B Virus (Macacine Herpesvirus 1, Herpes B) Medication

Updated: Oct 22, 2021
  • Author: Sandra G Gompf, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
  • Print

Medication Summary

Specific antiviral agents are recommended as soon as possible to attempt prevention of herpes B virus disease progression in humans or when prophylaxis is indicated. No treatment is currently approved for herpes B virus infection by the US Food and Drug Administration. Early treatment has been successful in modifying infection in some animal models, but human data, albeit anecdotal, have been mixed. The progression of complications seems to be limited in some human reports. The dosing, especially for prophylaxis, is not clearly delineated. Because of its bioavailability profile, valacyclovir seems preferable to acyclovir for oral use in either treatment or prophylaxis.

Topical antiseptic compounds or preparations are used topically on potentially contaminated or infected body surfaces or on inanimate objects. In these cases, the topical antiseptics are used to inactivate any herpes B virus remaining in the wound after irrigation.



Class Summary

Nucleoside analogs are initially phosphorylated by viral thymidine kinase to eventually form a nucleoside triphosphate. These molecules inhibit HSV polymerase with 30-50 times the potency of human alpha-DNA polymerase. Herpes B virus thymidine kinase has only recently been characterized. Initial in vitro study has suggested that, under experimental conditions, B virus thymidine kinase is less susceptible to several commonly used antiherpes drugs, including acyclovir and ganciclovir. This may lead to further research aimed at developing more effective alternatives than the currently accepted drugs for this infection. [17]

Acyclovir (Zovirax)

Synthetic purine nucleoside analogue with activity against a number of herpesviruses, including herpes B. Primarily available in preparations for PO and IV use. Highly selective for virus-infected cells because of high affinity for viral thymidine-kinase enzyme. This effect serves to concentrate acyclovir monophosphate into virus-infected cells. The monophosphate is then metabolized into triphosphate active form by cellular kinases.

Valacyclovir (Valtrex)

Hydrochloride salt of the L-valyl ester of acyclovir. Rapidly converted into acyclovir after prompt absorption from the gut via first-pass intestinal or hepatic metabolism. An alternative to acyclovir for prophylaxis (or possibly treatment).


Topical antiseptics

Class Summary

These agents are to be used for decontamination of affected areas. Scrubbing should persist for at least 15 min.

Povidone-iodine (Betadine)

Broad-spectrum germicidal agent used topically on skin or mucous membranes. Used as a surgical scrub or topical cleanser. Elemental iodine is the active form.

Chlorhexidine oral (Hibiclens, Peridex, PerioChip)

Effective, safe, and reliable topical wash or PO mouthwash antiseptic. A polybiguanide with bactericidal activity; usually is supplied as a gluconate salt. At physiologic pH, the salt dissociates to a cation that binds to bacterial cell walls. Commercially available central venous catheters impregnated with chlorhexidine and silver sulfadiazine are available.

Dakin solution

Originally described by Dakin in 1915. Made from sodium carbonate, salt, bleaching powder, and boric acid. Today, commonly referred to 0.5% sodium hypochlorite (a 1:10 dilution of household bleach). Solution deteriorates with time and should be made fresh. Further dilutions also can be made. Some physicians use it as part of pressure ulcer management. Because of potential injury, other topical antiseptics usually are used.