Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine for the Treatment of Genital Herpes
Conventional antiviral drugs have proven effectiveness for genital herpes; however, patients continue to use a variety of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments. Given that patients may be using these products, it is important that healthcare providers become familiar with the data regarding safety and efficacy. We have reviewed available scientific data on six commonly used treatments (echinacea, eleuthero, L-lysine, zinc, bee products and aloe). In addition, information about a number of other products is presented in tabular form. Currently, there are insufficient clinical data to be confident of the efficacy and safety of any of these products for the treatment of genital herpes. It is hoped that future clinical trials will be conducted with sufficient rigour to provide guidance to the patients using these products.