How Do I Know If I Have Genital Herpes
Most people who have genital herpes have no symptoms, or have very mild symptoms. You may not notice mild symptoms or you may mistake them for another skin condition, such as a pimple or ingrown hair. Because of this, most people who have herpes do not know it.
Herpes sores usually appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals, rectum or mouth. The blisters break and leave painful sores that may take a week or more to heal. These symptoms are sometimes called having an outbreak. The first time someone has an outbreak they may also have flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches, or swollen glands.
People who experience an initial outbreak of herpes can have repeated outbreaks, especially if they are infected with HSV-2. Repeat outbreaks are usually shorter and less severe than the first outbreak. Although the infection stays in the body for the rest of your life, the number of outbreaks may decrease over time.
You should be examined by your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms or if your partner has an STD or symptoms of an STD. STD symptoms can include an unusual sore, a smelly genital discharge, burning when urinating, or bleeding between periods.
What Are The Complications Of Herpes Infections
Complications caused by the herpes virus are mostly seen in patients having weak immune systems. Cancer is the most serious complication of herpes infection. It takes years to develop cancer after the herpes infection and is associated with only certain strains of herpes virus. It is important to get regular screening tests for cancer prevention .
Other complications of Herpes infections are-
- Rectal inflammation. This happens more often in males.
- Meningitis , in rare cases where the viral infection spreads to brain and spinal fluid.
- Urinary tract infections
Are Valtrex And Zovirax Safe To Use While Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
Valtrex showed no effects on the fetus in animal studies however, there has been no adequate evaluation of valacyclovir or in pregnant women. The incidence of birth defects in women taking acyclovir is about the same as in the general population. Valtrex should only be used during pregnancy when the benefits to the mother outweigh risks to the fetus.
It is not known whether Valtrex is excreted into breast milk. It is known, however, that among women taking acyclovir, concentrations of acyclovir in breast milk are about four times higher than in the mother’s blood. The safety of valacyclovir in breastfeeding infants has not been established. Methods other than breastfeeding should be considered if valacyclovir must be taken while nursing.
There are no adequate studies of acyclovir in pregnant women. In a patient registry of women who used acyclovir during the first trimester, the rate of birth defects was similar to the rate of birth defects in the general population.
Acyclovir is excreted in breast milk, and a significant amount may be transferred to the infant.
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How To Take Valtrex
Use Valtrex exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Start taking valacyclovir as soon as possible after the first appearance of symptoms . This medicine may not be effective if taken after you already have symptoms.
You may take valacyclovir with or without food.
Tell your doctor if a child taking this medicine cannot swallow the valacyclovir tablet.
Your pharmacist may prepare an oral suspension form of valacyclovir. Shake this suspension before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device .
Lesions caused by herpes viruses should be kept as clean and dry as possible. Wearing loose clothing may help to prevent irritation of the lesions.
Some herpes infections need to be treated for longer than others. You may need to take the medicine for only 1 day or for just a few days. To prevent recurrent genital herpes, you may need to take valacyclovir for up to 1 year. Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve.
Follow your doctor’s dosing instructions very carefully. Taking more valacyclovir than prescribed will not make this medicine more effective.
How Big Is The Risk Of Infection
The likelihood of being infected with genital herpes during sex depends on many factors, including how often you have sex, whether and how frequently you use condoms, and how long your partner has already been infected. Someone who has had the virus for a long time is less contagious than someone who has just been infected. In general, women have a higher risk of becoming infected than men. Having other sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV also increases the risk of transmission.
In studies with couples where one partner had genital herpes, the other partner became infected within one year in 5 to 10% of the couples. The people in these studies only rarely used condoms, though and if they did, it was mostly during an outbreak. One of these studies showed that infection occurred in an estimated 1 out of 1,000 sexual acts.
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Switch Medications If Necessary
Acyclovir is another antiviral drug that can be used to treat herpes virus and varicella-zoster virus infections. Neither medication is better than the other, but if someone cant tolerate Valtrex or has an underlying medical condition that prevents them from taking it, acyclovir is another good option. You can compare the medications here.
Should You Get Tested
Its a good idea for the partners of people with genital herpes to have a blood test for herpes antibodies. This can help them to decide whether to use antiviral medication as protection, for example. Both partners may already have the same virus type. Then theres no reason to take medication to protect each other.
If one of the partners has HSV-1 or cold sores and the other one has HSV-2 or genital herpes, they could infect one another with the other virus. If one partner has herpes viruses in their body and the other doesnt, condoms are one way to prevent infection.
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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.
Valtrex 1 Gram Tablet
The photos shown are samples onlyNot all photos of the drug may be displayed. Your medication may look different. If you have questions, ask your pharmacist.close popup
Valacyclovir is used to treat infections caused by certain types of viruses. In children, it is used to treat cold sores around the mouth and chickenpox . In adults, it is used to treat shingles and cold sores around the mouth.
Valacyclovir is also used to treat outbreaks of genital herpes. In people with frequent outbreaks, this medication is used to reduce the number of future episodes.
Valacyclovir is an antiviral drug. It stops the growth of certain viruses. However, it is not a cure for these infections. The viruses that cause these infections continue to live in the body even between outbreaks. Valacyclovir decreases the severity and length of these outbreaks. It helps the sores heal faster, keeps new sores from forming, and decreases pain/itching. This medication may also help reduce how long pain remains after the sores heal.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used to reduce the risk of another type of viral infection in some people.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
- kidney problems
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What Are The Causes Of Herpes Infection
The various causes of herpes infection are:
- Herpes infection spreads from one person to another through direct skin-to-skin contact and is highly contagious.
- Touching or kissing is the main cause of HSV 1 transmission, whereas, sexual contact is the main cause of HSV 2 transmission.
