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JAMA Clinical Evidence Synopsis
August 23/30, 2016

Antiviral Agents Added to Corticosteroids for Early Treatment of Adults With Acute Idiopathic Facial Nerve Paralysis (Bell Palsy)

Author Affiliations
  • 1UTOPIAN FMTU, North York General Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2Department of Family and Community Medicine and Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 3Scientist Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 4Frontier Science Ltd, Grampian View, Scotland
  • 5Department of General Practice, Goettingen University Medical Center, Goettingen, Germany
JAMA. 2016;316(8):874-875. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.10160
Abstract

Clinical Question  Compared with oral corticosteroids alone, are oral antiviral drugs associated with improved outcomes when combined with oral corticosteroids in patients presenting within 72 hours of the onset of Bell palsy?

Bottom Line  Compared with oral corticosteroids alone, the addition of acyclovir, valacyclovir, or famcyclovir to oral corticosteroids for treatment of Bell palsy was associated with a higher proportion of people who recovered at 3- to 12-month follow-up. The quality of evidence is limited by heterogeneity, imprecision of the result estimates, and risk of bias.

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