Lysine prophylaxis in recurrent herpes simplex labialis: a double-blind, controlled crossover study

Acta Derm Venereol. 1980;60(1):85-7.


L-lysine has an inhibitory effect on the multiplication of herpes simplex virus in cell cultures. We have evaluated the prophylactic effect of L-lysine monohydrochloride 1000 mg daily on recurrent herpes simplex labialis in 65 patients in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. After 12 weeks of lysine treatment the patients shifted to placebo treatment for a similar period. On the whole, lysine prophylaxis had no effect on the recurrence rate of herpes simplex. However, significantly more patients were recurrence-free during lysine than during placebo treatment (p = 0.05), suggesting that certain patients may benefit from prophylactic lysine administration. In the herpes lesions described, lysine had no effect on the rate of healing or on the appearance of the lesions at their worst.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Herpes Labialis / drug therapy
  • Herpes Labialis / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Lysine / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos
  • Recurrence


  • Placebos
  • Lysine