Oral versus Topical Therapy

There are no head-to-head studies comparing oral formulations and topical creams; however, studies show modest benefit with topical therapy. In a trial of penciclovir vs. placebo in frequent Herpes labialis recurrence, penciclovir reduced time to lesion healing (4.8 vs. 5.5 days) and duration of pain (3.5 vs. 4.1) days. The drawbacks of topical therapy are frequency of administration and high cost.

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