If you suffer from genital herpes, one of the first and most important choices you must make is on how you are going to manage the condition, control symptoms and manage outbreaks. There are a wide variety of drugs for herpes available, consisting of prescription anti-virals and over-the-counter topical treatments, as well as many alternative treatments that range from homeopathic concoctions to vitamin supplement therapy. In this article we will look at some of the prescription drugs for herpes options your doctor may make available to you.
The most commonly prescribed drugs for the treatment of herpes are Acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir, which may be known as their Brand names, Zovirax, Famvir and Valtrex, respectively. These drugs are known as anti-virals, and are taken orally on a schedule dependent on which type of therapy is prescribed for your condition. These drugs for herpes also come in topical forms, which is a cream you can apply to sores or rashes during an outbreak.
How these medications are taken will depend on your prescribed type of treatment. The three main treatments are listed below.
Suppressive Therapy – this refers to ongoing use of an antiviral drug to reduce the number of outbreaks, reduce severity and reduce viral shedding, which lessens the risk of transmitting the virus to a partner. This is usually prescribed to those with particularly severe or frequent outbreaks. This form of treatment can be very effective, but can also be expensive and may cause unwanted side effects.
Pre-Emptive Therapy – usage of drugs for herpes during selective periods in the sufferers life. Most commonly used by people who know what diet or lifestyle factors will trigger an outbreak, so they can medicate as needed. Those who control their herpes through supplements, diet or natural treatments will often utilise pre-emptive therapy when they know they are going through a stressful period (such as exams or a wedding), or when travelling or during holiday seasons when the diet and lifestyle is likely to change for a short period of time.
Episodic Therapy – Use of drugs for herpes only during an outbreak. Most commonly used by those who have very infrequent or light symptoms. Generally taken within three days of an outbreak, or when the ‘tingling’ sensation is felt, and can reduce severity or in some cases help avoid the outbreak all together.