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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.

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Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.



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


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


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.


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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