Long-term oral acyclovir therapy: Effect on recurrent infectious herpes simplex keratitis in patients with and without grafts

A. L. Simon, D. Pavan-Langston, P. A. Asbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy of long-term oral acyclovir therapy in reducing recurrences of dendritic or geographic herpes simplex keratitis (HSK). Methods: Thirteen patients with a history of frequently recurring HSK were followed before (mean, 27 months) and during long-term systemic acyclovir, and eight were followed after the acyclovir was discontinued. Results: Treatment ranged from 8.5 to 62 months (mean, 34 months). During treatment, the number of recurrences per month decreased from 0.15 to 0.03, and the average duration of relapses decreased from 12.6 to 7.8 days. Recurrences correlated with daily doses of oral acyclovir of 800 mg or less, intraocular surgery within 6 weeks of initiating treatment, and discontinuation of therapy against medical advice. Conclusion: The results of this small study appear to demonstrate the efficacy of long-term oral acyclovir in prophylaxis of recurrent epithelial herpes simplex infection: therapeutic doses of oral acyclovir reduce both the rate and duration of recurrences of infectious herpetic keratitis. A multicenter, double-masked, placebo-controlled study is indicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1399-1405
Number of pages7
JournalOphthalmology
Volume103
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

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