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

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.
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.
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.
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
  • 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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