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Derm News: 2006(37)

Single-Day Therapy for Recurrent Genital Herpes

American Journal of Clinical Dermatology
Stephen Tyring; Tim Berger; Angela Yen-Moore; Michael Tharp; Kamal Hamed

Genital herpes, an incurable viral disease that can have a devastating impact on affected patients, is a serious public health concern affecting one in four Americans. Episodic treatment with nucleoside analogs for 3-5 days is the most common method of treatment; however, since maximum viral replication occurs within 24 hours after the onset of symptoms, single-day patient-initiated episodic treatment may be a better option.

A recent study evaluated the effectiveness of patient-initiated single-day famciclovir versus placebo in the treatment of genital herpes and found that single-day famciclovir decreased healing time and the duration of pain and other symptoms, and increased the proportion of patients who did not progress to a full outbreak. Compared with previous studies, the results of single-day therapy are similar to or better than the results of conventional therapies of 2-5 days' duration. In addition, the convenience of single-day treatment may lead to greater patient adherence and improved overall management of recurrent herpes outbreaks.

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The Derm News service provided by the Editorial Consultants of Skin Therapy Letter© and its founding editor Dr. Stuart Maddin.