Thirty-one patients with first episodes of genital herpes were randomized in a double-blind fashion to intravenous treatment with saline placebo or acyclovir, 5 mg/kg body weight at 8-hour intervals, for 5 days. The median duration of viral shedding from genital lesions after the onset of therapy was significantly shorter for patients given acyclovir (2 days) than for those given placebo (13 days), p < 0.001. Viral shedding from the pharynx, cervix, urethra, and urine were also shorter in acyclovir-treated patients. (p ≤ 0.01 for each comparison). Local and systemic symptoms were shortened by a mean of 5 days and healing of genital lesions by a mean of 12 days in acyclovir-treated patients. (p < 0.01). Complications during treatment, such as extragenital lesions or urinary retention requiring catheterization, developed in four patients given placebo and in none given acyclovir. (p < 0.05). Intravenous acyclovir substantially decreases the symptoms, duration of lesions, and complications of primary genital herpes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine