Based on very encouraging data from guinea pig studies, several authors have proposed that 5% imiquimod cream, currently approved for the treatment of external genital warts, may provide therapeutic benefit in the treatment of human herpes genitalis.1,2 To our knowledge, there have been 2 reported cases where some benefit was observed, with no recurrence through 1 and 6 months after therapy, respectively.3,4 In each case, the authors have called for controlled clinical studies to further examine the question. In fact, a phase 2, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study of 124 patients with recurrent genital herpes was performed in September 1998. The results of this study were presented at the 2001 Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, and a manuscript has been submitted for publication.
Slade HB, Schacker T, Conant M, Thoming C. Imiquimod and Genital Herpes. Arch Dermatol. 2002;138(4):534-535. doi:10.1001/archderm.138.4.533