CLINICAL TRIAL
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, P.H.S.
Add like
Add dislike
Add to saved papers

Acyclovir for treatment of postherpetic neuralgia: efficacy and pharmacokinetics.

Postherpetic neuralgia is the most common complication of herpes zoster (shingles) in the immunocompetent host. Its mechanism is incompletely understood, but one postulate is that continuous replication of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) in nerve tissues may be responsible for the pain. If this is so, antiviral treatment could be advantageous. To test this hypothesis, we performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of intravenous acyclovir (10 mg/kg every 8 h [q8h]) for 14 days, followed by oral acyclovir (800 mg q6h) for 42 days in 10 subjects (median age, 71 years) who had experienced at least 6 months of severe pain (median duration of postherpetic neuralgia before enrollment, 3.2 years). Intensive and sparse pharmacokinetic sampling occurred during both dosing phases of the study. One- and two-compartment models were fitted to the oral and intravenous concentration-time data, respectively. The four men and four women assigned to acyclovir during either or both dosing phases tolerated it well. Pharmacokinetic results were similar to those previously reported in younger individuals. The mean oral clearance and elimination half-life following oral dosing were 1.47 liters/h/kg and 2.78 h, respectively. Total clearance and terminal half-life following intravenous administration were 0.16 liters/h/kg and 3.67 h, respectively. Only 1 of 10 participants reported definite improvement in the severity of postherpetic pain, and treatment had no effect on titers of humoral antibody to VZV. We concluded that 56 days of intravenous and oral acyclovir therapy were well tolerated but had little or no effect on the clinical course of postherpetic neuralgia.

Full text links

We have located links that may give you full text access.
Can't access the paper?
Try logging in through your university/institutional subscription. For a smoother one-click institutional access experience, please use our mobile app.

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

Mobile app image

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2024 by WebMD LLC.
This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.

By using this service, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.

Your Privacy Choices Toggle icon

You can now claim free CME credits for this literature searchClaim now

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app