Additionally, while I agree with Rattus 100% and have said we need to be cautious about overstating the effects of famvir for new people on the forum, I have to add that there is some VERY PRELIMINARY pre-clnical data from human studies that support the animal data:

PARIS, FRANCE, October 23, 1996 -- A recent review of patients attending a genitourinary clinic demonstrated that famciclovir (Famvir, SmithKline Beecham), when used to treat first episode genital herpes, was more effective than acyclovir in preventing recurrence of genital herpes outbreaks after the cessation of treatment for first episode genital herpes. These results were presented today at the European Congress on Sexually Transmitted Diseases meeting of the International Union Against Venereal Diseases and Treponematoses (IUVDT) in Paris.

The review was based on 87 patients with the herpes simplex virus who were treated for five days with either famciclovir 250 mg three times daily or acyclovir 200 mg five times daily. Only one (4.2 percent) of the famciclovir-treated patients reported a recurrence within one to six months after the first outbreak compared to 12 (19 percent) of the acyclovir-treated patients. These findings support recent pre-clinical animal findings which demonstrated that treating first episode herpes simplex infections with famciclovir may also impact latency/reactivation of the herpes virus. A study presented last month at the 36th annual meeting of the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) demonstrated that famciclovir was more effective than valacyclovir (Valtrex, Glaxo Wellcome) in preventing recurrence of HSV-1 after the cessation of treatment in immunosuppressed mice. In addition, an earlier study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases found that famciclovir-treated mice showed markedly reduced evidence of latent virus, as demonstrated by little or no virus reactivation. This was not seen in valacyclovir-treated mice. Based on these results, a worldwide clinical trial to further examine the effects of famciclovir and valacyclovir on latency in first episode genital herpes is being initiated.

Famvir was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat recurrent genital herpes in immunocompetent patients in December, 1995 and is also currently indicated for the treatment of acute herpes zoster (shingles). In addition to the major latency trial that is being initiated, famciclovir is being studied for the treatment of a number of other infections caused by the viruses belonging to the family of human herpes viruses in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised individuals. Studies are also in progress with this agent in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus infection.