The treatment of acute herpangina is inconsistent. We aim to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of interferon α-2b spray versus Ribavirin for the disease.
A randomized, controlled trial was conducted in eight hospitals in China between 2016 and 2018. 668 patients (1-7 years old) were randomized into experimental group (treated with Interferon α-2b spray) or control group (received Ribavirin Aerosol). Body temperature returned to normal within 72 hours and remained for 24 hours was the primary outcome; release of oral herpes and adverse events were the secondary outcomes.
(1) The average age of onset was 2.5 years old. (2) After 72 hours’ treatment, body temperature of 98.5% patients in experimental group and 94.3% in control group returned to normal and lasted for 24 hours (P = 0.004). The differences were greater at 48 hours’ treatment (95.2% vs. 85.9%, P < 0.001) and at 24 hours (77.5% vs. 66.5%, P = 0.001). (3) The rate of improved oral herpes in experimental group were higher than that in control group (46.7% vs.37.1%, P = 0.011). No adverse reaction occurred.
Local application of recombinant interferon α-2b spray showed better efficacy for acute herpangina in children. It was safe for use.
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