Two-day regimen of acyclovir for treatment of recurrent genital herpes simplex virus type 2 infection

Clin Infect Dis. 2002 Apr 1;34(7):944-8. doi: 10.1086/339325. Epub 2002 Feb 20.


The standard course of antiviral therapy for recurrent genital herpes requires administration of multiple doses of medication for 5 days. To assess the efficacy of a shorter course of antiviral therapy, patients with recurrent genital herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of acyclovir (800 mg given by mouth 3 times per day [t.i.d.]) for 2 days. Of 131 people enrolled in the study, 84 (51 women and 33 men) were observed for >/=1 recurrence and 65 were observed for 2 recurrences, for which the patient was administered the same study drug (acyclovir or placebo). Acyclovir therapy (800 mg given by mouth t.i.d. for 2 days) significantly reduced the duration of lesions (median for acyclovir versus placebo, 4 days versus 6 days; P=.001), episode (4 days versus 6 days; P<.001), and viral shedding (25 hours versus 58.5 hours; P=.04), and it increased the proportion of aborted episodes (P=.029). A 2-day course of acyclovir is a convenient alternative for treatment of recurrent genital herpes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acyclovir / administration & dosage
  • Acyclovir / therapeutic use*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Herpes Genitalis / drug therapy*
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Acyclovir