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Sex Transm Dis. 2007 May;34(5):297-301.

A comparison of one year of episodic or suppressive treatment of recurrent genital herpes with valacyclovir.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. kfife@iupui.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We conducted this study to compare episodic and suppressive therapy for genital herpes about disease characteristics, disease burden, and psychologic impact.

STUDY DESIGN:

The authors conducted a randomized, open-label, 1-year treatment trial.

RESULTS:

Forty subjects were randomized to episodic therapy with valacyclovir (500 mg twice daily for 5 days) and 40 to suppressive therapy (500 mg daily). Subjects in the episodic arm experienced more outbreaks (7.87 +/- 4.65) than those in the suppressive arm (1.59 +/- 1.93) (P <0.001). Subjects in the episodic arm also had significantly more days with pain and lesions (6.5 +/- 7.3) than those in the suppressive arm (1.1 +/- 3.3) (P < 0.001), and other quantitative measures of disease burden also favored the suppressive arm. Both treatment groups had significant improvements in their recurrent genital herpes quality-of-life scores from baseline that persisted throughout the study; however, there was no significant difference between the treatment arms in these scores.

CONCLUSIONS:

Suppressive therapy of recurrent genital herpes with valacyclovir has a greater impact on measures of disease frequency and burden than episodic therapy. However, both treatment strategies lead to significant improvements in recurrent genital herpes quality-of-life scores. Both treatment strategies benefit patients with recurrent genital herpes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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