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Monitoring for the accumulation of unique mutations within the genome of drug resistant HBV mutants isolated during long term antiviral therapy appears warranted in the clinical management of patients with CHB.
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All published literature containing the word "valacyclovir" was reviewed and summarized.
Both herpes simplex virus (HSV) type I and HSV type 2 can cause genital herpes. Because the infection is chronic, genital herpes has become the most common sexually transmitted disease among women. The prevalence of the HSV-2 antibody among women in the United States is 26%, although genital herpes has been diagnosed in only a small proportion (10-25%) of individuals with HSV-2 antibodies. Herpes simplex virus type I is becoming a more frequent cause of genital herpes, especially among young women. Overall,HSV-I seroprevalence in the United States is estimated at 67%, although sero-logic data do not provide information about site of infection. Recent advances in diagnostic methods and therapeutic options are likely to change the management of genital herpes.
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Infectious mononucleosis usually runs a mild self-limiting course. Complications arise rarely and when so, corticosteroids are the mainstay of their treatment. The role of antivirals in the management of severe EBV infections is debatable.
Studies have shown that the use of acyclovir or valacyclovir is not associated with an increase in birth defects. Limited data exist for famciclovir and therefore it would not be considered a first-line choice for treatment of herpes during pregnancy.
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The median CD4 cell count at study entry was 384 cells/mm3. In the intention-to-treat analysis of the first study period, HSV was isolated on 122 of 1114 (11%) placebo days compared with 9 of 1071 (1%) famciclovir days (relative risk, 0.15; P < 0.001). For patients who completed the crossover, the median difference in days with symptoms between placebo and famciclovir was 13.8% of days and the median difference in days on which HSV was isolated was 5.4% of days (P < 0.001 for both). Percentage of days with HSV-2 shedding was reduced from 9.7% to 1.3%. Breakthrough reactivations that occurred while patients were receiving famciclovir were infrequent, short, and often asymptomatic, HSV-2 isolates from these reactivations were susceptible to penciclovir in vitro.
All patients had advanced HIV disease with a median CD4 count of 20.10(6)/1. Three patients had cutaneous varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection within the preceding 8 weeks. All had uniocular loss of visual acuity; one also had headache and another ocular pain. All had typical retinal appearances. VZV DNA was detected in cerebrospinal fluid of four patients (and in vitreous fluid of one of the four) and in vitreous fluid of one other. One patient refused therapy and rapidly became blind. Four patients received intravenous foscarnet with intravenous aciclovir for 6 weeks: three subsequently received oral famciclovir and one oral valaciclovir; two patients also had intravitreal injections of foscarnet. In none of the four did treatment bring about improvement in visual acuity, but in all four visual loss from retinitis was halted.
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Prospective evaluation of facial nerve grade for two groups (treated and untreated) with famciclovir before and after surgery. All procedures were conducted by the same group of experienced neurotologists.
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Concomitant use of carbamazepine and indinavir may cause failure of antiretroviral therapy due to insufficient indinavir plasma concentrations. Drugs other than carbamazepine should be considered to prevent this interaction. Amitriptyline or gabapentin are alternatives for postherpetic neuralgia; valproic acid or lamotrigine are alternatives for seizures. When alternate drug therapy is not possible, dosage adjustments, therapeutic drug monitoring, and careful clinical observation may help reduce adverse clinical consequences.
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In both cases, there were no hypersensitivity reactions or breakthrough viral infections after famciclovir initiation but this observation is limited by a small patient population.
Equivalence was defined prospectively and famciclovir was equivalent to acyclovir in preventing new lesion formation: new lesions occurred in 16.7% and 13.3% of patients, respectively [difference, 3.4%; 95% confidence interval (CI), -4.8-11.5]. The groups were comparable in time to complete healing (median 7 days for both groups; hazard ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.79-1.29; P = 0.95), cessation of viral shedding (median of 2 days [hazard ratio = 0.93; 95% C.I. 0.68, 1.27; p = 0.64]), and loss of lesion-associated symptoms (median 4 days; hazard ratio, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.75-1.30; P = 0.93). Similar numbers in each group withdrew because of treatment failure. There were no differences between groups in the incidence of adverse events.
