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J Infect Dis. 1999 Feb;179(2):303-10.

Peroral famciclovir in the treatment of experimental ultraviolet radiation-induced herpes simplex labialis: A double-blind, dose-ranging, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA.


Three doses of famciclovir were tested for treatment of experimental ultraviolet radiation (UVR)-induced herpes labialis. Patients received 125, 250, or 500 mg of famciclovir or placebo 3 times a day for 5 days beginning 48 h after UVR exposure, a model of early episodic intervention. Of 248 patients irradiated, 102 developed lesions while on treatment. There were no significant differences between groups in the number of lesions. The mean maximal lesion size was reduced in a dose-proportional manner: 139, 105, 77, and 55 mm2 for the placebo and 125-, 250-, and 500-mg famciclovir groups, respectively (P=.040, linear regression). Median time to healing was faster in the 500-mg famciclovir group than in the placebo group, both by investigator (4 vs. 6 days, 33% reduction, P=.010) and patient assessment (3.0 vs. 5.8 days, 48% reduction, P=.008) analyses. These findings suggest that evaluation of higher drug doses for herpes labialis treatment is warranted.

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