Silica gel is as effective as acyclovir cream in patients with recurrent herpes labialis: results of a randomized, open-label trial.
Author(s): Zschocke I, Reich C, Zielke A, Reitmeier N, Reich K
Affiliation(s): SCIderm Institute for Clinical Research, Hamburg, Germany.
Publication date & source: 2008, J Dermatolog Treat., 19(3):176-81.
Publication type: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
OBJECTIVE: To compare silica gel with acyclovir cream in the treatment of recurrent herpes labialis. METHODS: In this randomized, open-label, comparator-controlled trial, 74 patients with recurrent herpes labialis applied silica gel or acyclovir cream respectively over a period of 10 days. The treatment started within 24 hours of the first symptoms of a new recurrence. Patients rated five symptoms (tautness, tingling, itching, burning sensation, pain), lesion stage, efficacy, tolerability, and duration until the onset of improvement. Their willingness-to-pay was assessed. Physicians rated the severity of the herpes recurrence and efficacy. RESULTS: There was no significant difference between silica gel and acyclovir cream in the overall patients' assessment. There is evidence that silica gel relieved all investigated symptoms earlier than acyclovir cream. The efficacy and tolerability of both medications were rated as good to very good. CONCLUSIONS: Silica gel was as effective in the treatment of recurrent herpes labialis as acyclovir and equally well tolerated and tended to take effect more quickly. Therefore, silica gel could prove a useful alternative to topical acyclovir.