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AIDS. 2000 Jun 16;14(9):1211-7.

Efficacy and safety of famciclovir for treating mucocutaneous herpes simplex infection in HIV-infected individuals. Collaborative Famciclovir HIV Study Group.

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Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.



To compare the efficacy and safety of 7 days' treatment with famciclovir 500 mg twice a day versus acyclovir 400 mg five times a day, for mucocutaneous herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection in HIV-infected individuals.


Randomized, double-blind, parallel-group study to demonstrate equivalence for the primary efficacy parameter.


Forty-eight hospital-based or specialist public-health clinics in 12 countries.


Two-hundred and ninety-three HIV-positive patients with recurrent HSV infection (orolabial or genital) starting treatment within 48 h of first appearance of herpetic lesions.


Proportion of patients developing new lesions during treatment (primary outcome measures); Time to complete healing of lesions, time to cessation of viral shedding, time to loss of lesion-associated symptoms, number of withdrawals due to treatment failure (secondary outcome measures).


Equivalence was defined prospectively and famciclovir was equivalent to acyclovir in preventing new lesion formation: new lesions occurred in 16.7% and 13.3% of patients, respectively [difference, 3.4%; 95% confidence interval (CI), -4.8-11.5]. The groups were comparable in time to complete healing (median 7 days for both groups; hazard ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.79-1.29; P = 0.95), cessation of viral shedding (median of 2 days [hazard ratio = 0.93; 95% C.I. 0.68, 1.27; p = 0.64]), and loss of lesion-associated symptoms (median 4 days; hazard ratio, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.75-1.30; P = 0.93). Similar numbers in each group withdrew because of treatment failure. There were no differences between groups in the incidence of adverse events.


Famciclovir given twice a day is as effective and well tolerated as high-dose acyclovir for mucocutaneous HSV infections in HIV-infected individuals, and has the convenience of less frequent dosing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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