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December 10, 1982

IV and oral acyclovir surpass topical use

JAMA. 1982;248(22):2942-2948. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330220004002

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Acyclovir can now be used intravenously (IV) to treat herpes simplex virus (HSV) type I and II infections in immunocompromised patients with recurrent disease, as well as in otherwise healthy patients with severe primary HSV infections. And a number of clinical trials with the antiviral agent indicate that IV administration is significantly more effective than topical treatment (JAMA [MEDICAL NEWS] 1982;247:3040-3041, 3045).

"Herpes is a systemic disease," says Lawrence Corey, MD, associate professor of laboratory medicine and microbiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle (JAMA 1982;248:1041-1049). He adds that for that reason it is helpful to have a systemic agent available.

Corey has participated in a number of trials of acyclovir in topical, IV, and oral forms. (The last form has not yet been approved for clinical use by the Food and Drug Administration.) At the recent Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Miami Beach,