Sunday, July 14, 2024

New Treatment For Genital Herpes

Treatment For Genital Herpes

Herpes virus treatment

There are three antiviral medications that are FDA-approved for the treatment of genital herpes:

  • Acyclovir: The oldest antiviral medication for herpes is acyclovir. It has been available since 1982 in a topical form and sold since 1985 in pill form. Acyclovir has been shown to be safe in persons who have used it continuously for as long as 10 years.
  • Valacyclovir: A newer drug, valacyclovir, actually uses acyclovir as its active ingredient. This medication delivers acyclovir more efficiently so that the body absorbs much of the drug, which has the advantage of taking the medication fewer times during the day.
  • Famciclovir: Famciclovir uses penciclovir as its active ingredient to stop HSV from replicating. Like valacyclovir, it is well absorbed, persists for a longer time in the body, and can be taken less frequently than acyclovir.

Antiviral medication is commonly prescribed for patients having a first episode of genital herpes, but they can be used for recurrent episodes as well. There are two kinds of treatment regimens: episodic therapy and suppressive therapy.

Researchers Refine Experimental Gene Therapy For Herpes

Two years after scientists showed that an experimental gene therapy for herpes can knock out most latent infection in mice, new tests reveal that it also suppresses the amount of transmissible virus shed by the treated animals.

It is encouraging news from researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, where laboratory studies aimed at curing herpes simplex virus infections have continued despite disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drs. Keith Jerome and , the Hutch virologists leading the research effort, report the treatment dramatically reduced or even eliminated viral shedding in treated mice compared to controls, an important milestone that the scientists also hope to achieve if the experimental therapy is eventually proven safe enough to test in humans.

âIf you ask people living with herpes what they care about, what they care most about is whether they have to worry about giving this virus to someone else, and shedding is how that happens,â Jerome said.

During multiple experiments, the researchers found substantial reductions in oral and genital viral shedding in the treated mice, with many of those treated showing no detectable virus shed.

The latest results were posted today on bioRxiv, a preprint server for scientists to report findings quickly, but without a critique from other researchers in the field â the âpeer reviewâ that accompanies publication in academic journals. As such, these findings are considered preliminary.

Management Of Sex Partners

The sex partners of persons who have symptomatic genital herpes can benefit from evaluation and counseling. Symptomatic sex partners should be evaluated and treated in the same manner as patients who have symptomatic genital herpes. Asymptomatic sex partners of patients who have symptomatic genital herpes should be asked about a history of genital symptoms and offered type-specific serologic testing for HSV-2. For partners without genital herpes, no data are available on which to base a recommendation for PEP or PrEP with antiviral medications or that they would prevent acquisition, and this should not be offered to patients as a prevention strategy.

You May Like: How To Clear Genital Herpes

Side Effects And Follow

Side effects with these herpes drugs are considered mild, and health experts believe these drugs are safe in the long term. Acyclovir is the oldest of the three, and its safety has been documented in people taking suppressive therapy for several years.

People taking suppressive therapy should see their doctor at least once a year to decide if they should continue. You may find taking the pills every day to be inconvenient, the drugs may not work for you, or you may naturally have fewer outbreaks as time goes on. Your doctor can help you make treatment choices to suit your needs.

Treating Genital Herpes: Medications And Creams For Genital Herpes

S2 MAX Genital Herpes Treatment Cream

The symptoms of genital herpes usually disappear on their own. On average, this takes about 3 weeks. Treatment is possible if you suffer from genital herpes symptoms. Medication will not make the herpes virus disappear, but the symptoms will diminish quickly.

There are several medications for genital herpes treatment:

  • Virus-inhibiting medication, such as aciclovir or valacyclovir. These medicines ensure that the virus eases faster, so that symptoms disappear sooner. Virus inhibitors are mainly used for an acute first infection with many symptoms
  • Pain-relieving medicines, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. These drugs reduce genital herpes symptoms such as pain and itching
  • Local treatment, such as genital herpes creams. Zinc ointment is usually used for this. The active ingredient ensures that the blisters and sores dry up sooner.

