Monday, February 26, 2024

What Do They Prescribe For Herpes

How Long Do Herpes Symptoms Take To Show

Herpes Zoster, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

On average, it takes about 4 days after exposure to start showing the symptoms of herpes. The herpes incubation period ranges between 2 and 12 days. The most common early sign of herpes is sores around the genitals or mouth.

The first time you get the herpes virus, it may cause flu-like symptoms, such as a fever, headache, and body aches. Then, subsequent outbreaks may cause sores and less severe symptoms. Generally, the frequency of outbreaks lessens over time.

What Are The Signs Of Herpes In Children

The herpes virus can be spread to babies and children if they are kissed by someone that is infected and has active cold sores. Although rare, it is also possible to spread herpes to a child or infant by touch if a person touches their cold sore and then touches the baby or child.

Precautions can be taken to protect infants and other children from getting the virus. Avoid kissing children if you have a cold sore and ask other people not to as well. Wash your hands frequently if you have a cold sore and you are around children.

How Do I Treat Genital Herpes

For most people antiviral medicine is not necessary either because their body prevents recurrent symptoms or because they find that adopting a healthier life style makes a difference. See What can I do to prevent frequent recurrences?For people who are unlucky and get frequent recurrences, there are two ways that antiviral tablets can be used.

Don’t Miss: How Long Genital Herpes Outbreak Last

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.

Is There An Over

Skin

Yes, but OTC medications are generally less effective in treating herpes than prescription ones. Abreva is an over-the-counter topical drug that many people use to treat cold sores from HSV-1, but not HSV-2. NSAIDs like ibuprofen and Tylenol are OTC drugs that reduce pain and discomfort, but they do not treat herpes directly.

Don’t Miss: How To Clear Herpes Outbreak

What Are The Herpes Stages

An outbreak of herpes, oral or genital, can show no symptoms or has a progression of blister development and healing.

The various herpes stages include:

1. The prodrome stage with itching and tingling

  • During this first stage of herpes, the virus is traveling to the surface of the skin. This might cause redness, itchiness, tingling, pain, or burning in and around the affected area. If the outbreak occurs inside the urethra or around the labia, painful urination can occur.
  • The prodrome stage is a period of symptoms that marks the onset of an outbreak, typically lasting several hours. During the prodrome of a herpes outbreak, some might experience flu-like symptoms, including fever, headache, or swollen glands.

2. The development of blisters

  • Blisters from the herpes virus begin as small red bumps that become fluid-filled and range from clear to whitish-yellow in color. Bumps and blisters can be sensitive or painful. The blister stage is when red spots form, which soon become fluid-filled blisters. The skin around the blister appears red, and blisters commonly form in clusters.
  • Fever-like symptoms can continue through this part of the herpes stages, but only if an outbreak is associated with the initial infection.

3. The development of ulcers

4. The healing of ulcers

Suppressive Therapy For Recurrent Hsv

Suppressive therapy reduces frequency of genital herpes recurrences by 70%80% among patients who have frequent recurrences . Persons receiving such therapy often report having experienced no symptomatic outbreaks. Suppressive therapy also is effective for patients with less frequent recurrences. Long-term safety and efficacy have been documented among patients receiving daily acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir . Quality of life is improved for many patients with frequent recurrences who receive suppressive therapy rather than episodic treatment . Providers should discuss with patients on an annual basis whether they want to continue suppressive therapy because frequency of genital HSV-2 recurrence diminishes over time for many persons. However, neither treatment discontinuation nor laboratory monitoring is necessary because adverse events and development of HSV antiviral resistance related to long-term antiviral use are uncommon.

Valacyclovir 500 mg orally 2 times/day for 3 daysOR

Valacyclovir 1 gm orally once daily for 5 days

*Acyclovir 400 mg orally 3 times/day is also effective, but are not recommended because of frequency of dosing.

Recommended Reading: How To Get Herpes To Stop Itching

How Is Herpes Diagnosed

The herpes virus is almost always spread through sexual intercourse, oral sex, or kissing. Although sometimes HSV-1 can spread via shared lip balm, utensils, or other items that come in contact with saliva.

In most cases, healthcare providers can diagnose herpes with a visual examination and by discussing various symptoms. If there’s any doubt, they can take a viral culture to confirm, which involves lab analysis of a swab or scraping.

