Thirty eyes of 28 patients with herpetic disease were included in the study. Group 1 patients ( 15 eyes of 15 subjects) received topical acyclovir (ACV) ointment. Oral valacyclovir (VACV) was prescribed to group 2 ( 15 eyes of 13 patients). The anterior segment of each eye was carefully examined by slit lamp and scored. Each patient was also instructed to grade his/her subjective symptoms. The corneal lesion healed significantly faster in the group 2 eyes compared to the group 1 eyes. Photophobia score on day 3 and slit- lamp score on day 10 were at significantly lower levels in group 2 compared to group 1. In herpetic keratitis, oral VACV can be a good alternative to ACV ointment therapy. Copyright (C) 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.