Read Also: Can You Have Sex With Herpes

Also Check: Dating When You Have Herpes

Can Outbreaks Of Genital Herpes Recur

If you have been infected by HSV 1 and/or 2, you will probably have symptoms or outbreaks from time to time. After the virus has finished being active, it then travels to the nerves at the end of the spine where it stays for a while. Even after the lesions are gone, the virus stays inside the nerve cells in a still and hidden state, which means that its inactive. In most people, the virus can become active several times a year. This is called a recurrence. But scientists do not yet know why this happens. When it becomes active again, it travels along the nerves to the skin, where it makes more viruses near the site of the very first infection. That is where new sores usually will appear. The frequency and severity of recurrent episodes vary greatly. While some people have only one or two outbreaks in a lifetime, others may have several outbreaks a year. The number and pattern of repeat outbreaks often change over time for a person. Scientists do not know what causes the virus to become active again. Although some people with herpes report that their outbreaks are brought on by another illness, stress, or having a menstrual period, outbreaks often are not predictable. In some cases, outbreaks may be connected to exposure to sunlight.

How Do People Get Genital Herpes

Infections are transmitted through contact with HSV in herpes lesions, mucosal surfaces, genital secretions, or oral secretions. 5 HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be shed from normal-appearing oral or genital mucosa or skin. 7,8 Generally, a person can only get HSV-2 infection during genital contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection. However, receiving oral sex from a person with an oral HSV-1 infection can result in getting a genital HSV-1 infection. 4 Transmission commonly occurs from contact with an infected partner who does not have visible lesions and who may not know that he or she is infected. 7 In persons with asymptomatic HSV-2 infections, genital HSV shedding occurs on 10.2% of days, compared to 20.1% of days among those with symptomatic infections. 8

Read Also: Best Medication For Herpes Simplex 2

What Are The Complications Of Genital Herpes

Genital herpes may cause painful genital ulcers that can be severe and persistent in persons with suppressed immune systems, such as HIV-infected persons. 5 Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can also cause rare but serious complications such as aseptic meningitis . 5 Development of extragenital lesions may occur during the course of infection. 5

There are also potential complications for a pregnant woman and her newborn child. See How does herpes infection affect a pregnant woman and her baby? below for information about this.

Is Genital Herpes Infection Related To Hiv

A Vaccine Pathway for Herpes Virus with Gregory Smith, PhD

Herpes and HIV are caused by different viruses. But patients infected with these viruses are more likely to transmit either disease to their sexual partners. Patients with herpes are more vulnerable to HIV infection. People newly diagnosed with herpes should be tested for HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections.

Patients who are infected with both herpes and HIV also may have a higher concentration of HIV viruses in their body because of the interaction between the herpes virus and the HIV virus. When HIV damages a persons immune system, the person may be more likely to shed herpes simplex virus asymptomatically.

You May Like: Can You Breastfeed With Herpes

How Do You Treat A Repeat Herpes Outbreak

You can treat a repeat herpes outbreak using the same antiviral medications for the first outbreak. Repeat outbreak treatment can be prescribed as a shorter course, such as 2 to 3 days. This all depends on your symptoms. Your doctor will explain the treatment schedule best for you.

If you get frequent outbreaks of herpes , you may be prescribed suppressive therapy. This is using antiviral medicines that you take everyday.

Shots May Help Prevent Genital Herpes Transmission

Three-shot regimen seems to control lesions as effectively as daily pills, but wider trials needed

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 2, 2016 — Three injections of a therapeutic vaccine may control genital herpes as effectively as daily pills for at least a year, a new study suggests.

Researchers tested the experimental vaccine in 310 people with herpes from 17 centers around the United States. The three shots, administered three weeks apart, appeared to reduce patients’ genital lesions and the process of “viral shedding” in which they can spread the disease through sexual contact.

