Background: Valacyclovir is effective for suppressive and episodic treatment of recurrent genital herpes. Few data on patients' treatment strategy preferences are available.
Goal: The goal was to assess patients' preference, satisfaction, and quality of life with suppressive versus episodic treatment of recurrent genital herpes.
Study design: This was a multicenter, open-label, randomized, two-arm, crossover 48-week study involving 225 patients with genital herpes.
Results: Suppressive valacyclovir therapy was preferred to episodic valacyclovir treatment by 72% of patients (P < 0.001). Overall treatment satisfaction and quality of life were significantly greater during suppressive therapy (P < 0.001 and P = 0.002, respectively). The risk of recurrence during the first 24 weeks was reduced by 78% with suppressive therapy (P < 0.001). Significantly fewer patients experienced recurrences during suppressive treatment than with episodic treatment (P < 0.001). Valacyclovir was well tolerated.
Conclusions: Suppressive valacyclovir was preferred to episodic therapy by most patients. Suppressive therapy was associated with increased treatment satisfaction, and decreased risk and lower frequency of recurrences.