Printer Friendly

ZOVIRAX BENEFITS OTHERWISE HEALTHY TEENS WITH CHICKENPOX

 ZOVIRAX BENEFITS OTHERWISE HEALTHY TEENS WITH CHICKENPOX
 RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The antiviral medication Zovirax(R) brand acyclovir significantly reduced the duration and severity of chickenpox in otherwise healthy adolescents, according to study results published in the April 1992 issue of "The Journal of Pediatrics."
 These data and an earlier study in younger children age 2-12 supported the expansion of the indications of Zovirax earlier this year to include the use of Zovirax for the treatment of varicella, more commonly known as chickenpox.
 "We believe that these data support treatment of all adolescents who are seen within 24 hours of onset of rash," the authors of "The Journal of Pediatrics" article wrote. "Oral acyclovir therapy is safe and effective for treatment of varicella in otherwise healthy adolescents."
 The 10-center, placebo-controlled study involved 68 adolescents between 13 and 18 years of age. Participants were treated within 24 hours of the onset of a chickenpox rash and received one 800 mg tablet or a placebo four times daily for five days. Patients receiving Zovirax Tablets experienced a shortened course of disease, a significant reduction in fever and fewer residual hypopigmented lesions.
 The most frequent adverse events reported in varicella clinical trials with Zovirax were diarrhea, abdominal pain, rash, vomiting and flatulence. These events were also reported in a similar proportion of placebo recipients. Adverse experience reports in the varicella trials were consistent with many pre- and post-marketing studies of Zovirax for other indications. In varicella clinical trials, therapy with Zovirax did not affect the antibody response to varicella-zoster virus measured one month and one year following treatment. Currently, there is no information on the longer-term effects on immunity.
 Chickenpox in the United States
 Chickenpox, caused by varicella-zoster virus, a member of the herpes family of viruses, is one of the most common infectious diseases in children and usually occurs in early childhood. Approximately 3.5 million cases of chickenpox occur each year in the United States.
 In adolescents, chickenpox is more severe than in younger children. Teenagers have more pox, more overall symptoms such as fever and loss of appetite, and a greater number of residual lesions. Those who contract the disease from a sibling generally experience more severe illness than the first sick child in the family. According to the study in "The Journal of Pediatrics," Zovirax therapy offered even greater benefit in these secondary cases.
 Symptoms and Complications of Chickenpox
 Symptoms of chickenpox include fever, malaise and a characteristic rash that passes through several stages, changing from initial red bumps to tiny fluid-filled blisters (vesicles) and then crusting. Most of the rash crusts within six or seven days without treatment.
 "Although complications are uncommon in otherwise normal youngsters," the authors wrote, "approximately 6,000 of the 3 million Americans in whom varicella develops each year are hospitalized because of its complications,
with an estimated national cost of $400 million." Acyclovir has not yet been shown to reduce complications because of limitations posed by the size of the clinical trials.
 The authors said a separate study of the treatment of adolescents was done because several published studies have suggested that the prevalence of varicella in teenagers is increasing and that teenagers may be at higher risk for complications necessitating hospitalization.
 The authors wrote, "A commonly asked question is 'What specific groups of patients with varicella will benefit most from acyclovir therapy?' We believe that adolescents, because of their more severe clinical course, are such a group."
 Antiviral Therapy
 Until recently, physicians had little specific therapy to offer people suffering from chickenpox. Treatment was directed at the temporary relief of symptoms, such as fever reduction with acetaminophen and relief of itching with the use of topical and oral medications. Aspirin should be avoided because of the risk of Reye's syndrome.
 Zovirax works by selectively blocking the replication of the varicella-zoster virus. When activated in infected cells, the drug inhibits the virust of Burroughs Wellcome's antiviral research program. In 1982, Burroughs Wellcome Co. introduced Zovirax Ointment, the first drug released for marketing in the United States to treat initial episodes of genital herpes. Zovirax Capsules were introduced in 1985 for treatment of primary genital herpes and for treatment and suppression of recurrent disease. In 1990, the indications for Zovirax were expanded to include treatment of herpes zoster (shingles) with oral and I.V. preparations and I.V. therapy, for herpes simplex encephalitis. Zovirax Suspension was introduced in 1989, and an 800 mg tablet became available in 1991.
 Formulation and Dosing
 The oral formulations of Zovirax are a banana-flavored suspension (liquid), a 200 mg capsule and an 800 mg tablet. The recommended dosage for children ages 2-12 is 20 mg per kilogram of body weight four times daily (80 mg/kg/day) for five days. Recommended dosage for adolescents ages 13-18 is 800 mg four times daily for five days. Therapy should be initiated at the earliest sign or symptom. Cost of therapy for an adolescent would be $55-$70 although the cost of treatment of younger children would be $30-$55, depending on the age and weight of the child.
 Study Locations
 The study in adolescents, sponsored by Burroughs Wellcome Co., was conducted at 10 institutions in the United States. Study centers were: Stanford University Medical Center, St. Louis University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Colorado, University of Connecticut Health Center, University of Mississippi, Columbia University, Baylor College of Medicine, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center and University of Minnesota.
 Burroughs Wellcome Co.
 Burroughs Wellcome Co. is a research-based pharmaceutical company with headquarters in Research Triangle Park, N.C. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Wellcome Foundation Ltd., an international pharmaceutical firm based in London, England. Last year Wellcome devoted approximately 38 percent of its more than $400 million research and development effort to the study of antiviral and infectious diseases.
 -0- 4/16/92
 /CONTACT: Kathy S. Bartlett, 919-248-4302, Sharon Bickus, 919-248-8611, or Karen Collins, 919-248-3231, all of Burroughs Wellcome Co./ CO: Burroughs Wellcome Co. ST: North Carolina IN: MTC SU: PDT


DF-CM -- CH005 -- 9262 04/16/92 11:50 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 16, 1992
Words:1018
Previous Article:GIBSON GREETINGS, INC. INCREASES REGULAR QUARTERLY DIVIDEND
Next Article:SPRINT TO PROVIDE EXPO '92 TELECOM SERVICES


Related Articles
BURROUGHS WELLCOME: FDA ADVISORY COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS APPROVAL OF MARKETING OF ZOVIRAX FOR CHICKENPOX
ZOVIRAX(R) BENEFITS HEALTHY CHILDREN WITH CHICKENPOX
NEW USE FOR ZOVIRAX(R) PROVIDES EFFECTIVE ORAL THERAPY FOR THE TREATMENT OF CHICKENPOX
BURROUGHS WELLCOME CO. AND WYETH-AYERST TO CO-PROMOTE NEW TREATMENT FOR CHICKENPOX
ZOVIRAX(R) BENEFITS OTHERWISE HEALTHY ADULTS WITH CHICKENPOX
ZOVIRAX(R) BENEFITS OTHERWISE HEALTHY ADULTS WITH CHICKENPOX
BURROUGHS WELLCOME STATEMENT ZOVIRAX USE IN TREATING CHICKENPOX
Chickenpox: an elusive childhood disease surfacing in adulthood as shingles.
NEW THERAPY FOR SHINGLES RELEASED FOR MARKETING BY U.S. FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION
WELL BEING; Why Zoe's zippy and.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters