Acyclovir with Steroid and Steroid Alone in the Treatment of Idiopathic Facial Nerve Palsy: A Randomised Double-blinded Clinical Study from a Tertiary Care Centre, Chennai, India
Dr. K Priya,
Professor, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Chettinad Hospital and Research Institute, Rajiv Gandhi Salai, OMR, Kelambakkam, Chennai-603103, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introdutcion: Idiopathic palsy of facial nerve is an acute disease which causes lower motor neuron palsy characterised by facial asymmetry leads to psychological effects and limits one’s social life. Steroids are very effective in the management of Bell’s palsy. The usage of antiviral is still in debate due to the idiopathic aetiology of Bell’s palsy.
Aim: To evaluate the efficacy of acyclovir with steroid and steroid alone in the management of Bell’s palsy with respect to the recovery time.
Materials and Methods: The randomised double-blinded clinical study was conducted in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Chettinad Hospital and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, from September 2021 to February 2022 among 100 patients with idiopathic facial nerve palsy. Patients were divided into two groups, 50 patients in each. One group treated with acyclovir (400 mg oral five times daily) and methylprednisolone (1 mg/kg/day), and other group treated with steroid alone. Both the groups received physiotherapy in the Department of Physiotherapy and taught about home facial exercises. The patients were on regular follow-up for six months to monitor the time of the recovery. House-Brackmann grading system was used for initial assessment and monitor the recovery of the patient. The improvement of House-Brackmann grade to I or II was considered a satisfactory recovery. The association between two groups were assessed by Chi-square test (χ2), repeated measures and paired t-test. The statistical significance was considered when p-value <0.05.
Results: Out of 100 patients, 52 patients were male and 48 were female, while the age range was 19-58 years. At two months, 43 (86%) patients recovered in the combination group and 41 (82%) in the steroid alone group (p-value=0.038). At six months, 48 (96%) patients recovered in the combination group and 42 (84%) in the steroid alone group (p-value=0.178). The overall recovery rate was higher in the combination group (96%) compared to steroid alone group (84%).
Conclusion: The combination of acyclovir with steroids in the treatment of Bell’s palsy has better recovery compared to steroid alone therapy.