Recurrent herpes labialis: a pilot study of the efficacy of zinc therapy

J Oral Pathol Med. 2005 Aug;34(7):423-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0714.2005.00327.x.


Background: The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of zinc on recurrent herpes labialis.

Materials/methods: Twenty patients (12 females; median age 26.6 years) with a history of recurrent herpes labialis >6 episodes each year were treated with systemic zinc sulphate 22.5 mg twice daily for the months of February, March, September and October. All patients were followed for 12 months.

Results: Herpetic lesions reduced to <4 episodes (average 3) for the 12 months and the duration was <7 days for each episode (average 5.7).

Conclusions: Systemic zinc sulphate appeared to reduce both the number of episodes and the time to recovery of herpes labialis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Herpes Labialis / drug therapy*
  • Herpes Labialis / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Zinc Sulfate / therapeutic use*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Zinc Sulfate