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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Efficacy of early treatment of Bell's palsy with oral acyclovir and prednisolone.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the therapeutic effects of acyclovir and prednisolone in relation to the timing of treatment in Bell's palsy. STUDY DESIGN: This was a retrospective study of 480 Bell's palsy patients who were treated with oral acyclovir and prednisolone (94 cases) or prednisolone alone (386 cases). PATIENTS: Patients met the after criteria: (1) severe or complete Bell's palsy with a score lower than 20 on the 40-point Yanagihara facial score and (2) treatment started within 7 days after onset. The patients were treated with oral prednisolone (60-40 mg/day) with or without oral acyclovir (2,000 mg/day). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Rate of recovery, which was defined as a facial score of 36 or more, and the absence of contracture with synkinesis. RESULTS: The overall recovery rate of patients treated with acyclovir and prednisolone was 95.7 percent, which was better than that of patients treated with prednisolone alone (88.6%). The recovery rate in patients who began the combined therapy within 3 days of the onset of palsy was 100 percent and early treatment resulted in early remission. In contrast, the recovery rate in patients who started the combined therapy more than 4 days after onset was 86.2 percent. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that early diagnosis and treatment within 3 days of the onset of paralysis are necessary for maximal efficacy of combined acyclovir and prednisolone therapy for Bell's palsy.[1]


  1. Efficacy of early treatment of Bell's palsy with oral acyclovir and prednisolone. Hato, N., Matsumoto, S., Kisaki, H., Takahashi, H., Wakisaka, H., Honda, N., Gyo, K., Murakami, S., Yanagihara, N. Otol. Neurotol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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