Drugs Can Lower Risk of Genital Herpes Reccurence

A recent study confirms the effectiveness of oral antiviral drugs commonly used to prevent genital herpes outbreaks in infected patients.

The researchers evaluated acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir, which are sold under the trade names Zovirax, Valtrex, and Famvir, respectively. The study were conducted through a meta-analysis, where the results of several published trials were then analyzed to obtain information from a larger total number of patients, which provided the ability to draw more statistically-significant conclusions.

Although these drugs can prevent herpes outbreaks since its introduction in the early 1980s, the present study examined their effectiveness compared with a placebo. Their meta-review included 14 clinical trials with a total of around 6,200 patients with healthy immune systems and were not pregnant.

The researchers found that patients who were given one of the three drugs were 47% less likely to experience a genital herpes recurrence than those who were given a placebo. The three agents tested were generally comparable in efficacy, with the best dosages being acyclovir 400 mg, valacyclovir 250 mg, or famiclovir 250 mg taken twice daily-or valacyclovir 500 mg taken once a day.

It was concluded that all three drugs are suitable treatments for preventing genital herpes outbreaks. However, the researchers emphasize the importance of monitoring patients for the possible emergence of drug resistance in patients who do not respond to the standard regimens.

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