Which antiviral agents are used in the treatment of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections?

Updated: Feb 27, 2019
  • Author: J Michael Klatte, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

Antiviral agents used to treat herpes simplex virus infections are nucleoside analogs. Acyclovir is the antiviral most commonly used to treat herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections. Other oral medications include famciclovir, which is a prodrug that is converted to penciclovir, and valacyclovir, which is a prodrug that is converted to acyclovir. Oral therapy is effective for non–life-threatening herpes simplex virus infections (eg, primary orolabial, genital), and can be useful in the suppression of recurrent genital herpes simplex virus infections to diminish viral shedding and decrease rates of clinical recurrences. Intravenous (IV) acyclovir is indicated for the treatment of encephalitis, any form of neonatal disease, severe infection in patients who are immunocompromised, and occasionally for cases of severe orolabial or genital disease. [11, 12, 13, 14]


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