Intravenous acyclovir was evaluated in the treatment of 97 immunocompromised patients with mucocutaneous herpes simplex virus infection in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Acyclovir recipients had significantly shorter periods of virus shedding (p < 0.0002) and lesion pain (p < 0.01), and more rapid lesion scabbing (p < 0.004) and lesion healing (p < 0.04). The most common adverse reaction was a low incidence of peripheral vein irritation; no serious toxicity could be definitely attributed to acyclovir treatment even in these seriously ill patients. Intravenous acyclovir offers both safe and effective treatment for mucocutaneous herpes simplex virus infection in the immunocompromised host.
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