Famvir (famciclovir)

The following drug information is obtained from various newswires, published medical journal articles, and medical conference presentations.

Approval Status:

Approved September 17, 1997

Specific Treatments:

herpes simplex

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General Information

Famvir has been approved for the suppression of recurrent genital herpesin a daily formulation.

Clinical Results

Patients receiving Famvir 250 mg twice daily had approximately 80% fewer outbreaks.

Additional Information

It is estimated that at least 31 million Americans have genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease spread through sexual contact with an infected partner. Genital herpes is a contagious viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Each year, an estimated 500,000 new cases occur. In the United States alone, up to 80 percent of the subjects with genital herpes suffer from symptomatic recurrences of the disease following an initial outbreak.

Despite these epidemic proportions, the public does not recognize the prevalence of genital herpes. According to a recent Gallup survey, only 17% of people in six Western countries named genital herpes when asked to name STDs other than AIDS. Among United States respondents, the vast majority believes that the prevalence of genital herpes is on the order of one in 1000 or one in 500. Only 2% correctly guessed the actual prevalence.

During a recurrence of genital herpes, subjects may experience painful sores, as well as tenderness and burning in the genital area. Those infected can spread the disease to others through viral shedding, the time during which the subject is infectious. Many subjects with genital herpes experience an average of five outbreaks--or recurrences--per year, although some may have as many as two to three per month.