Treatment Options For Genital Herpes
Acyclovir was the first antiviral agent to be used in the treatment of genital herpes, and as such, is the most extensively studied of the antiviral agents currently available. This drug is available in topical, oral, and intravenous forms . In the distant past, topical acyclovir was used to treat recurrent genital herpes, but its ineffectiveness has been known for quite some time. A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study found that after application of topical acyclovir 6 times daily for 5 days, only the duration of virus shedding from lesions was reduced compared to placebo. Differences between time to lesion crusting, lesion healing, new lesion formation, and cessation of pain were non-significant .
Intravenous acyclovir remains the most effective form of treatment for a primary genital herpes infection, leading to significant reduction in time to cessation of viral shedding and pain. Time to lesion healing is also 6 days faster than with placebo alone . However, as IV administration of acyclovir requires hospitalization, this route is reserved for patients with life-threatening disease or systemic complications .
When Should I Use It
Like most cold sore treatments, Abreva is most effective when it is applied at the first sign of a blister. If you experience tingling or itching around the mouth, apply the medication right away. The sooner youre able to use it, the more likely it is that the blister will heal quickly.
If you miss the first stages, and you already have a fully-formed blister, you can still use the cream and experience favorable results. Sometimes, the most painful stage of a blister is when it starts to ooze and crust over. Abreva can help to stop those painful symptoms quickly, and still help with healing. You can apply it up to five times each day at any point during the cold sores lifespan, or as needed for best results.
To Use Acyclovir Cream Follow These Steps:
You May Like: How Do You Keep Herpes From Spreading
Does Abreva Really Work
Now that we know how docosanol and Abreva works, lets take a look to see just how effective it is at preventing or healing cold sores. To get a full picture of its effectiveness, well look at what the scientific evidence being docosanol and what actual cold sore sufferers have to say in user generated Abreva reviews.
How Does Orajel Work
Orajel uses a combination of skin protectants, topical anesthetics, and topical analgesics to temporarily relieve symptoms of cold sores and fever blisters. The product is applied directly to the cold sore and blended well until the green tint disappears. Its safe to apply Orajel three times a day to maintain comfort.
Also Check: Do Std Tests Test For Herpes
How Should This Medicine Be Used
Topical acyclovir comes as a cream and an ointment to apply to the skin. Acyclovir cream is usually applied five times a day for 4 days. Acyclovir cream may be applied at any time during a cold sore outbreak, but it works best when it is applied at the very beginning of a cold sore outbreak, when there is tingling, redness, itching, or a bump but the cold sore has not yet formed. Acyclovir ointment is usually applied six times a day for 7 days. It is best to begin using acyclovir ointment as soon as possible after you experience the first symptoms of infection. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use topical acyclovir exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your symptoms should improve during your treatment with topical acyclovir. If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
Acyclovir cream and ointment are for use only on the skin. Do not let acyclovir cream or ointment get into your eyes, or inside your mouth or nose, and do not swallow the medication.
Acyclovir cream should only be applied to skin where a cold sore has formed or seems likely to form. Do not apply acyclovir cream to any unaffected skin, or to genital herpes sores.
How Long With Valtrex
Valtrex is a brand that markets the antiviral agent valacyclovir which is related to the prototype acyclovir.
Unlike the docosanol cream, Valtrex, this drug is formulated in caplets of 500 mg or 1000 mg valacyclovir. It has other excipients including crospovidone and carnauba wax among others. Crospovidone and Povidone in the product could be more than just excipients owing to the fact that they are antimicrobials. Furthermore, titanium dioxide, also an excipient and regarded as inactive, could offer protective effect against sun burns.
Valtrex is taken on the earliest sign of a cold sore and this is known to reduce the healing time. It is taken as 2 grams 12 hours apart or twice daily for a day. The duration it takes to work also depends on other factors. As mentioned earlier, taking this drug early would reduce the time and the vice versa is true.