Infectious disease experts hailed the vaccine as a promising development in the treatment of genital herpes. The incurable disease affects about one in every six people ages 14 to 49 in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“In general terms, people receiving have greater than 50 percent fewer days in which virus is present in their genital tracts, which in theory may reduce transmission,” said study author Jessica Baker Flechtner. She’s chief scientific officer at Genocea Biosciences, the Cambridge, Mass., manufacturer of the vaccine.

“However, this would need to be proven in a well-powered clinical trial,” she added. “Our trials have included both men and women, and to date, we have not seen a difference in the vaccine impact between genders.”

Patients were randomly split into seven dosing groups, including a placebo group.

Show Sources

You May Like: What Do I Need To Know About Herpes

How Are Initial Outbreaks Treated

Antiviral medications can help to control the symptoms and shorten the duration of initial herpes outbreaks by 2 to 4 days. The treatment of an initial outbreak should be started within the first three days the earlier, the better.

The medications are taken as tablets. The number of tablets per day depends on the active ingredient and the dose. The World Health Organization recommends the following doses and amounts for treating an initial outbreak:

  • aciclovir: 200 mg five times per day or 400 mg three times per day,
  • famciclovir: 250 mg three times per day, or
  • valaciclovir: 500 mg two times per day.

The WHO recommends that the treatment last ten days.

These three medications are about as effective as each other. Aciclovir is the most commonly used because doctors and patients have the most experience with this medication.

Treatment For Oral Herpes

Herpes Treatment Cream Genital Lip Quickly Cleanse Blisters Suppress ...

The antiviral medications available in pill form have been specifically developed for the treatment of genital herpes. However, it is not uncommon for healthcare providers to prescribe the antiviral drugs to those who have frequent or severe outbreaks of oral herpes.

A recent study found valacyclovir to be effective for treating oral herpes in a one-day treatment of 2 grams taken at the first sign of a cold sore, and then again about 12 hours later.

There are two topical antiviral medications prescribed for the treatment of oral HSV symptoms: acyclovir ointment and penciclovir cream. Both work to speed up the healing process and reduce the viral activity. These topical drugs are put directly on the lesions themselves, but can also be used at the onset of prodrome.

Other topical treatments for oral herpes are available over-the-counter , but are not antiviral compounds like acyclovir and penciclovir. Some also contain ingredients that numb the area and induce temporary relief from the discomfort of an outbreak. Unfortunately, some OTC treatments may actually delay the healing time of symptoms because they can further irritate the area with repeated applications. There is only one OTC FDA-approved cream, called Abreva®, which has been clinically proven to help speed the healing process.

Read Also: How To Ease Herpes Symptoms

Don’t Miss: Does Taking Medication For Herpes Prevent Spreading

Im Pregnant How Could Genital Herpes Affect My Baby

If you are pregnant and have genital herpes, prenatal care visits are very important. Some research suggest that a genital herpes infection may lead to miscarriage or make it more likely to deliver your baby too early. You can pass herpes to your unborn child before birth, but it more commonly passes during delivery. This can lead to a deadly infection in your baby . It is important that you avoid getting genital herpes during pregnancy. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had a genital herpes diagnosis or symptoms. Also tell them about any possible exposure to genital herpes.

If you have genital herpes, you may need to take anti-herpes medicine towards the end of your pregnancy. This medicine may reduce your risk of having signs or symptoms of genital herpes when you deliver. At the time of delivery, your healthcare provider should carefully examine you for herpes sores. If you have signs or symptoms of genital herpes at delivery, a C-section is likely to occur.

Protecting Your Partner And Preventing Herpes Transmission

Research shows that the single greatest fear is the fear of transmission to partners, says Dr. Handsfield.

