Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Genital Herpes Health Center

Select An Article
Font Size

Should I Join a Genital Herpes Clinical Trial?

The process of introducing a new treatment to the public can be a long one. Before the FDA approves a drug, it must go through rigorous clinical trials, which are divided into three phases. In phase I, researchers try to find out if the drug is safe for people to take. If the drug is deemed safe, it may go on to phase II, when researchers aim to determine if the drug works as it should. They also collect more safety data. In phase III trials, they expand their research to include more patients in more places.

To conduct a clinical trial, scientists need people to participate voluntarily. Clinical trials often involve thousands of patients who volunteer to take the experimental drug. The FDA and an independent review board carefully monitor every aspect of the trial. There are rules the researchers must follow to ensure that their work is not only scientifically correct, but also ethically sound. The study volunteers have clearly defined rights, such as the right to drop out of the trial at any time.

Recommended Related to Genital Herpes

Alternative Treatment for Genital Herpes

Scientists have studied alternative treatments, like herbal extracts and nutritional supplements, based on some genital herpes patients' claims that they help relieve symptoms. Some study results have been promising, others discouraging. Many people say that an extract of the echinacea plant helps boost the immune system's ability to fight the genital herpes infection. Some say it decreases the frequency and severity of genital herpes outbreaks. Researchers in the U.K. compared the effect of echinacea...

Read the Alternative Treatment for Genital Herpes article > >

While there are risks involved in joining a clinical trial, there may be benefits, too. You might get a new "wonder drug" long before it hits the market. If you're interested, ask your doctor if you could benefit by joining one. Your doctor may know of a trial that is seeking volunteers in your area. The National Institutes of Health also has an online database that you can search. The web site provides detailed information on what's involved in joining a clinical trial including a list of ones currently underway.

Genital herpes is a lifelong condition. For help coping with herpes day to day, see 5 Ways to Ease Stress and Stay Healthy.

For emotional support, see How to Tell Your Partner and Re-Entering the Dating Scene.

For more information and help understanding words you may hear about genital herpes, see Resources and the Glossary.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Debbie Bridges, MD on August 06, 2012
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

STD Overview
Slideshow
BHC Healthy Sex Life
Quiz
 
things your guy wish you knew slideshow
Slideshow
Sex Drive Killers 03
Slideshow
 
Genital Herpes Risks Quiz
Quiz
Young couple holding hands
Quiz
 
Hepatitis Prevent 10
Feature
Herpes Vaccine Study
Video
 
Daughter Development Evaluator
Article
HPV Vaccine Future
Article
 
STD Facts Quiz
Quiz
mother and daughter talking
Tool
 

WebMD Special Sections