A review with 33 refs. In this review, after some considerations about the structure of the virus and the viral replicative cycle, herpes virus diseases in man are described. The most important antiherpes virus drugs until now discovered are then reported analyzing and examg. their chem. structure related to their mechanism of action and their pharmacol. activity. Finally, defects of antiherpes virus drugs currently in therapy are shown, in order to outline which directions future developments will have to follow.