CARL V. VARTIAN, M.D.
To the editor: I found the occurrence of two articles in the December issue to be quite interesting. Saral and associates (1) report a double-blind, placebo-controlled study that shows that intravenous acyclovir can be used prophylactically to prevent reactivation of herpes simplex virus in seropositive leukemic patients. In a seemingly unrelated editorial, Kunin (2) cautions us against overuse of antibiotics so as to limit the emergence of antibiotic-resistant organisms.
Certainly the "pre-acyclovir" literature contains many cases of self-limited herpes simplex infections. Even the early acyclovir trials reported placebo "cures" (3). Although rare acyclovir-resistant herpes simplex isolates have been reported (4,
VARTIAN CV. Acyclovir and Overuse of Antibiotics. Ann Intern Med. ;100:463. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-100-3-463_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1984;100(3):463.
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