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Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections are ubiquitous. Children are infected with HSV resulting in totally asymptomatic acquisition to life-threatening disease. Therapy of HSV diseases of children can be considered according to severity and time of acquisition. Neonatal herpes simplex virus infections take one of three forms--disease localized to skin, eye, or mouth (SEM), encephalitis, or multiorgan disseminated disease. Treatment consists of intravenous (IV) administration of acyclovir. Supportive care for patients with life-threatening disease is an integral component of patient management. Mucocutaneous HSV infections in the immunocompromised host can be treated with either intravenous acyclovir or one of the orally bioavailable antiviral therapies. For hospitalized patients, therapy consists of IV acyclovir at 5 mg/kg every 8 hours for 7 to 14 days. For ambulatory patients, therapy is tailored according to age. For children less than 12 years of age, oral acyclovir is administered at a dosage of 20 mg/kg every eight hours. Although no controlled studies have been performed with valaciclovir or famciclovir, the pharmacokinetics of these medications would suggest superiority over acyclovir. Dosage recommendations have not been established for young children. For postpubertal children, dosage should mirror that of adults. Valaciclovir is administered at 500 mg twice daily. Famciclovir is administered at 125 mg three times daily. Herpes simplex keratoconjunctivitis is treated with topical triflurothymidine. Two drops are applied to the infected eye five times daily until resolved. Recurrences are managed in a similar manner. Some physicians administer oral acyclovir at the doses noted above in order to prevent frequent recurrences. Genital HSV infections can be treated with acyclovir, valaciclovir, or famciclovir. Episodic treatment of recurrent episodes is usually not necessary in childhood. Importantly, all data on the use of these compounds for these conditions have been generated in adults. Physician judgment is required for the management of recurrent herpes labialis, erythema multiforme, and herpes gladitorum. No controlled studies have been performed in children, although experience with acyclovir, valaciclovir, and famciclovir have resulted in their use.
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The last decade has witnessed substantial progress in the development of chemotherapeutic agents for chronic hepatitis B. However, the only currently licensed treatment in Australia, interferon-alpha, has low initial response rates and the adverse effects are often unacceptable. Of the newer agents in the class of nucleoside analogues, famciclovir and lamivudine are in phase III clinical trials with encouraging preliminary results, while other agents, such as bis-POM PMEA (Adefovir), are at phase I/II development. Future approaches to therapy will be governed by an understanding of the effects of nucleoside analogues on the natural history of the disease as well as on the hepatitis B virus hepatocyte interaction. Combination antiviral therapy should theoretically offer improved response rates, decrease the development of viral resistance, and provide the greatest reduction in viral load, but it has not yet been widely examined in the clinical setting. In this article, we review the currently available strategies, discuss potential problem areas, and speculate on promising approaches with combination chemotherapy and the features of agents soon to be trialed.
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Famciclovir (Famvir) is the oral prodrug of penciclovir, an agent that has demonstrated antiviral activity against herpes simplex viruses, type 1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2) [which cause orolabial and/or genital herpes simplex], and against varicella zoster virus (VZV) [a reactivation of which leads to herpes zoster]. Famciclovir has efficacy similar to that of aciclovir (in immunocompetent or immunocompromised patients) or valaciclovir (in immunocompetent patients) in the treatment of herpes zoster, and efficacy similar to aciclovir in the treatment of first or recurrent episodes of genital herpes (in immunocompetent or immunocompromised patients). Famciclovir also has efficacy in the suppression of recurrent episodes of genital herpes, and in the treatment of orolabial herpes, in immunocompetent patients. As such, famciclovir is a well tolerated first-line option for the treatment of herpes zoster and the treatment and suppression of genital herpes, and is approved for the treatment of recurrent orolabial herpes. Convenient patient-initiated single-day (for recurrent genital herpes) and single-dose (for orolabial herpes) dosage regimens may contribute to treatment compliance, patient acceptability and subsequent treatment outcomes.
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This report describes nucleotide sequence analysis of part of the polymerase gene of hepatitis B virus (HBV) during the development of lamivudine-resistant HBV in five patients who received lamivudine treatment in conjunction with liver transplantation. Samples from patients were analysed before, during and after drug treatment in conjunction with serum HBV quantification by PCR. Lamivudine resistance was found to be associated with L526M and M550V changes in two patients and M550I change in three patients. Other changes associated with lamivudine resistance in some patients were V509I, A546V, S565A and A568T. The effects on HBV surface antigen are also described. Some patients were subsequently treated with famciclovir and/or ganciclovir with variable outcomes. In two out of three patients who stopped lamivudine treatment, reversion (partial or complete) to wild-type virus was observed after about 5 months. In contrast, a complex mixture of mutant viruses emerged in a third patient who stopped lamivudine treatment.
