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Genital Herpes - Medications

Antiviral medicines are the recommended treatment for 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).

Recommended Related to Genital Herpes

Genital Herpes Medications Chart

There is no cure for genital herpes. However, some drugs have been effective in reducing the duration and frequency of herpes outbreaks. The decision to use one treatment over another for genital herpes depends on many factors that must be discussed with your health care provider: Have you had a previous outbreak? The first episode of genital herpes is usually the worst and often has other symptoms, like fever and fatigue. Recurrent outbreaks aren't usually as painful and don't last as long...

Read the Genital Herpes Medications Chart article > >

Medicine choices

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.

People with impaired immune systems may be more likely to:

  • Need daily antiviral medicine to prevent recurrent outbreaks.
  • 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.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 14, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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