An international, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, study of valacyclovir for the suppression of herpes simplex virus type 2 genital herpes in newly diagnosed patients

Kenneth H. Fife, Terri J. Warren, Scott E. Justus, Catherine K. Heitman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Antiviral suppressive therapy of genital herpes is often initiated based on the established pattern of recurrences in an individual. Because most persons with first episode herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection experience recurrences and because viral shedding occurs frequently in the first year after infection, we examined the strategy of initiating suppressive therapy shortly after diagnosis of genital HSV-2 infection. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: From June 16, 2004 to July 26, 2006, 384 subjects from 74 sites in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile who were newly diagnosed with a first recognized episode of genital herpes at the time of the screening visit or within 3 months before the screening visit were randomized (2:1) to receive valacyclovir 1 g once daily or placebo for 24 weeks. Subjects were instructed to return to clinic during suspected genital herpes outbreaks for clinician confirmation of recurrences. RESULTS: Valacyclovir significantly prolonged the time to first recurrence of HSV-2 genital herpes in newly diagnosed subjects compared with placebo, with approximately 43% of subjects on placebo and 71% of subjects on valacyclovir recurrence-free at 24 weeks (P <0.001). Valacyclovir significantly reduced the mean number of genital HSV-2 recurrences per month occurring during the 24-week study period (0.11 for valacyclovir, 0.48 for placebo, P <0.001). Adverse events were comparable in the valacyclovir and placebo arms. CONCLUSION: Valacyclovir 1 g once daily administered for 24 weeks was well-tolerated and effective in suppressing genital herpes recurrences in immunocompetent newly diagnosed persons without an established recurrence pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)666-673
Number of pages8
JournalSexually Transmitted Diseases
Volume35
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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