The main ways to avoid transmitting herpes are:

  • Learn to recognize how you feel when an outbreak is on the way, and stop having sex immediately.
  • Dont have sex during active outbreaks.
  • Always use condoms but dont rely on them during outbreaks. They dont completely cover infectious areas.
  • Only after all sores have scabbed over and healed should you have sex again.
  • Avoid touching your herpes sores, because you can spread them to other places on your body that way. Whenever you touch a sore, wash your hands immediately.
  • Dont kiss people or have sex if you have a cold sore.
  • Tell potential partners about having herpes before having sex with them, even though it may be hard.
  • Ask your doctor about taking antiviral drugs regularly.

Recommended Reading: Will Genital Herpes Go Away Without Medicine

Online Treatment For Genital Herpes

In between outbreaks, or experiencing symptoms for the first time? Save a trip to the doctors office. Get treatment for Genital Herpes discretely with a few simple clicks. Treating your herpes symptoms can help reduce future outbreaks and reduce the chance of passing the virus to your partner. Dont wait, complete your consultation today with one of certified medical providers. This low-cost service, saves you time and money.

Recommended Reading: Will Herpes Go Away If Left Untreated

Herbs Supplements And More For Genital Herpes

Valacyclovir Tablets for herpes infections

Scientists have studied herbal extracts and nutritional supplements based on some herpes patients claims that they help relieve symptoms. Some study results have been promising, others discouraging.

Many people say that an extract of the echinacea plant helps boost the immune systems ability to fight infection. Some say it decreases the frequency and severity of genital herpes outbreaks. Researchers in the U.K. compared the effect of echinacea with that of a placebo. They gave echinacea to 50 people with genital herpes for six months and a placebo for another six months. There was no significant difference in the number of herpes outbreaks during the two periods.

Another study showed that an ointment containing propolis, a waxy substance that honeybees make, may help herpes sores heal. Sores healed faster for people using the propolis ointment than in those using ointments containing the antiviral drug acyclovir or a placebo. The ointment was applied to herpes sores four times a day. After 10 days, 24 of the 30 people using propolis ointment said their sores healed, compared with 14 of the 30 people using acyclovir ointment and 12 of the 30 using a placebo.

Researchers have also found that the herb Prunella vulgaris, and an edible mushroom, Rozites caperata , contain chemicals that fight both HSV-1 and HSV-2.

Recommended Reading: Do Herpes Itch Or Burn

Also Check: What Herbs Are Good For Herpes

Types Of Antiviral Drugs

There are three oral antivirals recommended for the treatment of oral or genital herpes:

Famvir, 250 mg Twice daily

Preventing genital herpes recurrence is important as it reduces the risk of HIV. According to the CDC, having an active genital herpes infection increases the risk of HIV by 200% to 300%.

Herpes infections are caused by herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2. These contagious viruses are spread through skin-to-skin contact with a person who is having a herpes outbreak.

You get herpes by touching a herpes sore or the skin, lips, genital fluids, or saliva of a person with an oral or genital herpes infection. Herpes can be spread even when there are no visible blisters or sores.

This article discusses how herpes is spread. It also explains who is at high risk for herpes and how you can protect yourself.

How Do You Treat Your First Outbreak

With the first genital herpes outbreak, your sores and blisters may last from about 10 days up to 28 days. You will usually start with a five-day course treatment of antiviral medication , which should improve your symptoms, but if you are still getting new symptoms you can continue the tablets for 10 days. The earlier you start treatment, the quicker your symptoms will improve.

Read Also: Can You Die From Genital Herpes

What Happens At A Sexual Health Clinic

The doctor or nurse at the sexual health clinic will:

  • ask about your symptoms and your sexual partners
  • use a small cotton bud to take some fluid from 1 of your blisters or sores for testing

The test cannot:

  • be done if you do not have visible blisters or sores
  • tell you how long you have had herpes or who you got it from

Symptoms might not appear for weeks or even years after you’re infected with the herpes virus.

Popular Articles
Related news