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Clin Infect Dis. 2005 Oct 15;41(8):1097-104. Epub 2005 Sep 12.

Clinic-initiated, twice-daily oral famciclovir for treatment of recurrent genital herpes: a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial.

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Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.



Famciclovir, the oral prodrug of penciclovir, is effective for the treatment of recurrent genital herpes. This randomized, clinic-initiated, double-blind trial compared the therapeutic efficacy and safety of treatment with famciclovir at dosages of 125 mg, 250 mg, and 500 mg twice daily for 5 days with placebo in immunocompetent adults with a recurrent episode of genital herpes.


Efficacy and tolerability were assessed in 308 patients with lesions present for no more than 6.5 h at the time of the first dose. Two assessments per day were performed to increase the precision of the determination of study end points.


All doses of famciclovir were significantly more effective than placebo in reducing the time to cessation of viral shedding, complete lesion healing, and loss of all lesion-associated symptoms, particularly lesion tenderness, pain, and itching. Patients receiving treatment with famciclovir were significantly less likely to experience new lesions than were patients receiving placebo. All doses of famciclovir were tolerated as well as placebo was. There was no difference in efficacy or tolerability among the different doses of famciclovir; the lowest effective dose was 125 mg twice per day.


In immunocompetent adults with recurrent genital herpes, a 5-day course of famciclovir at a dosage of 125 mg, 250 mg, or 500 mg twice per day was significantly more effective than was placebo in reducing the duration of viral shedding and symptoms and in accelerating lesion healing. These results support the use of treatment with famciclovir at a dosage of 125 mg for 5 days as an effective, well-tolerated treatment for episodes of recurrent genital herpes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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