Monday, September 19, 2022

What Medicine Can You Take For Herpes

How Should I Take Acyclovir

Anti-Herpetic Drugs – How They Work

Take acyclovir exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

Start taking acyclovir as soon as possible after the first appearance of symptoms . Start taking Sitavig within 1 hour after you first notice sold core symptoms, before the cold sore appears.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Do not crush, chew, suck on, or swallow a buccal tablet. Place the flat side of the tablet against your upper gum, on the same side of the mouth as your cold sore. Allow the tablet to dissolve in your mouth throughout the day. You may eat and drink normally while the buccal tablet is in place.

Do not give an acyclovir buccal tablet to a young child or choking could occur.

Shake the oral suspension before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device .

Acyclovir doses are based on weight . Your dose needs may change if you gain or lose weight.

Drink plenty of water while you are taking this medicine to keep your kidneys working properly.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses may increase the risk of your virus becoming resistant to medication.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What Do Genital Herpes Symptoms Look Like

Other symptoms can include:

  • tingling or burning around the genitals
  • feeling unwell, with aches, pains and flu-like symptoms
  • unusual vaginal discharge in women.

Many people with genital herpes wont get any symptoms, or may get symptoms for the first time months or even years after they were infected.

For most people, the blisters go away within one to two weeks. Although the outbreaks clear-up by themselves, the virus stays in the body. This means that people usually get blisters again which is called having a recurrent outbreak. Outbreaks usually become shorter and less severe over time.

Uses For Cold Sore Medication

According to the American Academy of Dermatology , treating cold sores can shorten the duration of a flare-up and even prevent new cold sores from forming.

Various types of cold sore medications are available. Over-the-counter treatments can help reduce pain, alleviate cracked or dry skin, and soften crusted or scabbed blisters.

can take Zovirax two to five times per day for 510 days, with or without food.

A doctor will tailor the exact dosage to suit a persons symptoms and the type of infection. People with a weakened immune system may require higher dosages, while those with kidney problems may need lower dosages.

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Is It Safe To Breastfeed If I Have Genital Herpes

Yes as long as there isnt an open lesion on your chest or breast. If you have an active outbreak while breastfeeding, its possible to spread the infection to your nipples through touch. Careful hand-washing can prevent this spread. You shouldnt nurse from a breast that has herpes sores. You can pump breast milk until the sores heal. Dont give your baby expressed breast milk if the pump comes into contact with an open sore.

What Valtrex Tablets Are Used For

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Valtrex tablets belong to a group of medicines called antivirals. Valtrex tablets are used for the treatment of genital herpes infection.

Valtrex tablets work by stopping the multiplication of the virus which causes herpes. They can reduce the length and severity of an outbreak of herpes, the duration of pain and shorten the time to healing of crusts associated with herpes. They do not eliminate the herpes virus from the body. The herpes virus is also known as the Herpes Simplex Virus, or HSV.

Valtrex tablets help the blisters to heal more quickly. If you start taking them as soon as you feel an outbreak starting, you may actually prevent the blisters from developing.

Valtrex tablets can also be taken long term to help prevent the HSV infection coming back.

Valtrex is more effective in patients 50 years of age and older.

Valtrex tablets can also reduce the risk of transmitting the virus that causes genital herpes in patients who are taking it continuously to prevent or reduce recurrent outbreaks. It does not cure genital herpes or completely eliminate the risk of transmission. Therefore, in addition to therapy with Valtrex, it is recommended that patients avoid contact when symptoms are present and always use condoms.

Valtrex is not a cure for genital herpes. Because genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease, you should minimise having intercourse when you have an outbreak of herpes or show any symptoms. This will avoid the risk of spreading herpes to your partner.

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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:

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  • 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.

Herpes Medication: Treatment And Drug Information

Herpes is a common, lifelong viral infection that affects nearly half of American adults under the age of 50.

Most infected individuals do not develop herpes symptoms at all, but for some people, herpes infections can cause painful sores, blisters, or lesions, often on the mouth or genitals.

People who carry the herpes virus can spread it to others through close, direct, and intimate contact.

In this article, Ill review the medications that doctors use to treat both oral and genital herpes.

These include the oral antiviral medications acyclovir , valacyclovir , and famciclovir .

Ill discuss how long it typically takes for these treatments to work, as well as the various dosages available with these treatments.

Ill examine the different kinds of herpes strains and look at the major side effects of herpes medications.

Finally, Ill discuss when to see a doctor if you think you may be experiencing a herpes breakout. .

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Treatment Of Recurrent Genital Herpes

Most herpes recurrences are so mild and infrequent that taking treatment isn’t considered necessary or helpful.

For some people herpes recurrences, while infrequent, can be more prolonged and you may find taking a short course of medication when you recognise the signs of a recurrence lessens the length and severity of the symptoms and reduces the risk of transmission if you are sexually active. This is called EPISODIC TREATMENT as it is not taken all the time.

Because this therapy is most effective before you develop skin rashes or lesions , it is important you have a readily available supply of medication to start as soon as you experience signs that you are having a recurrence.

Episodic treatment is 500mg of valaciclovir twice daily for 3 days taken 3 times daily for 2 days).

Ask your Doctor to prescribe 50 x 500mg tablets of valaciclovir and self-initiate treatment at the first sign of a recurrence starting.

What Other Information Should I Know

Shingles (Herpes Zoster): Pathophysiology, Risk Factors, Phases of Infection, Symptoms, Treatment

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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Talk With Your Doctor About Herpes Medications

Its important to first talk with your doctor before using over-the-counter products like docosanol or other home remedies.

