Preliminary observations indicate that lithium carbonate may have an anti-herpes simplex virus activity. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral lithium therapy in ten healthy women with recurrent genital herpes infections. The duration of the study was 18 months, i.e., 12 months of lithium and 6 months of placebo either before or after lithium therapy. During 1 year of lithium treatment at a daily dose of 587 ± 49 mg (mean ± SD) and an average plasma lithium level of 0.51 mmol/l, we observed a 3.2% average monthly reduction in the number of herpes infections (p=0.09). Moreover, we observed a 5.1% average monthly reduction in the duration of each episode (p<0.01), as well as a reduction in the total monthly duration of all herpes infections (p<0.01), the maximum symptom severity (p<0.01), and a clinical severity index score (p<0.004). The present data indicate that chronic lithium therapy may be effective in the suppression of recurrent genital herpes infections.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - 1991|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)