Suppression of recurrent genital herpes infections with lithium carbonate: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial

J. D. Amsterdam, G. Maislin, L. Potter, R. Giuntoli, H. Koprowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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 languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-25
Number of pages9
JournalLithium
Volume2
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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    Amsterdam, J. D., Maislin, G., Potter, L., Giuntoli, R., & Koprowski, H. (1991). Suppression of recurrent genital herpes infections with lithium carbonate: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Lithium, 2(1), 17-25.