Antiviral medicines are the recommended
genital herpes. They can relieve the pain and discomfort of blisters and sores and speed healing.
These medicines also decrease the number of days you can spread
the virus (are contagious).
- Antiviral medicines, such as acyclovir
(Zovirax), famciclovir (Famvir), and valacyclovir (Valtrex), are recommended for
treating primary genital herpes outbreaks. This medicine can be taken when an outbreak occurs. It can also be taken every day to help prevent outbreaks.
- Nonprescription medicines, such as ibuprofen (Advil)
and acetaminophen (Tylenol), may reduce the pain and fever from genital
Taking antiviral medicines
Antiviral medicines work
best when they are taken as soon as symptoms are noticed. For that reason,
people with herpes should keep a supply of the medicine on hand.
If you have 6 or more
outbreaks a year or have severe outbreaks, you may benefit from taking antiviral
medicine every day. It may reduce the number
of outbreaks by about 1 or 2 episodes a year.
If you take antiviral medicine
every day, you may want to talk to your doctor about not
taking the medicine for a short period each year. This can show whether your outbreaks are starting to occur less frequently. Then you can decide
whether to keep taking the medicine.
impaired immune systems may be more likely to:
- Need daily antiviral medicine to prevent
- Develop a
resistance to some antiviral medicines. For these
people, other medicines are available, but they must be given through a vein
(intravenously, or IV) and can have dangerous side effects.
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Jeanne Marrazzo, MD, MPH - Infectious Disease
December 20, 2012
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