Background: Recurrent genital herpes is conventionally treated with acyclovir 200 mg 5 times a day orally which is inconvenient to take. We studied the effectiveness and safety of acyclovir 1 gm twice daily orally for 3 days in treatment of genital herpes.
Methods: Patients presenting with recurrent genital herpes were included in the study. After a complete clinical and laboratory evaluation, the patients were treated with acyclovir 1 gm twice daily orally for 3 days and followed up on days 3, 5 and 7 to determine the response to treatment and adverse effects.
Results: There were 23 patients (21 males and 2 females, between 18-55 years of age), of which 22 complete the study. Nine (41%) of them had complete healing of the ulcer on day 3, whereas 17 (77%) and 20 (91%) had it by day 5 and 7 respectively. Mean percentage healing of ulcer was 77.95 ± 26.03, 90.00 ± 16.20 and 95 ±7.07 on day 3, 5, and 7 respectively. Visual analogue score (VAS) showed complete improvement in VAS in 9 (41%) patients on day 3, 21 (95.5%) on day 5 and 22 (100%) on day 7. The mean time of complete improvement in VAS was 4.27 ± 1.16 days. Mean of percentage improvement in VAS was 80.45 ± 25.30 on day 3 and 100 ± 0.00 on day 7. Mean healing time of the lesions was 4.67 ± 1.87 days (range 3 - 10 days). There were no significant adverse effects of the therapy.
Conclusions: The study demonstrated that oral acyclovir 1 gm twice daily is effective and safe for the treatment of recurrent genital herpes. There was rapid healing of lesions, which reduces morbidity, psychological distress and risk of transmission of infections to sexual partner. Further studies are however needed to confirm our results.