You may end up taking it for a period of 7 to 10 days. Notice that this is the same times it takes for a cold sore to go through the development stages. There are cases in which it is prescribed for longer while the cold sores took a much shorter time to heal. Do not stop when you notice changes earlier than the end of the course.
However, when all factors are kept constant, it should start reducing the symptoms associated with cold sores within a period of 2 to 3 days. It therefore will take about 7 days to completely heal but the sooner you start, the shorter.
Recommended Reading: What Is Herpes Simplex Virus
Is Lysine Or Abreva Cream Better For Healing Cold Sores
There is no conclusive evidence that taking lysine helps heal cold sores, although there is some evidence that suggests it may hinder further outbreaks. Abreva® Cream, however, has been clinically proven to help you recover from a cold sore outbreak sooner, reducing healing time and symptoms too.*
*When used at the first sign.
Why Is Abreva Cold Sore Cream Different
Abreva® Cream is a non-prescription cold sore cream with FDA approved results. Clinical results show that using Abreva® Cream at the first sign of a cold sore outbreak shortens healing time and symptom duration. It helps protect healthy skin cells from the cold sore virus and starts working immediately on contact.*
*Based on laboratory data.
**Median healing time 4.1 days. 25% of users healed within 2½ days.
Recommended Reading: How Does It Take For Herpes To Show Up
How Abreva Cream Works
Abreva® cold sore cream contains 10 percent docosanol, which works by penetrating deep into the skin and preventing the cold sore virus entry into healthy cells, stopping viral replication***i. It provides a barrier to protect healthy skin cells and helps to heal the cold sore quickly. Docosanol also helps to shorten the duration of cold sore symptoms, such as tingling, pain, burning and itching.
***Based on laboratory studies.
Before Using Topical Acyclovir
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to acyclovir, valacyclovir , any other medications, or any of the ingredients in acyclovir cream or ointment. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any condition that affects your immune system such as human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome .
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using acyclovir, call your doctor.
Don’t Miss: How To Make Herpes Go Away Faster
Can I Use Abreva Cream Longer Than 10 Days
No. It is not recommended for use Abreva cream longer than 10 days. Also, it could be the sign of a more serious infection.
You should contact your doctor if your cold sore has not healed within 10 days while using Abreva cream. Getting the doctor to look at it will ensure that you receive an updated diagnosis and possibly additional treatment.
Cold sores are caused by a viral infection.
What Are The Symptoms
The first symptoms of cold sores may include a spot that tingles, burns, or itches around your mouth and on your lips. You may also have a fever, a sore throat, or swollen glands in your neck or other parts of the body. Small children sometimes drool before cold sores appear. After the blisters appear, the cold sores usually break open, leak a clear fluid, and then crust over and disappear after several days to 2 weeks. For some people, cold sores can be very painful.
Some people have the virus but dont get cold sores. They have no symptoms.
How Quickly Does Abreva Work
cold sorescold soresHow can you prevent cold sores?
What Are The Common Cold Sore Triggers
Some of the most common factors that may trigger a cold sore include fatigue, stress, fever, a cold or the flu which can all weaken your immune system making you easy prey for a cold sore outbreak.
Cold weather, dry air, winter wind and ultraviolet rays can also lead to cold sores by drying out lips and damaging your skin.
Lastly, the stress associated with hormonal changes and trauma from dental procedures can also cause cold sores.
You May Like: How Do I Know If I Have Herpes Type 2
Want To Be A Part Of A Supportive Community Join The H Opp Community For Free
Welcome to the Herpes Opportunity Support Forum! We are a supportive and positive group to help you discover and live your Opportunity. Together, we can shed the shame and embrace vulnerability and true connection. Because who you are is more important than what you have. Get your free e-book and handouts here:
Prescription Medicines For Cold Sores
If you get recurring cold sore outbreaks, or youre going through a particularly serious cold sore outbreak, its generally best to talk to your doctor about switching from an over-the-counter cold sore treatment to a prescription antiviral medicine.
