Monday, February 26, 2024

Do You Have To Take Antivirals For Herpes

A Blood Test Can Determine If Someone Has Genital Herpes

How Antivirals Work Against the Coronavirus

To find out if you have genital herpes, a doctor can take a sample from a sore and test it in the laboratory. There is also a blood test that looks for antibodies to the virus that your immune system would have made. HSV-2 almost always infects the genitals, so if antibodies to HSV-2 are detected in your blood, you probably have genital herpes.

A blood test that shows antibodies to HSV-1 means you could have genital or oral herpes. Thatâs because oral herpes, typically caused by HSV-1, can be spread to the genitals during oral sex.

Support And Advice For Genital Herpes

If you have just found out you have genital herpes, you may feel shocked and may have a lot of questions. It may help you to gather as much information as you can about herpes. This can help you to make fully informed decisions about your treatment, safe sex and preventing further recurrences. Talking to a counsellor about your concerns may also help.

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Avoid The Following While You Are Using Acyclovir Buccal Delayed

  • Do not chew gum, touch, or press the buccal tablet after it has been applied.
  • Do not wear upper dentures.
  • Do not brush your teeth until it dissolves. If your teeth need to be cleaned while the tablet is in place, rinse the mouth gently.

Shake the suspension well before each use to mix the medication evenly.

Your symptoms should improve during your treatment with acyclovir. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.

Take or use acyclovir until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop taking acyclovir too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated or may become more difficult to treat. The delayed-release buccal tablet is applied as a one-time dose.

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Why Is This Medication Prescribed

Acyclovir is used to decrease pain and speed the healing of sores or blisters in people who have varicella , herpes zoster , and first-time or repeat outbreaks of genital herpes . Acyclovir is also sometimes used to prevent outbreaks of genital herpes in people who are infected with the virus. Acyclovir is in a class of antiviral medications called synthetic nucleoside analogues. It works by stopping the spread of the herpes virus in the body. Acyclovir will not cure genital herpes and may not stop the spread of genital herpes to other people.

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Treatment Of Primary Infection

Antiviral Supplements Online Herpes Treatment

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.

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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.

Why Antivirals Are Not Your Best Option For Herpes Treatment A Huge Number Of Temporary And Permanent Side Effects

All the three drugs are known to have a large number of temporary and permanent side effects. Acyclovir, being the oldest has the largest number of side effects. Starting from nausea, it may cause vomiting, diarrhea and headache. And wait, it is not going to stop here, you may feel agitation, confusion, rashes, anemia, and muscle pain, hypersensitivity reactions, seizures, agitation, and hepatitis as well. If you think its variations are better in any way, coming are the side effects of the two new drugs for herpes treatment. Valtrex, also called Valacyclovir, is the most common name on the doctors prescription list if you go for treatment of herpes. Side effects of Valtrex may include a headache, dizziness, tired feeling, depression, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, joint pain, menstrual pain, skin rash, stuffy nose, or a sore throat and the list is still not complete. You can expect similar ill effects troubling you if you are using famciclovir. Do you still think antivirals are the best way to cure herpes? If yes, you must read why we cannot call antivirals even a cure for herpes.

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Antiviral Tablets To Stop The Herpes Virus Multiplying

Antiviral medicines taken by mouth, such as valaciclovir or acyclovir, are the most effective in controlling symptoms, although they cant cure genital herpes. They stop the virus from multiplying in body cells where the virus is present. The medicine only works while you are taking it. The infection can come back when you stop taking it.

Antiviral tablets are used in the following two ways:

  • To treat outbreaks as they happen : The aim is to shorten the time each outbreak lasts and to relieve symptoms. This works best when taken as soon as you get symptoms and before the blisters appear.
  • To prevent or reduce recurrences : If you get frequent or severe recurrent outbreaks, your doctor may recommend you take antiviral tablets every day to help prevent recurrences. Suppressive therapy is taken continuously, every day, for months or years. Suppressive antiviral therapy may help reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to sexual partners.

Antiviral creams bought over the counter from the pharmacy are not recommended as a treatment for a first episode or recurrent genital herpes as they are of little benefit. Antiviral tablets are the preferred treatment.

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When To Talk With A Doctor

Pharmacology – ANTIVIRAL DRUGS (MADE EASY)

Herpes isnt curable, but it can be treated with antiviral medications. These medications can reduce the severity of an outbreak.

