Friday, November 25, 2022

Do I Need To Take Medication For Herpes

Talk With Your Doctor About Herpes Medications

Anti-Herpetic Drugs – How They Work

Its important to first talk with your doctor before using over-the-counter products like docosanol or other home remedies.

If this is the first time you have symptoms of HSV with blisters or sores, your doctor will first diagnose if you have HSV, the type and discuss options to manage your condition. They will tell you about prescription and nonprescription alternatives to treat your HSV infection.

Tell your doctor if you have any serious health conditions including if you have a weakened immune system.

Your doctor will also tell you what you can expect with an HSV infection, how long it may last, and what do to prevent spreading HSV to others while you have an active infection.

Here are answers to a few commonly asked questions about herpes simplex virus.

Can I Treat Herpes Simplex At Home

Avoiding known triggers, such as illness or stress, can help reduce how often you have herpes outbreaks.

How can I ease my symptoms during an outbreak of HSV-1 ?

  • Over-the-counter creams such as L-lysine, benzocaine or docosanol .
  • Applying ice to blisters or sores.

How can I ease my symptoms during an outbreak of HSV-2 ?

  • Apply an ice pack to your genitals. Wrap the ice pack in a washcloth or apply it over your underwear.
  • Keep your genitals dry. Wear cotton or other nonsynthetic underpants and avoid tight-fitting clothes. Moist sores take longer to heal.
  • Soak in a warm bath.
  • Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain.
  • Topical 1% or 2% lidocaine may be used as a topical analgesic.

Should I Take Antiviral Pills For My Herpes

Reasons for choosing short course/episodic treatment:

Reasons for choosing suppression/prophylactic/long-term treatment:

See section above for the dosing.

Advertisement:There are now UK-based websites, such as MedExpress, which are authorised by the Care Quality Commission to sell aciclovir for treating genital herpes to diagnosed patients.

Beware: Many other websites advertise fake treatments or even cures. They may include testimonials and statements by people who claim to be doctors. They are scams. Do not be fooled.

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Is There A Way To Prevent Getting Herpes

You can protect yourself and your partner by taking steps to prevent an outbreak of herpes. Some things that you can do include:

-If you already have herpes, donât have sex until the outbreak is completely gone, even with a condom.

-Try to learn the signs of an impending outbreak, such as itching, tingling and burning, and stop having sex as soon as you notice.

-If you wear contact lenses, donât wet your lenses with your saliva. This could spread your herpes infection to your eyes.

-Donât have sex with your partner until your herpes sores are completely healed.

-Always tell your partner if you are infected with the herpes virus before you have sex. Even though it can be embarrassing and difficult, herpes is very common, and telling your partner will help keep the infection from spreading.

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What Are The Best Natural Remedies For Herpes

Valtrex Herpes Labial

When experiencing a herpes outbreak, one of the most important things someone can do is keep the area clean, cool, and dry, since heat and dampness can irritate the sores. Maintaining a healthy immune system can go a long way too, according to Dr. Hayag. “A strong, healthy immune system can keep herpes under control, prevent outbreaks, and reduce the duration of symptoms,” she says. “Supplements like zinc, vitamin C, and echinacea are vital to increasing your immune function and easy to incorporate into your daily routine.” And when it comes to natural remedies, there are several that can provide much-needed relief.

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Treatment Of Primary Infection

Antiviral therapy is recommended for an initial genital herpes outbreak, especially if the patient has systemic symptoms or is immunocompromised.2 Oral acyclovir is effective in reducing symptoms1 . Intravenous administration may be required in immunocompromised patients and those with severe disseminated infection.1 Topical acyclovir reduces the duration of viral shedding and the length of time before all lesions become crusted, but this treatment is much less effective than oral or intravenous acyclovir.1

Effect of Acyclovir Treatment on Primary Genital Herpes

Symptom/sign

Time until all lesions are crusted

Time until all lesions are healed

*Dosage = 200 mg five times daily for 10 days, given within six days of lesion onset.

Information from Mertz GJ, Critchlow CW, Benedetti J, Reichman RC, Dolin R, Connor J. Double-blind placebo-controlled trial of oral acyclovir in first-episode genital herpes simplex virus infection. JAMA 1984 252:114751.

Effect of Acyclovir Treatment on Primary Genital Herpes

Symptom/sign

Time until all lesions are crusted

Time until all lesions are healed

*Dosage = 200 mg five times daily for 10 days, given within six days of lesion onset.

Information from Mertz GJ, Critchlow CW, Benedetti J, Reichman RC, Dolin R, Connor J. Double-blind placebo-controlled trial of oral acyclovir in first-episode genital herpes simplex virus infection. JAMA 1984 252:114751.

Famciclovir is not FDA-labeled for this indication.

Is There A Cure For Herpes Simplex

There is no cure for herpes simplex. Once you have the virus, its a lifelong infection.

What is the outlook for people with herpes simplex?

For many people, the first herpes outbreak is the most severe. Many outbreaks are less frequent and milder after the first year of infection. Some people may have only one outbreak and never have another again.