We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study evaluating famciclovir (500 mg 3 times daily and 1.5 g once daily) for 1 year (6 months post-treatment follow-up) in patients with chronic hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. The study was conducted in 80 centers in North America, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand. A total of 417 patients with histologically documented chronic hepatitis B (histologic activity index [HAI] 9.5-11.0) received famciclovir (500 mg 3 times daily or 1.5 g once daily) or placebo. Famciclovir 500 mg 3 times daily significantly reduced HBV DNA and median HAI scores versus placebo. By week 8, median HBV DNA decreased from 1,645 to 283 MEq/mL (famciclovir 500 mg 3 times daily) and from 1,147 to 304 MEq/mL (famciclovir 1.5 g once daily), while increasing for placebo (1,617 to 1,685 MEq/mL). Median change in HBV DNA at the end of therapy was -76% (famciclovir 500 mg 3 times daily; P <.01) and -60% (famciclovir 1.5 g once daily; P =.25) versus -37% for placebo. Median change in HAI was -1.5 points (famciclovir 500 mg 3 times daily; P =.02) and -1.0 point (famciclovir 1.5 g once daily; P =.35) and zero for placebo. Fifty percent of patients receiving famciclovir 500 mg 3 times daily (P =.07) and 43% receiving 1.5 g once daily (P =.41) experienced >/=2 points improvement in HAI versus 37% for placebo. Nine percent of patients treated with famciclovir 500 mg 3 times daily underwent anti-HBeAg seroconversion with undetectable HBV DNA at end of follow-up versus 3% in the placebo group (P =.05). Famciclovir was well tolerated; the incidence of post-treatment alanine transaminase (ALT) elevations was comparable with placebo. In conclusion, famciclovir 500 mg 3 times daily gave modest suppression of viral replication, but translated into significant histologic improvement in median HAI score at 1 year.
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Development of resistance is a major issue in antiviral treatment of hepatitis B reinfection after liver transplantation. Antiviral combination therapy is discussed for therapy or prevention of this breakthrough of viral replication. Eight patients were enrolled into this retrospective analysis after liver transplantation for chronic hepatitis B infection. All had reinfection of the graft and breakthrough of HBV during consecutive famciclovir and lamivudine monotherapy. Subsequently a combination therapy with lamivudine and interferon-alpha 2a (group I, n = 4) or lamivudine and famciclovir (group II, n = 4) was initiated. Combination therapy was started 61 months (group I) and 25 months (group II) after liver transplantation. It markedly reduced the viral replication rate in all patients despite lamivudine resistance. In group I three of four patients and in group II two of four patients became HBV-DNA negative. Two long-term responders were observed in group I, and none in group II. No patient became HBsAg negative or lost HbeAg. Pretreatment elevated ALT and AST levels were significantly reduced. No severe complications, and especially no rejection episodes, occurred. Lamivudine in combination with other antiviral agents, especially interferon-alpha, might be a therapeutic option for hepatitis B reinfection after liver transplantation. Suppression of virus replication to the point of undetectable values is possible even in patients with lamivudine-resistant virus mutations.
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The quantitative PCR assay was found to be more sensitive than the bDNA assay, allowing a 25-log decrease in viral DNA levels to be demonstrated after anti-HBe seroconversion. Viral persistence after anti-HBe seroconversion induced by interferon, lamivudine or famciclovir, was often associated with circulating HBV genomes harboring mutations in the precore promoter. The clinical significance of these findings was demonstrated by the observation of reversion to HBeAg in two patients treated with interferon and one with lamivudine.
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These findings seem to indicate that lamivudine and famciclovir-resistant variants circulate among Spanish HBV carriers. Since it is expected that antiviral therapy will be ineffective when drug-resistant variants are present before the beginning of treatment, it could be beneficial to test for these variants as an additional routine procedure when designing antiviral therapy on an individual basis.
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2-Amino-9-(3-acetoxymethyl-4-isopropoxycarbonyloxybut-1-yl)- purine (SK1899) was tested as an oral prodrug for penciclovir. SK1899 was administered orally to rats and dogs at doses up to 2 and 0.68 mmol/kg, respectively. SK1899 was well absorbed, and the major metabolites detected in plasma and urine were penciclovir, the active antiviral compound, and 6-deoxypenciclovir (M4) in both species. In rats, SK1899 was rapidly and extensively metabolized to penciclovir, which reached the peak plasma concentration (C(max)) of 39.5 microM at 0.5 h after 0.2-mmol/kg dosing. The area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) for penciclovir was 57.5 microM x h. After an oral dose of 0.034 mmol/kg to dogs, extensive conversion of SK1899 to penciclovir also occurred with slower rate of formation of penciclovir from M4 than in rats. The mean C(max) and AUC for penciclovir were 4.5 microM at 2.7 h and 28.2 microM x h, respectively. The 0- to 24-h urinary recovery of penciclovir represented 36.1 and 36.3% of dose to rats and dogs, respectively. Radioactivity was found in fetuses following an oral administration of [(14)C]SK1899 to pregnant rats, but no significant accumulation was observed. Although substantial milk transfer of [(14)C]SK1899 occurred in rats, the radioactivity in milk was rapidly cleared. The values of C(max), AUC, and urinary recovery of penciclovir after dosing with SK1899 to rats and dogs were similar or slightly higher than those from famciclovir. These data indicate that introduction of an isopropoxy carbonate group into one of the two hydroxyl groups of M4 did not significantly alter the oral bioavailability of penciclovir compared with famciclovir.
