Herpes zoster is a common affliction in older patients, with up to 15% experiencing some residual pain in the distribution of the rash several months after healing. Despite numerous randomized clinical trials, the effect of treating herpes zoster with oral acyclovir in preventing postherpetic neuralgia remains uncertain because of conflicting results.
Meta-analysis of published randomized clinical trials on the use of acyclovir to prevent postherpetic neuralgia using the fixed-effects model of Peto.
Thirty clinical trials of treatment with oral acyclovir in immunocompetent adults were identified. After excluding studies with duplicate data, suboptimal and topical dosing, non—placebo-controlled or nonrandomized designs, and those using intravenous acyclovir, 5 trials were found to be homogeneous and were combined for analysis. From these trials, the summary odds ratio for the incidence of "any pain" in the distribution of rash at 6 months in adults treated with acyclovir was 0.54 (95% confidence interval, 0.36-0.81).
Treatment of herpes zoster with 800 mg/d of oral acyclovir within 72 hours of rash onset may reduce the incidence of residual pain at 6 months by 46% in immunocompetent adults.Arch Intern Med. 1997;157:909-912
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA Internal Medicine editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 96
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.