Oral antiviral drugs work by inhibiting the HSV-1 virus replicating within the body. Once you start taking the medication, the virus is blocked from spreading within your cells. This speeds up recovery and makes it easier for your immune system to fight back against the virus.
There are three prescription antiviral medications used to treat herpes, all of which work using a similar mechanism of action. These drugs are valacyclovir, acyclovir and famciclovir.
Read Also: Can Herpes Be Controlled With Medication
Are The Claims Valid
How long does a cold sore last? Well, a typical cold sore can last anywhere from 10 to 14 days. So how much quicker can Abreva work to cure a cold sore when it is applied as instructed? What one study from pub med did to test this was to conduct a double-blind placebo test between people who used Abreva and those that did not. This was to see on average how much the Abreva helped in cutting down healing time. This study confirmed that Abreva did indeed cut the healing time of a cold sore down to the touted 4.1 days.
But how much shorter was this period compared to those that used nothing? Was it the 4 to 5 extra days that Abreva seemed to imply it would work. No, in fact, the Abreva only cut down the healing time by an average of 18 hours compared to those who used nothing https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11464183. Thats not even one full day longer. And this was studying people who were applying the Abreva religiously 5 times a day. Are 18 hours really worth the hefty price tag that comes with Abreva? That is up to you to decide, but at least now you know the facts.
So What Are You Telling Me
Antiviral pills are your best choice for the treatment of oral herpes. They are more reasonably priced and work better. Antiviral therapy with acyclovir, famciclovir , or valacyclovir hastens the healing of lesions if treatment is initiated in the early stage. No studies compare the three, so think about which one is easier to take and at the best price.
Evidence shows that starting antiviral therapy with one of these three medications at the very start of a herpes outbreak on your mouth is your best chance to relieve pain and shorten the outbreak:
Depending on the dose, 25 pills of acyclovir typically cost about $12 $20, though some pharmacy generic discount programs have it available for less. Famciclovir runs about $20 and under for the 1500 mg dose , and from $20 $25 for the 750 mg doses . Valacylovir may be the best combination of price and convenience in some cases, at around $15 at some pharmacies for the four 1 g tablets required for a full course.All are typically considered Tier 1 prescriptions by insurance, meaning youll pay only your lowest copay.
Don’t Miss: What Types Of Herpes Are There
What Is Luminance Red And How Is It Used
Luminance RED is a breakthrough cold sore treatment that harnesses LED technology to shorten healing time and decrease the frequency of new outbreaks.
This FDA-approved device nourishes the skin with light, which is metabolized to accelerate the bodys healing process and strengthen its defenses against future attacks. Regular use of Luminance RED not only shortens the healing time of active outbreaks, but it can prevent future outbreaks altogether!
Our Final Abreva Review
The only way that it can be seen whether or not Abreva is the best way to heal a cold sore is to try it. When a cold sore appears apply Abreva directly to the infected area and compare the size and soreness of the cold sore with the last one that appeared. From reading a multitude of online reviews, it appears that Abreva is very highly thought of by the consumer in most cases but there are the odd few that have not been satisfied with the product.
This will always be the case with any product. Given the number of people that have tried it, statistics say that there will be a few cases where it did not work, either from user error or other factors.
Our RecommendationThis product has received mostly excellent reviews from online reviewers and so it would get our recommendation. The best thing to do would be to buy the product and try it on your skin. Everyone will react differently to different formulated substances but the chances are that it will work for you.
Lets face it, cold sores are embarrassing. If youre not comfortable picking it up in stores, get some Abreva shipped to your door from Amazon.
Don’t Miss: Will Genital Herpes Ever Be Cured
What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, with the cap on and tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture . Never leave this medication in your car in cold or hot weather.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDAs Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.
Read Also: How Long Can I Live With Herpes