Herpes Medication and how are They Used
Treatment of genital herpes and using antiviral drugs can help reduce outbreaks and remain symptom-free. Besides, they can also reduce the severity of symptoms in case they do appear. These herpes medication drugs cannot be considered as a cure to herpes. However, they can certainly make living with the condition a little easier.
The three most common drugs used in the treatment of genital herpes are valacyclovir, Famvir and acyclovir.
Medication courses recommended during genital herpes
In case you are diagnosed with herpes and observe symptoms such as sores, doctors recommend a brief course, usually ranging between 7 to 10 days. This antiviral therapy is aimed at relieving the symptoms of herpes or preventing them from worsening. The duration of the course may increase, if your condition doesn’t improve in the stipulated time.
Once you are done with the initial phase of treatment, it is advised you work with your physician and chalk out a perfect antiviral therapy. You may follow any one of the below stated options:
- Intermittent treatment: In this form of treatment, doctors prescribe antiviral drugs for you to keep at hand, just in case you observe any symptoms flaring up. The treatment can last for up to 5 days depending on the severity of the outbreak. Although sores may eventually heal and disappear, antiviral drugs speeds up healing process besides making the symptoms less severe.
- Suppressive treatment: If you face outbreaks often, your doctor my consider opting for a suppressive therapy rather than an intermittent treatment. In this, you will have to take drugs every day. For those who have more than 6 outbreaks in a year, this can reduce the number of outbreaks by over 60 percent.
There is no threshold limit based on which doctors decide to go for a suppressive therapy. Often, factors such as the frequency of outbreaks and their severity decide the kind of treatment.
Consumption of antiviral drugs on a daily basis also reduces the chances of transmission of the virus. This is why, people having genital herpes are advised to take antiviral drugs or increase their dosage prior to engaging in sexual activities. These drugs diminish viral shedding, when the herpes simplex virus makes duplicate copies on the surface of the skin.
Although this cannot be considered as a replacement to condom, it has certain proven to be effective. A recent study has revealed that people, who took daily doses of antiviral drugs, were half as likely to transmit the virus compared to those who didn’t.
Medical experts believe that side effects caused by antiviral drugs are mild and almost negligible. In fact, these medicines are known to be safe in the long run. Acyclovir is the oldest drug used in the treatment of genital herpes and is known to be absolutely harmless.
However, people who are taking suppressive therapy are advised to visit their doctor at least once in a year to determine if they can continue.