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Cost-benefit of oral acyclovir in the treatment of herpes zoster.

AbstractBACKGROUND:
Oral acyclovir is a costly antiviral agent shown to be effective in the treatment of herpes zoster. Herpes zoster runs a relatively benign course in young, healthy individuals, as compared with elderly and immunologically compromised patients, in whom complications are common. This study attempts to assess the cost-benefit of treatment with oral acyclovir in young healthy adults with herpes zoster.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
The records of 42 healthy young adults suffering from herpes zoster and treated with oral acyclovir (800 mg five times daily for 7 days) were compared with those of 40 healthy young adults with herpes zoster seen during the same period but treated without oral acyclovir. The duration of zoster-associated pain and the presence of complications were noted.
RESULTS:
There was no statistically significant difference in the duration of zoster-associated pain between the two groups of patients (P = 0.11). Other complications of herpes zoster were few and similar in the two groups.
CONCLUSIONS:
At a cost of $250 to $300 for a 7-day course of oral acyclovir, the use of this antiviral agent in healthy young individuals with herpes zoster is not justified, especially in developing countries with limited resources.
AuthorsE P Kubeyinje
JournalInternational journal of dermatology (Int J Dermatol) Vol. 36 Issue 6 Pg. 457-9 (Jun 1997) ISSN: 0011-9059 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID9248895 (Publication Type: Comparative Study, Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Acyclovir
Topics
  • Acyclovir (administration & dosage, economics, therapeutic use)
  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Antiviral Agents (administration & dosage, economics, therapeutic use)
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Developing Countries
  • Drug Costs
  • Female
  • Health Resources
  • Herpes Zoster (complications, drug therapy, physiopathology)
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Male
  • Neuralgia (drug therapy, physiopathology)
  • Pain (drug therapy, physiopathology)
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Safety
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome

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