Effect of foscarnet cream on experimental UV radiation-induced herpes labialis

David I. Bernstein, Charles J. Schleupner, Thomas G. Evans, Dean A Blumberg, Yvonne Bryson, Kerstin Grafford, Per Broberg, Sarah Martin-Munley, Spotswood L. Spruance

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20 Scopus citations


A topical 3% foscarnet cream formulation was evaluated for its ability to treat experimental UV radiation (UVR)-induced herpes labialis in a double- blind study. Healthy adult volunteers with a history of sunlightinduced herpes labialis were randomly assigned at four centers to receive either foscarnet cream (n = 152) or a vehicle control (n = 150). Following measurement of the minimal erythematous dose (MED), the subjects' lips were exposed to 4 MEDs of UV light. Subjects applied the cream on the UVR-exposed area approximately eight times daily beginning immediately after UVR exposure and continuing for 7 days, or until all lesions had a minimum of 4 days of treatment. There were no significant differences between groups in the percentages of subjects that developed any lesion, aborted lesions (did not progress beyond a papule), immediate lesions (developed within 48 h of UVR), or delayed classic lesions (developed 48 h to 7 days after UVR). Treatment with foscarnet significantly reduced the mean lesion area (49 versus 81 mm2; P = 0.01), the maximum lesion area (80 versus 141 mm2; P = 0.01), and the time to healing (P = 0.03) of the delayed classic lesions (n = 78). There was also a trend for a decrease in the mean duration of these lesions (156 versus 191 h; P = 0.08) and the duration of pain (3.9 versus 4.3 days: P = 0.06) in foscarnet-treated subjects. There were no clinically significant adverse reactions. These data suggest that topical foscarnet can be efficacious and deserves further evaluation for the treatment of herpes labialis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1961-1964
Number of pages4
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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