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral famciclovir in the suppression of genital herpes.
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We conducted a clinical study that tested the effect of suppressive treatment with the botanical product Gene-Eden-VIR/Novirin on genital herpes. Our previous paper showed that the treatment decreased the number of genital herpes outbreaks without any side effects. It also showed that the clinical effects of Gene-Eden-VIR/Novirin are mostly better than those reported in the studies that tested acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir. The current paper reports the effect of suppressive treatment with Gene-Eden-VIR/Novirin on the duration of outbreaks, in severe and mild genital herpes cases.
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Recurrent genital herpes is a major problem for patients worldwide. Early episodic treatment with short-course therapy is effective, often stopping progression of outbreaks. This study is the first head-to-head comparison of single-day famciclovir (1000 mg administered twice daily) versus 3-day valacyclovir (500 mg administered twice daily) for episodic therapy in immunocompetent patients.
Herpes zoster (Hz), which generally presents as a localized, painful cutaneous eruption, is a common clinical problem, particularly among adults ≥ 50 years of age and immunocompromised patients. The diagnosis of Hz is mainly made clinically, except in patients with atypical manifestations or certain complications, such as central nervous system involvement, in which laboratory virologic testing is required. In addition to having a higher mortality rate, immunocompromised individuals have atypical and severe clinical findings and are at greater risk for complications and recurrence of Hz. Treatment of Hz includes the use of antiviral agents, analgesics for control of acute zoster pain, good skin care for healing, and prevention of secondary bacterial infection. Antiviral agents, preferably valacyclovir or famciclovir, should be started within 72 hours of onset to reduce the severity of the infection, the duration of the eruptive phase, and the intensity of acute pain. Herpes zoster has been associated with several complications, of which post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) is the most common and debilitating. Varicella-zoster virus vaccine and early treatment with either famciclovir or valacyclovir are the only measures proven to prevent PHN. The options for treating PHN include topical agents, such as lidocaine patches, and systemic agents, such as the anticonvulsants gabapentin and pregabalin. Measures for preventing Hz include infection control through routine hand hygiene and appropriate use of isolation precautions and personal protective equipment; immunoglobulins, such as the varicella-zoster virus immunoglobulin and vaccine; and antiviral agents. The zoster vaccine has been shown to be effective in reducing the incidence of Hz and PHN. The vaccine is recommended for all individuals aged ≥ 60 years who have no contraindications, including individuals who report a previous episode of Hz.
Limitations of acyclovir in treating infections caused by herpes simplex virus include the development of resistant isolates and relatively poor oral bioavailability. Penciclovir and famciclovir may have added clinical utility in the treatment of herpes virus infections in humans. Intracellular pharmacokinetics differ for valacyclovir and famciclovir, but the importance of these differences is unknown. Animal studies suggest that famciclovir (but not valacyclovir) can affect subsequent latent infection with HSV-1; the relevance of these findings to humans requires further investigation. Famciclovir and valacyclovir appear to decrease time to resolution of pain compared with acyclovir in patients with herpes zoster infections.
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We examined a 41-year-old man with AIDS but without a history of varicella-zoster virus dermatitis who had disciform corneal edema in his left eye. Varicella-zoster virus was detected by a polymerase chain reaction-based assay in the aqueous of the left eye; however, neither cytomegalovirus nor herpes simplex virus DNA were detected by polymerase chain reaction-based assays. The corneal edema slowly resolved while the patient was treated with famciclovir.
Genital herpes, an incurable viral disease that can have a devastating impact on affected patients, is a serious public health concern affecting one in four Americans. Episodic treatment with nucleoside analogs for 3-5 days is the most common method of treatment; however, since maximum viral replication occurs within 24 hours after the onset of symptoms, single-day patient-initiated episodic treatment may be a better option. A recent study evaluated the effectiveness of patient-initiated single-day famciclovir versus placebo in the treatment of genital herpes and found that single-day famciclovir decreased healing time and the duration of pain and other symptoms, and increased the proportion of patients who did not progress to a full outbreak. Compared with previous studies, the results of single-day therapy are similar to or better than the results of conventional therapies of 2-5 days' duration. In addition, the convenience of single-day treatment may lead to greater patient adherence and improved overall management of recurrent herpes outbreaks.