One-Day Treatment of Herpes Drug Found Effective
Famciclovir (Famvir), in a single-dosetreatment, has been proven to stop theprogression to a full-blown outbreak ofrecurrent genital herpes (rGH) as well asto shorten the duration of the outbreak.Thus far, famciclovir is the only treatmenteffective for rGH in a single dose. A multicenter,randomized, double-blind,placebo-controlled study compared the1-g dose for 1-day famciclovir with placebo.When patients with rGH initiatedtreatment with famciclovir within 6hours of the first sign of outbreak, famciclovirreduced healing time of nonabortedlesions by 2 days. A higher percentageof patients experienced aborted lesionsin the famciclovir group (23.3%) than inthe placebo group (12.7%). In fact,patients taking famciclovir experienced areduction in duration of all symptoms:itching, pain, burning, tingling, and tenderness—3.3 days versus 5.4 days in theplacebo group. Lead investigator FredAoki, MD, of the University of Manitoba(Canada), concluded, "Famvir was effectivein a single-day dose because it provideda full course of therapy upfrontwhen the virus is most active."
Ms. Farley is a freelance medicalwriter based in Wakefield, RI.