Comparative study between combination of famciclovir and prednisolone with prednisolone alone in acute Bell's palsy

Mymensingh Med J. 2011 Oct;20(4):605-13.


The antiviral drug acyclovir or its analogue, valacyclovir, has been applied in various trials on Bell's palsy with inconsistent results. We compared the therapeutic effect of famciclovir plus prednisolone with prednisolone alone, in patients with Bell's palsy. In a randomized, prospective trial, 68 patients were randomized to treatment with famciclovir and prednisolone (34 patients) or prednisolone alone (34 patients). All patients underwent supportive therapy. Severity of Bell's palsy was evaluated using the House-Brackmann scale (HBS). Follow-up was done after 1 week, 1 month and 3 months, with complete recovery defined as House-Brackmann grade I. The analysis revealed that recovery rates at month 1 and 3 were significantly higher in combination group than that of prednisolone only group (94.1% vs. 61.8% and 97.1% vs. 74.5% respectively). Again recovery from mild to moderate (HBS-II, III, IV) Bell's palsy occurred completely at month 3 and that of severe (HBS-V, VI) Bell's palsy was two-third of the patients. Again in severe Bell's palsy combination treatment increased the chance of complete recovery more than 10-fold than that of steroid only. The study results suggest that better outcome for Bell's palsy patients occurred if they were treated with prednisolone and famciclovir combination instead of prednisolone alone. In fact a considerable number of patients were benefited from additional antiviral therapy with famciclovir.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • 2-Aminopurine / administration & dosage
  • 2-Aminopurine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bell Palsy / drug therapy*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Famciclovir
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prednisolone / administration & dosage
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use*


  • 2-Aminopurine
  • Prednisolone
  • Famciclovir