among 51 fluconazole recipients (P = .006). The factor best associated with relapse was the patient having not received flucytosine during the initial 2 weeks of primary treatment for cryptococcal disease (relative risk = 5.88; 95% confidence interval, 1.27-27.14; P = .04). Fluconazole remains the treatment of choice for maintenance therapy for AIDS- associated cryptococcal disease. Flucytosine may contribute to the prevention of relapse if used during the first 2 weeks of primary therapy.