Subjective response to lysine in the therapy of herpes simplex

J Antimicrob Chemother. 1983 Nov;12(5):489-96. doi: 10.1093/jac/12.5.489.


To test the effect of lysine supplementation on herpes infection, 1543 subjects were surveyed by questionnaire after a six-month trial period. The study included subjects with cold sores, canker sores, and genital herpes. Of these, 54% had been diagnosed and treated by a physician. The results showed that the average dosage used was 936 mg of lysine daily. Eighty-four per cent of those surveyed said that lysine supplementation prevented recurrence or decreased the frequency of herpes infection. Whereas 79% described their symptoms as severe or intolerable without lysine, only 8% used these terms when taking lysine. Without lysine, 90% indicated that healing took six to 15 days, but with lysine 83% stated that lesions healed in five days or less. Overall, 88% considered supplemental lysine an effective form of treatment for herpes infection.

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Evaluation
  • Female
  • Herpes Genitalis / drug therapy
  • Herpes Labialis / drug therapy
  • Herpes Simplex / drug therapy*
  • Herpes Zoster / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Lysine / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Stomatitis, Herpetic / drug therapy


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Lysine