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April 8, 1983

Topical Idoxuridine in the Treatment of Genital Herpes

Author Affiliations

Biberach, West Germany

JAMA. 1983;249(14):1826-1827. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330380024012

To the Editor.—  The effectiveness of 5% idoxuridine in dimethyl sulfoxide for the treatment of herpes zoster and herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections has been documented in several well-controlled trials.1-4By comparing the actual subject of the investigation carried out by Silvestri et al (1982;248:953) and the claim stated in the title, there is a wide gap of missing links. The criteria used for selecting 30% idoxuridine in dimethyl sulfoxide are somewhat obscure.Detailed information concerning the duration of the tolerance-testing procedure and the changes taking place on the cellular level is not available (in part 1). The absence of immediate side effects like burning and erythema does not prove that 30% idoxuridine in dimethyl sulfoxide is no more irritating or toxic to the nonkeratinizing epithelium of the vagina or penis than the formulation with 5% active ingredient.Since it is well known that therapy with high concentrations of