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February 1985

Failure of Lysine in Frequently Recurrent Herpes Simplex Infection-Reply

Author Affiliations

Bldg 10, Room 12N238 Dermatology Branch; Biometric Research Branch National Cancer Institute National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD 20205; Department of Dermatology University of Miami Miami

Arch Dermatol. 1985;121(2):167-168. doi:10.1001/archderm.1985.01660020025002

In Reply.—  In double-blind, paired comparisons, Milman et al found no significant efficacy of lysine (1,000 mg/day) on the rate of healing of episodes1 and "no significant prophylactic effect, either on the duration or on the recurrence rate of herpes simplex labialis."2 Our double-blind, paired comparison (1,200 mg/day) reached a similar conclusion. While these studies were unable to identify a significant effect of lysine therapy, it would not be possible to prove nor exclude a minimal effect without a large number of patients.The analysis of therapeutic trials for herpes is difficult because of (1) variability between patients, and also within the same patient at different times, in frequency, duration, and severity of episodes and (2) a large placebo effect.3 Our study design was chosen to minimize bias of our results by these factors.Simon et al describe a similar study. However, rather than directly comparing the lysine

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