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Home Treatment Options Treatment Options Famciclovir Shown to Reduce Viral Shedding

Famciclovir Shown to Reduce Viral Shedding

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Results of a new study published in the Journal of Sexually Transmitted Infections indicate that famciclovir can reduce viral shedding in HSV-2 positive individuals. The study is the first to look at both individuals with symptomatic HSV infection as well as those with unrecognized infection.

The 127 participants in the study followed a regimen that included periods of daily treatment with famciclovir and periods of treatment with a placebo. Daily swabs from the genital/perianal area (and from the oral area, for those who were also HSV-1 positive) were taken for PCR testing to assess viral shedding.

While all of the participants were seropositive for HSV-2, 61 had a history of symptomatic genital herpes while the remaining 66 did not.  Treatment with famciclovir proved effective in decreasing HSV shedding for both groups, but the effect was more significant for those with symptomatic infection.

For those with a reported history of genital herpes, the total number of days where HSV shedding was detected in both the oral and genital areas was reduced by 73.7% with treatment with famciclovir, versus treatment with a placebo. In those without a clinical history of genital herpes, the decrease was a more modest 30.1%.

In addition to a reduction in overall HSV shedding rates, participants saw a reduction in the number of days with herpes lesions as well as decrease in subclinical shedding with famciclovir treatment. As transmission of genital herpes often occurs during periods of asymptomatic shedding-which can occur in both those with recognizable symptoms and those without-a better understanding of the effect of antiviral treatment on shedding rates can certainly benefit prevention and treatment efforts.

 

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