Early application of topical 15% idoxuridine in dimethyl sulfoxide shortens the course of herpes simplex labialis: A multicenter placebo-controlled trial

Spotswood L. Spruance, Jeffery C.B. Stewart, Donna J. Freeman, Vernon J. Brightman, Jack L. Cox, Gay Wenerstrom, Mark B. McKeough, Nathaniel H. Rowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

In a double-blind, randomized, patient-initiated treatment study at five medical centers, 301 immunocompetent patients experiencing a recurrence of herpes labialis were treated with topical 15% idoxuridine (IDU) in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), 80% DMSO control solution, or 2% DMSO control solution. IDU did not prevent the development of lesions but significantly accelerated lesion resolution in comparison with the combined control groups. For the total population, the mean duration of pain was reduced by 1.3 days (35%, P =.01)and the mean healing time to loss of crust by 1.7 days (21%, P =.004). Analysis of subpopulations revealed that the beneficial activity of the treatment was concentrated among the patients who began treatment in the prodrome or erythema lesion stage. For these patients, the mean duration of pain was reduced by 1.8 days (42%, P =.OS) and the mean healing time to loss of crust by 3.3 days (3S%, P <.001). If only patients with classic herpes lesions (vesicle, ulcer, or crust formation) were considered, there wasa greater drug effect on the duration of pain (reduction by 2.6 days, 49%; P =.03) and the mean healing time to normal skin was significantly shortened (reduction by 2.3 days, 23%; P =.004). Adverse reactions to the medication were minimal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-197
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume161
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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    Spruance, S. L., Stewart, J. C. B., Freeman, D. J., Brightman, V. J., Cox, J. L., Wenerstrom, G., McKeough, M. B., & Rowe, N. H. (1990). Early application of topical 15% idoxuridine in dimethyl sulfoxide shortens the course of herpes simplex labialis: A multicenter placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 161(2), 191-197. https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/161.2.191