Introduction Recurrent genital herpes is conventionally treated with acyclovir 200 mg 5 times a day orally which is inconvenient to take by the patients. We studied the effectiveness and safety of acyclovir 1 gm single oral dose once a day for 5 days in treatment of recurrent genital herpes.
Methods Patients presenting with recurrent genital herpes were included in the study. After a complete clinical and laboratory evaluation, the patients were treated with acyclovir 1 gm single oral dose once a day for 5 days and followed up on days 5, 7 and 10 to determine the response to treatment and adverse effects.
Results There were 19 patients (18 males and 1 female, between 18–47 years of age; mean age: 33.52±8.09 years), of which 18 patients completed the study. Seven (39%) of them had complete healing of the ulcer on day 5, 13 (72%) on day 7 and 16 (89%) by day 10. Mean percentage healing of ulcer was 72.53±22.24, 87.73±15.22 and 95.00±7.07 on day 5, 7 and 10 respectively. Visual analogue score (VAS) showed complete improvement in VAS in 9 (50%) patients on day 5, 13 (72.22%) on day 7 and 17 (94.5%) on day 10. The mean time of complete improvement in VAS was 6.38±2.97 days. Mean of percentage improvement in VAS was 81.92±20.87 on day 5, 90.00±15.18 on day 7 and 92.00±17.88 on day 10. Mean healing time of the lesions was 6.86±2.67 days (range 3–12 days). There were no significant adverse effects of the therapy.
Conclusion The study demonstrated that oral acyclovir 1 gm once a day as single daily dose is effective and safe for the treatment of recurrent genital herpes. There was significant healing of lesions, which reduces morbidity, psychological distress and risk of transmission of infections to sexual partner. Further studies are however needed to confirm our results.