“If the patient has no history of herpes simplex and is a new patient, I always do a viral culture,” says , MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of 5th Avenue Aesthetics. “Also, if I am suspicious of HSV-2 or if it is an immunocompromised patient, I will order a viral culture. I start treatment right away before results come back. These results can take one week and it is best to start treatment early.”

But again, symptoms aren’t always present. Fortunately, it’s also possible to diagnose HSV with a blood test. Your body produces antibodies to combat viruses, and doctors can use a blood sample to detect the specific antibodies that fight the herpes simplex virus.

A primary care physician can perform the examinations and tests necessary for an accurate diagnosis. However, sexual health clinics offer similar, reliable services.

How To Avoid Herpes

An All Natural OTC Topical Product for Genital Herpes Outbreak Symptoms

As long as you’re sexually active, there’s a chance you could get herpes. You’ll make it a lot less likely if you use a latex or polyurethane condom or dental dam every time, for every activity. The dam or condom only protects the area it covers. If you dont have herpes, you and your partner should get tested for STDs before sex. If youre both disease-free and arent having sex with other people, you should be safe.

Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Herpes Breakout Fast

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 .
  • Is There A Cure Or Treatment For Herpes

    Theres no cure for the herpes virus yet. A herpes vaccine doesnt currently exist, as the herpes virus has more complicated DNA than most infections, creating challenges for researchers.

    However, medication can help with symptoms, like sores, and outbreaks. Medication also lowers the risk of transmission to others. You can take most medications for herpes orally, though you may also apply some as a cream or receive them by injection.

    Read Also: Why Do I Get So Many Herpes Outbreaks

    Types Of Antiviral Drugs

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

    • Famvir
    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%.

    Before Taking This Medicine

    Shingles (Herpes Zoster) FAQs

    You should not use Valtrex if you are allergic to valacyclovir or acyclovir .

    To make sure Valtrex is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

    • kidney disease

    • HIV/AIDS, or other conditions that can weaken the immune system or

    • a history of kidney transplant or bone marrow transplant.

    While Valtrex use in pregnant women is limited, there is no evidence of major risk to the human fetus from valacyclovir. However, herpes virus can be passed from an infected mother to her baby during childbirth. If you have genital herpes, it is very important to prevent herpes lesions during your pregnancy, so that you do not have a genital lesion when your baby is born.

    Valacyclovir can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

    Do not give this Valtrex to a child without medical advice.

    You May Like: Can Herpes Spread To Other Parts Of The Body

    Herpes Suppressive Therapy: 6 Points To Know About Daily Valtrex

    Unfortunately, there isnt a cure for herpes. However, doctors sometimes prescribe Valtrex to be taken every day in order to prevent outbreaks and lower transmission rates. Using antiviral medications like Valtrex every day is known as herpes suppressive therapy.

    Medically reviewed by Gerard Sison, PharmD on Nov. 26, 2018

    Depending on the severity of a case of herpes, doctors may prescribe one of two methods for managing symptoms:

    Herpesyl is a 100% natural blend that targets and eliminates herpes virus in the body.

    Positive Singles is a safe, supportive community to meet others with HSV! Dating profiles, blogs, support groups, and active discussion. Avoid the awkward herpes talk.

    • Intermittent treatment consists of taking an antiviral drug when you experience an outbreak to lessen the severity of symptoms and shorten their duration.
    • Suppressive therapy consists of taking a regular dose of antivirals every day whether you have an outbreak or not. The purpose is to not only prevent outbreaks, but also to reduce the likelihood of transmitting herpes to a sexual partner.

    When And How Are Later Outbreaks Treated

    Later outbreaks with only mild symptoms dont necessarily need to be treated. The blisters can then simply heal on their own.

    But antiviral medication can also shorten the duration of later outbreaks by an average of about two days. If you decide to have treatment, its important to start it within the first 24 hours of the outbreak ideally, as soon as you notice the first symptoms. So its a good idea to always have a few tablets at home or to take them with you when you travel so they are ready to use. You can get a prescription from your doctor.

    In later outbreaks you can take them for a shorter time. The WHO recommends the following:

    • aciclovir: 400 mg three times per day or 800 mg two times per day for five days, or 800 mg three times per day for two days,
    • famciclovir: 250 mg two times per day for five days, or
    • valaciclovir: 500 mg two times per day for three days.

    A different dose and treatment duration may be a good idea for people who have immune system disorders, such as an HIV infection.