If this is the first time you have symptoms of HSV with blisters or sores, your doctor will first diagnose if you have HSV, the type and discuss options to manage your condition. They will tell you about prescription and nonprescription alternatives to treat your HSV infection.

Tell your doctor if you have any serious health conditions including if you have a weakened immune system.

Your doctor will also tell you what you can expect with an HSV infection, how long it may last, and what do to prevent spreading HSV to others while you have an active infection.

Here are answers to a few commonly asked questions about herpes simplex virus.

How Effective Is Herpes Medication

Antiviral herpes medication will not cure oral or genital herpes infections. However, suppressive therapy significantly ameliorates its symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that this treatment can reduce genital herpes outbreaks by 70%-80% in patients that frequently experience them.

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Treatment For Genital Herpes

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.

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How Long Do Sores From Herpes Simplex Last

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If youre infected with HSV-1, commonly known as oral herpes, you may notice tingling or burning around your mouth in the days before a cold sore appears. These blisters break open and ooze fluid before forming a crust. Usually, sores last for seven to 10 days.

If youre infected with HSV-2, commonly known as genital herpes, your first outbreak may last between two to four weeks. Recurrent outbreaks usually last between three to seven days.

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What Can I Do If I Have Herpes Simplex 2

Many people who find out they have herpes feel depressed knowing theyll always have the virus and can give it to others. But you arent alone. Herpes is one of the most common STIs, both in the U.S. and worldwide. If you have herpes, you should:

  • Learn all you can about it. Information will help you to manage your disease and feel better about yourself.
  • Talk about your illness with your doctor.

If you have herpes, you can still:

  • Have sex if you use a condom or dental dam , and you tell your partner about your illness. Some couples, who have sexual relations only with each other, may choose not to use condoms even though one partner has herpes. Because each situation is different, you should ask your doctor if this is the right choice for you in your relationship.
  • Have children. People with herpes can still give birth to healthy babies. If you have herpes and plan to have children, discuss your illness with your healthcare provider.

If you have herpes, you should also get checked for HIV and other STIs .

Can I Still Have Sex If I Have Herpes

If you have herpes, you should talk to your sex partner and let him or her know that you do and the risk involved. Using condoms may help lower this risk but it will not get rid of the risk completely. Having sores or other symptoms of herpes can increase your risk of spreading the disease. Even if you do not have any symptoms, you can still infect your sex partners.

You may have concerns about how genital herpes will impact your overall health, sex life, and relationships. It is best for you to talk to a health care provider about those concerns, but it also is important to recognize that while herpes is not curable, it can be managed with medication. Daily suppressive therapy for herpes can also lower your risk of spreading genital herpes to your sex partner. Be sure to discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider. Since a genital herpes diagnosis may affect how you will feel about current or future sexual relationships, it is important to understand how to talk to sexual partners about STDsexternal icon.

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Risks Of Herpes During Pregnancy

The major risk associated with herpes and pregnancy is neonatal herpes infections. These infections of the newborn are rare, but can be quite serious or even fatal. The biggest risk for neonatal herpes occurs for people who are newly infected during pregnancyparticularly near the time of delivery.

Cesarean section is recommended instead of vaginal delivery for people who have genital symptoms at the time of delivery. It is also recommended for people who are having prodromal symptoms that signal a likely outbreak. C-section has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of herpes transmission to the infant.

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How Can I Treat Herpes At Home

Herpes virus treatment

Certain dietary supplementsâlike lysine, vitamin C, zinc, and probioticsâcan help support your immune system and prevent or shorten outbreaks. Once an outbreak has begun, applying cold compresses, licorice root extract, lemon balm oil, manuka honey, or garlic can reduce its severity and provide symptom relief.

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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.

What Happens If You Dont Get Herpes Treatment

The good news about herpes is that its not deadly or even very dangerous. It might be annoying, but herpes doesnt get worse over time or cause serious health problems like other STDs can.

If you dont get treated for herpes, you might keep having regular outbreaks, or they could only happen rarely. Some people naturally stop getting outbreaks after a while.

There are a few reasons people may decide not to get treatment. They might not have that many outbreaks, or their outbreaks dont really bother them. Or maybe theyre not having sex, so theyre not that worried about having herpes right now. Whatever your situation is, getting treatment for herpes is your choice.

Having herpes can make it easier to get HIV, because the sores give HIV an open pathway into your body. So always use condomsto help prevent the spread of both herpes and HIV.

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Herpes Drugs Work But Not Forever

Anti-herpetic agents reduce recurrence of herpes simplex-2 symptoms but do not completely block subclinical shedding of virus, even at high doses, researchers reported.

In three complementary crossover trials, short episodes of genital shedding occurred despite daily therapy, according to Christine Johnston, MD, of the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues.

The finding may explain why even high doses of anti-herpetic drugs do not prevent transmission of the virus, Johnston and colleagues suggested online in The Lancet.

Action Points

  • This study found that anti-herpetic drugs reduce recurrence of herpes simplex-2 symptoms but do not completely block subclinical shedding of virus.
  • The finding may explain why even high doses of anti-herpetic drugs do not prevent transmission of the virus.

The researchers enrolled 113 patients with confirmed HSV-2 infection for the three trials, which tested:

  • No medication against a standard 400-milligram dose of acyclovir twice a day
  • A standard 500-milligram dose of valacyclovir once a day, against 800 milligrams of acyclovir three times daily
  • Standard-dose valacyclovir against 1 gram of valacyclovir three times daily

Participants in each trial were assigned to one of the arms for four through seven weeks, had a week without any treatment, and then were crossed over to the other arm.

They took genital swabs four times a day and all told collected 23,605 swabs, of which 1,272 were positive for HSV-2.

Disclosures

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