If you suspect you have herpes, make an appointment with a doctor. Its also a good idea to talk with your doctor about a herpes screening if:

  • your current or previous sexual partner has herpes
  • youre planning to have sex with a new partner
  • you had a risky sexual encounter

If youve already been diagnosed with herpes and youre currently experiencing an outbreak, the outbreak might go away without causing complications and without treatment.

However, its wise to make an appointment with your doctor if:

  • the outbreak is particularly painful or unbearable
  • youre experiencing symptoms of other STIs
  • youre experiencing frequent, severe outbreaks

If youre sexually active, its a good idea to have regular STI screenings. You can book appointments for STI screenings with your doctors office. You could also try a local clinic, certain pharmacies, or Planned Parenthood.

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What If I Forget A Dose Of Aciclovir

If you forget a dose of aciclovir, take it as soon as you remember, unless its nearly time for your next dose. In this case, just skip the missed dose and continue with your next one as normal.

Never have 2 doses at the same time. Never have an extra dose to make up for a forgotten one.

If you forget doses often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you.

You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to remember your medicines.

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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Herpes Simplex

Preventing HSV-1

You can reduce your risk of contracting HSV-1 by avoiding physical contact with someone who has a cold sore. People can still spread HSV-1 when cold sores arent present, but its less likely.

If someone has an active HSV-1 infection, avoid:

  • Sharing utensils, cups, lip balms or other personal care products.
  • Touching the skin near their mouth.

Preventing HSV-2

If youre sexually active, you can take these steps to protect yourself and others from the herpes virus and other STIs:

  • Be monogamous with one sexual partner or limit your number of partners.
  • Get tested for STIs and complete any prescribed treatment.
  • Tell your sexual partners if you have genital herpes so they can get tested.
  • Use condoms during intercourse and dental dams during oral sex.

Wash your hands often if you have an outbreak or are around someone with symptoms.

If your sexual partner has genital herpes, these actions can lower your risk of getting the virus:

  • Dont have sex when your partner has active symptoms. Condoms may not cover all sores, so you may still get the virus.
  • Make sure your partner takes antiviral medication as prescribed.
  • Wait to have sex until scabs fall off active lesions.

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Dormancy In Between Outbreaks

If someone has already experienced an initial herpes outbreak, then they might wonder how often you should expect to get them in the future. There is no exact science for this either, but the average is two to four HSV-2 outbreaks a year.

However, there are always exceptions. According to the Mayo Clinic, a herpes patient can live outbreak-free 40 years after their first one before having another!

  • Women can have outbreak recurrences on their cervix without knowing it. .
  • Recurring outbreaks have fewer systemic symptoms than the first outbreak.
  • Herpes outbreaks are more frequent within the first 4-5 years of having the virus in most people. They taper off, and sometimes stop occurring altogether. This isnt always the case for all patients, though.
  • Some women experience outbreaks in conjunction with their menstrual cycles, which for them would be a trigger.

What Is Genital Herpes

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Genital herpes is a common viral infection caused by a virus known as the herpes simplex virus .

There are two types of the virus, types 1 and 2 . As well as genital herpes, HSV can infect your mouth and cause cold sores. HSV-1 and HSV-2 infections look the same and you can only tell them apart by lab testing.

Because genital herpes can be passed to others through sexual contact, it is often referred to as a sexually transmitted infection .

As many as 1 in 3 adults has the virus that causes genital herpes. Once you have HSV it remains in your body and becomes active again from time to time.

On average, symptoms of genital herpes are likely to recur 45 times in the first 2 years after being infected with HSV. However, over time the virus tends to become active less often and each time you get symptoms they are less severe.

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What Else Can I Do To Help With A Genital Herpes Outbreak

As well as taking medication to help with symptoms, you can also try:

  • using an anaesthetic gel to numb your skin and ease any pain
  • soaking the affected area with plain or salt water
  • applying Vaseline to the affected area
  • drinking plenty of fluids
  • wearing loose clothing
  • taking pain relief medications, like paracetamol or ibuprofen

The symptoms of herpes outbreaks will usually go away by themselves within 10 days as your immune system fights the infection on its own. You might find the sores painful during that time, so medication can help you by clearing up the infection more quickly.

If youd like to speak to one of our doctors about your symptoms, you can book a telephone consultation. Theyll be able to provide personalised advice on how to cope with genital herpes.

