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Antiviral drugs should not be used to treat Bell’s palsy, Cochrane analysis concludes

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b4086 (Published 07 October 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4086
  1. Roger Dobson
  1. 1Abergavenny

    Antiviral drugs that are widely prescribed to treat Bell’s palsy are ineffective, new research from the Cochrane Database shows.

    High quality evidence from randomised controlled trials of Herpes simplex antiviral drugs showed that they were no more effective than placebo, say the authors (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009;(4):CD001869, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001869.pub4). They recommend that research should now focus on discovering other potential causes and treatments of the condition, which affects between 11 and 40 in every 100 000 people.

    “These results cast doubt on research that suggests Herpes simplex causes the condition,” said the study’s …

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