Failure of lysine in frequently recurrent herpes simplex infection. Treatment and prophylaxis

Arch Dermatol. 1984 Jan;120(1):48-51.


Lysine has been claimed to be effective in the treatment and prevention of episodes of recurrent herpes simplex (HS) infection. We carried out a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral lysine hydrochloride therapy (400 mg, three times a day) in a group of 21 patients in good general health with a history of frequently recurring infection. Using our measures of episode frequency, duration, and severity, we were unable to detect any substantial benefit of lysine therapy either as a treatment for episodes in progress or as a prophylactic drug for the prevention of recurrences. We conclude that it is unlikely that lysine improves frequently recurrent HS infections in the majority of patients.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Herpes Genitalis / drug therapy
  • Herpes Genitalis / prevention & control
  • Herpes Labialis / drug therapy
  • Herpes Labialis / prevention & control
  • Herpes Simplex / drug therapy*
  • Herpes Simplex / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Lysine / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Time Factors


  • Lysine