What Can I Do To Prevent Frequent Herpes Recurrences

There is no need to change your lifestyle or take steps to prevent recurrences until you know whether or not you are going to get any. You will see plenty of internet sites offering dubious treatments that are unnecessary and probably have no effect for treating herpes.

These suggestions to help control outbreaks come from people with genital herpes, based on their own experiences. The HVA cannot confirm that any of them will work for you, but we believe they are worth considering:

  • Try not to worry: worry or stress is known to affect the immune system and lower our ability to fight infections. As you learn more, you will be able to put your diagnosis in perspective and worry less. Your immune system will benefit from this and you may get fewer outbreaks.
  • Get enough sleep and avoid getting too tired.
  • Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.
  • Take a modest vitamin E supplement . This has been shown to boost immune response.
  • Give up smoking and cut down on excessive drinking.
  • Take regular exercise: 20 minutes brisk walk each day is a good start.
  • Try taking one soluble low dose aspirin each day with food.
  • Try to avoid causing soreness to genital skin. Skin trauma caused by waxing, shaving, thongs, tight trousers, horse or bike riding or even sexual activity may trigger outbreaks. Talk to the helpline on 0845 123 2305 if you need advice about these.
  • If sex is a trigger try using silicone based lubricant .
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    Valacyclovir: How It Works Dosage And Side Effects

    Navin Khosla has been a registered Pharmacist since 1995. He obtained his B.Pharm Degree in Pharmacy from the London School of Pharmacy, University of London in 1994, and has built a wealth of experience by working across the community pharmacy retail sector.

    Valacyclovir is a prescription medication used to treat the herpes infections that can cause cold sores and genital herpes. You can buy a generic version of the medication simply called valacyclovir or a branded version called Valtrex. Both work in the same way.If you have genital herpes or are prone to cold sores, valacyclovir is a medication you should know about. Its one of the most effective ways to treat your herpes infection. Sounds good right? Here we explain what valacyclovir is used for, how it works, its possible side effects and more.

    How Can I Prevent Herpes Outbreaks

    Anti herpes drugs | Pharmacology | Antiviral drugs | Med Vids Made Simple

    If you have lots of herpes outbreaks, your doctor may tell you to take medicine every day this is called suppressive therapy. It can help prevent future herpes outbreaks, and lower your chances of giving herpes to your partners.

    Whether or not you take medicine to treat herpes, taking care of yourself by eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and avoiding stress might help keep future outbreaks from popping up.

    No one knows for sure what triggers genital herpes outbreaks. Other infections, surgery, sex, your period, skin irritations, and stress may cause outbreaks. Sunburns, injuries to your lips, or other infections can cause oral herpes flare-ups. Try to avoid getting sunburned if you have oral herpes.

    Genital herpes outbreaks usually happen less often and become shorter and weaker after a few years whether or not you get treated.

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    Treatment For Cold Sores

    • Cold sores have no treatment. Once youve contracted the virus, it will remain in your body for the rest of your life. In most cases, the sores will heal on their own in 1 to 2 weeks.

    • Antiviral drugs can help you recuperate faster, especially if you start taking them as soon as you notice an outbreak.

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    When Treatments For Genital Herpes Are Given

    • Initial treatment. If you have symptoms such as sores when you’re first diagnosed with genital herpes, your doctor will usually give you a brief course of antiviral therapy to relieve them or prevent them from getting worse. Your doctor may keep you on the drugs longer if the sores don’t heal in that time.

    After the first treatment, work with your doctor to come up with the best way to take antiviral therapies. There are two options:

    • Intermittent treatment. Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral drug for you to keep on hand in case you have another flare-up this is called intermittent therapy. You can take the pills for two to five days as soon as you notice sores or when you feel an outbreak coming on. Sores will heal and disappear on their own, but taking the drugs can make the symptoms less severe and make them go away faster.
    • Suppressive treatment. If you have outbreaks often, you may want to consider taking an antiviral drug every day. Doctors call this suppressive therapy. For someone who has more than six outbreaks a year, suppressive therapy can reduce the number of outbreaks by 70% to 80%. Many people who take the antiviral drugs daily have no outbreaks at all.

    There is no set number of outbreaks per year that doctors use to decide when someone should start suppressive therapy. Rather, more important factors are how often the outbreaks happen and if they are severe enough to interfere with your life.

    Continued

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