We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Commentary |

Oral Acyclovir Suppresses Recurrent Epithelial and Stromal Herpes Simplex

Deborah Pavan Langston, MD, FACS
Arch Ophthalmol. 1999;117(3):391-392. doi:10.1001/archopht.117.3.391.
Text Size: A A A
Published online



Acyclovir for the Prevention of Recurrent Herpes Simplex Virus Eye Disease

The Herpetic Eye Disease Study Group.

  Background: Long-term treatment with antiviral agents has been shown to prevent recurrences of genital and orofacial herpes simplex virus (HSV) disease, but it is uncertain whether prophylactic treatment can prevent recurrences of ocular HSV disease.Methods: We randomly assigned 703 immunocompetent patients who had had ocular HSV disease within the preceding year to receive 400 mg of acyclovir or placebo orally twice daily. The study outcomes were the rates of development of ocular or nonocular HSV disease during a 12-month treatment period and a 6-month observation period.Results: The cumulative probability of a recurrence of any type of ocular HSV disease during the 12-month treatment period was 19 percent in the acyclovir group and 32 percent in the placebo group (P<0.001). Among the 337 patients with a history of stromal keratitis, the most common serious form of ocular HSV disease, the cumulative probability of recurrent stromal keratitis was 14 percent in the acyclovir group and 28 percent in the placebo group (P = 0.005). The cumulative probability of a recurrence of nonocular (primarily orofacial) HSV disease was also lower in the acyclovir group than in the placebo group (19 percent vs 36 percent, P<0.001). There was no rebound in the rate of HSV disease in the six months after treatment with acyclovir was stopped.Conclusions: After the resolution of ocular HSV disease, 12 months of treatment with acyclovir reduces the rate of recurrent ocular HSV disease and orofacial HSV disease. Long-term antiviral prophylaxis is most important for patients with a history of HSV stromal keratitis, since it can prevent additional episodes and potential loss of vision.

Arch Ophthalmol 1998;279:1820-1825.

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

4 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
PubMed Articles