Medicine: Herpes Relief: A new capsule seems to work

A new capsule seems to work

The headline on the New York Post screamed U.S. APPROVES HERPES SUPER-DRUG. While that description was exaggerated, the approval of oral acyclovir capsules last week by the Food and Drug Administration marked a big step forward in the treatment of genital herpes. Though the drug will not cure the pesky venereal disease, which afflicts some 5 million to 20 million Americans, it can reduce both the severity and the frequency of recurring attacks.

Acyclovir, developed by the Burroughs Wellcome Co. of Research Triangle Park, N.C., works against herpes infections by inhibiting the ability of the virus to replicate. In 1982 the...

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