Intravenous acyclovir was evaluated in the treatment of 97 immunocompromised patients with mucocutaneous herpes simplex virus infection in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Acyclovir recipients had significantly shorter periods of virus shedding (p < 0.0002) and lesion pain (p < 0.01), and more rapid lesion scabbing (p < 0.004) and lesion healing (p < 0.04). The most common adverse reaction was a low incidence of peripheral vein irritation; no serious toxicity could be definitely attributed to acyclovir treatment even in these seriously ill patients. Intravenous acyclovir offers both safe and effective treatment for mucocutaneous herpes simplex virus infection in the immunocompromised host.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
From the Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington; Departmants of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Department of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina; Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology, Sidney Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts: and Burroughs Wellcome Co., Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. This work was supported by grants from the Burroughs Wellcome Co. and grants CA 18029, Al 15689, Al 07044, AM 13083. AM 18883, CA 19589, CA 06973 and CA 15396 from the National Institutes of Health. Requests for reprints should be addressed to Dr. Joel D. Meyers, Program in infec- tious Diseases, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1124 Columbia Street, Seattle, Washington 98104.