Herpes infection doesnt usually pose a serious health risk. The risk of a health complication due to herpes is higher in infants and if you have HIV/AIDS, cancer or an organ transplant.

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Drug Treatment For Genital Herpes

If you are infected with genital herpes, your doctor may prescribe oral antiviral drugs to help ease your symptoms during both a first episode and recurrent episodes. Your doctor may also suggest taking antiviral drugs daily as a suppressive therapy to reduce symptoms and protect partners.

Remember, though, that antiviral drugs do not wipe out the virus completely. It continues to live in your body, so if you stop taking the drugs that suppress it, you may have more frequent or more intense symptom outbreaks, and the risk of your transmitting the virus to others rises.

Three antiviral drugs, all taken by mouth, are used to treat genital herpes:

Does Herpes Need To Be Treated

Herpes simplex (Cold sore): All you need to know

Treating herpes simplex symptoms may not be necessary. Herpes simplex infections clear up even if no treatment is given. But treating genital herpes can be helpful particularly if there are severe symptoms. Some people are affected more than others. See below for the rare occasions when it can be serious.

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What Happens If You Dont Get Herpes Treatment

The good news about herpes is that its not deadly or even very dangerous. It might be annoying, but herpes doesnt get worse over time or cause serious health problems like other STDs can.

If you dont get treated for herpes, you might keep having regular outbreaks, or they could only happen rarely. Some people naturally stop getting outbreaks after a while.

There are a few reasons people may decide not to get treatment. They might not have that many outbreaks, or their outbreaks dont really bother them. Or maybe theyre not having sex, so theyre not that worried about having herpes right now. Whatever your situation is, getting treatment for herpes is your choice.

Having herpes can make it easier to get HIV, because the sores give HIV an open pathway into your body. So always use condomsto help prevent the spread of both herpes and HIV.

What Helps Herpes Sores Heal Faster

Keeping the sores clean, cool, and dry is beneficial to the healing process. Bandaging, heating, or picking at sores will irritate them and can extend their duration. The most effective method for shortening herpes outbreaks is a prescription antiviral medication like valacyclovir, famciclovir, or acyclovir.

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Home Remedies And Lifestyle

There are some things that you can do at home to lessen the pain of a cold sore or genital herpes, prevent worsening of your condition, and reduce the risk of spreading the infection to others.

  • Apply cold compresses: Place a well-insulated ice pack on your lesions for as long as it makes you feel better. The cold will not worsen or improve the lesion, but it can lessen the pain.
  • Dont scratch: Avoid touching and scratching lesions caused by herpes, as this can spread the infection to other areas of your own skin.
  • Keep the sores clean: Cold sores and genital herpes infections can become infected with bacteria from your hands or, in the latter case, from urine or feces. Keep the sores and blisters, and the areas around them, clean and dry to avoid an additional infection.
  • Reduce stress: Stress can affect how well your immune system can keep your herpes infection in check. Reducing your stress may help prevent excessive herpes recurrences.

How Do You Get Herpes

Aciclovir Prescription Tablets For Genital Herpes Available Online

There are two different herpes viruses: Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 and Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 .

While rare, a mother can pass genital herpes to the baby during vaginal childbirth.

Herpes is most easily transmitted when sores are open and wet, because fluid from herpes blisters easily spreads the virus. But herpes can also shed and be passed to others when there are no sores and the skin looks totally normal. Most people get herpes from someone who does not have any sores. When used consistently and correctly, condoms help protect against herpes and many other STDs.

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What Is Herpes Simplex

Herpes simplex is a virus that causes skin infections. The infection lasts your lifetime, and it causes painful or itchy sores and blisters that come and go. Herpes simplex virus typically doesnt cause severe problems. But it can be dangerous in infants and people with weakened immune systems. There are two types of herpes simplex:

  • Herpes simplex 1 tends to affect your mouth or face. It causes cold sores. HSV-1 spreads through contact with saliva .
  • Herpes simplex 2 is a sexually transmitted disease . It causes sores on skin that comes in contact with the genitals of an infected person.

Sometimes a herpes infection can affect other parts of your body, such as your eyes or other parts of your skin.

Can I Breastfeed If I Have Genital Herpes

Yes, you can breastfeed if you have genital herpes, but not if you have a herpes sore on one of your breasts. If you have genital herpes, it is possible to spread the infection to any part of your breast, including your nipple and areola.

If you have any genital herpes sores on one or both of your breasts:

  • You can keep breastfeeding as long as your baby or pumping equipment does not touch a herpes sore.
  • Do not breastfeed from the breast with sores. Herpes is spread through contact with sores and can be dangerous to a newborn baby.
  • Pump or hand-express your milk from the breast with sores until the sores heal. Pumping will help keep up your milk supply and prevent your breast from getting overly full and painful. You can store your milk to give to your baby in a bottle for another feeding. But if parts of your pump also touch the sore while pumping, throw the milk away.