- If a healthy person shares personal items like toothbrushes, utensils, spoons, etc. with an infected person, then he/she may also get infected.
- Herpes infection can also spread through the eyes.
- This infection can spread by touching the mouth sores of an infected person.
- Having sex without protection can lead to herpes infection of the genitals.
For Children 11 Years And Younger
Valtrex is not recommended for treating cold sores in children of this age group. But it can be used to treat chickenpox in children ages 2 years and older.
- Take Valtrex at the first sign of a cold sore.
- You can take it with or without food.
- Dont take more than the prescribed number of caplets each day.
- If your child cant swallow caplets, ask your pharmacist to make the caplets into an oral suspension .
- Be sure to drink lots of water. Since your kidneys help remove the metabolized drug from your body, its important to stay hydrated to lower the risk of serious side effects, such as kidney damage.
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Treating A First Outbreak Of Herpes
A first outbreak of genital herpes can cause a long illness with severe genital sores and can also affect the nervous system. Even if your first episode of herpes is mild, you may have severe or prolonged symptoms later. For this reason, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone who has a first episode of genital herpes take antiviral drugs.
The frequency of genital herpes outbreaks slows down over time in many people.
Acyclovir May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:
- upset stomach
- numbness, burning, or tingling in the arms or legs
- temporary inability to move parts of your body
- shaking of a part of your body that you cannot control
- loss of consciousness
Acyclovir may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking or using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .
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What Is Valtrex What Is Valcyte
Valtrex is a nucleoside analog antiviral drug used to treat shingles and genital herpes infections, and cold sores . Valtrex mimics a building block of DNA and stops the spread of herpes virus in the body by preventing the viral DNA replication necessary for viruses to multiply. Other nucleoside analogs include acyclovir and famciclovir . Valacyclovir is actually a “prodrug,” that is not active itself but rather, it is converted to acyclovir in the body, and it is acyclovir that is active against the viruses. Valtrex is therefore active against the same viruses as acyclovir, but it has a longer duration of action than acyclovir and may be taken fewer times per day.
Valcyte is an antiviral drug used to prevent disease caused by a virus called cytomegalovirus in people who have received organ transplants and cancer chemotherapy treatment. CMV disease can lead to serious infections in the body, including an infection in the eye that can cause blindness. Valcyte works by slowing the growth of the CMV virus and helping prevent the spread of infection to other areas of the body. Valcyte is also used to treat CMV retinitis in people with AIDS. Valcyte helps control CMV retinitis and decrease the risk of blindness. Valcyte is not a cure for CMV disease.
What Other Information Should I Know
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your response to acyclovir.
Do not let anyone else take or use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
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What Are The Risk Factors That Can Lead To Herpes Infections
Herpes virus can be present latent and herpes infection symptoms or attacks can occur under the following conditions-
- Fatigue or tiredness due to underlying health conditions
- General prolonged illness
- If the patient is under stress
- Immunocompromised individuals
- Trauma associated with genitals
What Drugs And Food Should I Avoid While Taking Valtrex
Avoid sexual intercourse or use a latex condom to help keep you from spreading the herpes virus to others. Avoid letting infected areas come into contact with other people. Avoid touching an infected area and then touching your eyes. Wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of infection.
Valacyclovir will not prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases other than the virus that causes genital herpes.
Do not share this medicine with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.
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How Should This Medicine Be Used
Acyclovir comes as a tablet, a capsule, and a suspension to take by mouth. It also comes as a delayed-release buccal tablet to apply to the upper gum of the mouth. The tablets, capsules, and suspension are usually taken with or without food two to five times a day for 5 to 10 days, starting as soon as possible after your symptoms begin. When acyclovir is used to prevent outbreaks of genital herpes, it is usually taken two to five times a day for up to 12 months. The delayed-release buccal tablet is usually applied with a dry finger as a one-time dose within 1 hour after itching, redness, burning or tingling cold sore symptoms begin but before the cold sore appears. Take or use acyclovir at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take or use acyclovir exactly as directed. Do not take or use more or less of it or take it more often or for a longer time than prescribed by your doctor.
Do not chew, crush, suck, or swallow the delayed-release buccal tablets. Drink plenty of liquids, if you have a dry mouth while using the delayed-release buccal tablets.
Fda Approves Valtrex Caplets For Reducing Risk Of Spreading Genital Herpes
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — GlaxoSmithKline announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a supplemental new drug application for Valtrex caplets for suppressive therapy in otherwise healthy adults with genital herpes in order to reduce the risk of heterosexual transmission of genital herpes .
The study of 1,484 couples conducted in support of the application showed that once-daily suppressive therapy with Valtrex, in addition to counseling on safer sex practices, reduced the risk of transmission of symptomatic genital herpes by 75 percent and reduced the risk of overall acquisition of the virus by 48 percent. Safer sex practices should always be used with suppressive therapy.
“As a physician who’s been treating patients suffering with herpes for years, I have consistently heard from my patients that fear of giving this disease to their partner is a major concern. This approval gives patients another tool, in addition to safer sex practices, to help them protect their partners,” said Larry Corey, MD, lead study investigator and professor, Laboratory Medicine and Medicine, University of Washington and head of the Program in Infectious Diseases, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. “Now, in addition to safer sex practices, patients with herpes can take once-daily Valtrex to reduce their own outbreaks and, at the same time, protect their partner.”
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Valtrex Side Effects And Interactions And How To Avoid Them
If youve ever had shingles or cold sores, you know how uncomfortable these infections can be. Valtrex is an antiviral medication that can help relieve symptoms that come from viral infections like shingles or chickenpox. This article gives an overview of drug information including Valtrex side effects, warnings, and drug interactions that you should be aware of before taking the medication.