    Also Check: Can You Tell How Long You Have Had Herpes

    Is There A Cure Or Treatment For Genital Herpes

    There is no cure for genital herpes. However, daily use of antiviral medicines can prevent or shorten outbreaks. Antiviral medicines also can reduce the chance of spreading it to others.

    Though several clinical trials have tested vaccines against genital herpes, there is no vaccine currently available to prevent infection. One vaccine trial showed efficacy among women whose partners had HSV-2, but only among women not infected with HSV-1. Efficacy was not observed among men whose partners had HSV-2. Another trial testing the same vaccine showed some protection from genital HSV-1 infection, but none from HSV-2.

    What Are Cold Sores Chickenpox Shingles And Genital Herpes

    How Contagious is Herpes?

    Cold sores are caused by a herpes virus that may be spread by kissing or other physical contact with the infected area of the skin. They are small, painful ulcers that you get in or around your mouth. It is not known if valacyclovir tablets can stop the spread of cold sores to others.

    Chickenpox is caused by a herpes virus called Varicella Zoster Virus . It causes an itchy rash of multiple small, red bumps that look like pimples or insect bites usually appearing first on the abdomen or back and face. It can spread to almost everywhere else on the body and may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms.

    Shingles is caused by the same herpes virus that causes chickenpox. It causes small, painful blisters to appear on your skin. Shingles occurs in people who have already had chickenpox. Shingles can be spread to people who have not had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine by contact with the infected areas of the skin. It is not known if valacyclovir tablets can stop the spread of shingles to others.

    Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease. It causes small, painful blisters on your genital area. You can spread genital herpes to others, even when you have no symptoms. If you are sexually active, you can still pass herpes to your partner, even if you are taking valacyclovir tablets. Valacyclovir tablets, taken every day as prescribed and used with the following safer sex practices, can lower the chances of passing genital herpes to your partner.

    Don’t Miss: Can Herpes Be Transmitted To Other Parts Of My Body

    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.

    What Are Side Effects Associated With Using Acyclovir

    Common side effects or health problems may include:

    • Oral medication
    • Severe allergic reaction
    • Skin swelling

    This is not a complete list of side effects and other serious side effects or health problems may occur as a result of the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may report side effects or health problems to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

    You May Like: Will Herpes Ever Go Away

    What Other Drugs Interact With Acyclovir

    If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of this medicine or any drug before seeking medical advice from your doctor, healthcare provider or pharmacist first. To do so may result in serious consequences or side effects.

    Severe Interactions of Acyclovir include:

    • There are no severe interactions from the use of acyclovir.

    Serious Interactions of Acyclovir include:

    Herpes Medication And Treatments Available

    How Herpes Is Treated

    There is currently no cure or vaccine for either HSV-1 or HSV-2.

    However, if you are diagnosed with herpes, your doctor may prescribe you certain kinds of treatments and medications during an outbreak or to suppress the virus.

    One area where medications can help is pain management.

    For genital herpes outbreaks, doctors may recommend prescription-strength pain creams with ingredients like benzocaine or lidocaine.

    These can help to reduce discomfort caused by especially inflamed, or acute, herpes lesions.

    For oral herpes outbreaks caused by HSV-1 infections, your doctor might similarly prescribe topical creams containing painkilling ingredients like benzocaine .

    Over-the-counter pain treatments can also help with milder oral herpes outbreaks.

    These include NSAIDS like ibuprofen , as well lower-strength gel formulations with numbing ingredients like benzocaine .

    None of these numbing or painkilling options work to actually speed up or heal the herpes outbreak, however.

    They may reduce discomfort, but they do not lessen the time it takes a herpes outbreak to move from emerging, to active, to dormant. For that, doctors turn to antiviral treatments.

    Antiviral medications can both speed up the rate of healing, as well as reduce the severity of outbreaks.

    For genital herpes, when taken as suppressive therapy, antiviral medications can also reduce the frequency of outbreaks.

    Acyclovir creams can also be used to treat genital herpes.

    You May Like: How Soon Do You Get Herpes Symptoms

    Oral Antiviral Medication For Herpes

    Most people who get herpes will not experience bothersome symptoms, but for those that do there is effective oral antiviral medication. It stops the herpes from multiplying but does not clear the virus from the body. The most common brand used in New Zealand is valaciclovir. It is safe and works effectively for both Type 1 and Type 2 herpes simplex.

    Popular Articles
    Related news