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To Use Buccal Acyclovir Follow These Steps:

  • Find the area on the upper gum above your left and right incisor teeth .
  • With dry hands, remove one delayed-release tablet from the container.
  • Gently apply the tablet to the upper gum area as high as it will go on your gum above one of your incisor teeth on the side of your mouth with the cold sore. Do not apply it to the inside of the lip or cheek.
  • Hold the tablet in place for 30 seconds.
  • If the tablet does not stick to your gum or if it sticks to your cheek or the inside of your lip, reposition it to stick to your gum. Leave the tablet in place until it dissolves.
  • Do not interfere with the placement of the tablet. Check to see if the tablet is still in place after eating, drinking, or rinsing your mouth.
  • If the delayed-release buccal tablet comes off within the first 6 hours of application, reapply the same tablet. If it still will not stick, then apply a new tablet. If you accidentally swallow the tablet within the first 6 hours of application, drink a glass of water and place a new tablet on your gum. If the tablet falls off or is swallowed 6 or more hours after application, do not apply a new tablet until your next regular time.

    Who Might Get Herpes Simplex

    Protecting Against Herpes

    People of any age can contract herpes simplex. You are more likely to get the virus if you:

    • Were assigned female at birth.
    • Have had multiple sex partners.
    • Started having sex at a young age.
    • Have a history of any sexually transmitted infection .
    • Have a weakened immune system.
    • Dont use condoms for intercourse and dental dams for oral sex.

    Who gets HSV-1, commonly known as oral herpes?

    Anyone can get HSV-1. Most people contract HSV-1 during childhood. It spreads when an adult who has the virus has close contact with a child, such as when a family member kisses a child.

    Who gets HSV-2, commonly known as genital herpes?

    Genital herpes affects sexually active teens and adults of all genders and races. It can spread if you have multiple sexual partners and dont use condoms or dental dams.

    People assigned female at birth are more at risk. Delicate vaginal tissue can tear, making it easier for the infection to get in. Black people who were AFAB are especially vulnerable, with an estimated 1 in 2 people AFAB between the ages of 14 and 49 infected with HSV-2.

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    I Sometimes Get Twinges And Pains Around My Buttocks Or Down One Leg What Does This Mean

    Occasionally, herpes simplex virus can cause burning skin sensations, deep aches or sudden twinges in the genital area. When they occur in the thighs or buttocks, they are sometimes compared to sciatica. These symptoms are called prodromes or prodromal symptoms. They are a sign that the virus is trying to reactivate and there may be virus on the skin surface. Sometimes sores will follow, but very often your immune response overcomes the virus before visible signs appear. For email version or posted version of more information on treating genital herpes, select tips to prevent recurrences on the subscription form.

    How Is Genital Herpes Diagnosed

    The best way to find out if you have genital herpes is to have a sexual health check-up. This may involve a physical examination and a swab from the affected area to test for HSV. To confirm genital herpes the lab needs to find herpes simplex virus types 1 or 2 on a swab.

    Diagnosis is easier if early ulcers or blisters are present.

    Because it is possible to have another STI at the same time, a full sexual health check-up should be done.

    Sexual contacts should be informed of the diagnosis and it may be advisable for them to have a sexual health check-up.

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    Treatment Of Recurrent Genital Herpes

    Most herpes recurrences are so mild and infrequent that taking treatment isn’t considered necessary or helpful.

    For some people herpes recurrences, while infrequent, can be more prolonged and you may find taking a short course of medication when you recognise the signs of a recurrence lessens the length and severity of the symptoms and reduces the risk of transmission if you are sexually active. This is called EPISODIC TREATMENT as it is not taken all the time.

    Because this therapy is most effective before you develop skin rashes or lesions , it is important you have a readily available supply of medication to start as soon as you experience signs that you are having a recurrence.

    Episodic treatment is 500mg of valaciclovir twice daily for 3 days taken 3 times daily for 2 days).

    Ask your Doctor to prescribe 50 x 500mg tablets of valaciclovir and self-initiate treatment at the first sign of a recurrence starting.

    Serious Side Effects Of Valtrex

    What is Herpetic Whitlow?

    Although its rare, Valtrex can cause more serious side effects that may require medical attention, including:

    • Low blood cell counts
    • Painful periods for women

    If youre taking Valtrex and have any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor for medical advice as soon as possible.

    If you have any signs of an allergic reaction like difficulty breathing, hives, or swelling of the face, mouth, or throat, you should seek immediate emergency medical treatment.

    Other serious side effects that could potentially occur when taking Valtrex include:

    • Inflammation of the liver
    • A serious blood disorder called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/hemolytic uremic syndrome

    Some patients are more susceptible to these serious side effects than others. Consult your healthcare provider to find out if youre at risk.

    These side effects are very rare. Antiviral medicines are effective at treating viral infections, but after long-term use, they can eventually weaken the immune system by affecting immune cells. This is typically only an issue for seniors and people with weakened immune systems. Even though its not typically taken for long periods of time, if your doctor does want you to take it long term, then thats okay. Some studies have even shown that the long-term use of Valtrex is well-tolerated for healthy individuals.

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