Medications for Genital Herpes
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Medicines can help control symptoms and future outbreaks. Episodic therapy is used to control symptoms. Suppressive therapy is used to prevent future outbreaks.
The virus can still spread even when suppressive medicine is taken. It may lower your risk of infecting others, but it will not get rid of the risk.
When you have early signs of an outbreak, you can take medicine to control how bad the outbreak is and how long it lasts. You take the it only when you are having the symptoms. The down side is that it may not lower the risk of spreading the virus to your partner. This is because some outbreaks may not start symptoms.
Suppressive therapy is used to prevent future outbreaks. This involves taking the medicine each day. You may want to take it if you have a lot of outbreaks. It can also be used to lower the risk of spreading the virus to a partner who has not had the infection. Keep in mind this only lowers the risk, it does not get rid of the risk.
Antiviral Medications for Episodic and Suppressive Therapy
Antiviral medicines are prescribed to treat genital herpes. You may be given:
Possible side effects include:
If you are pregnant or nursing, or have another health problem such as HIV infection, talk to your doctor. Your treatment plan may not be the same.
Pain relievers can help ease your symptoms until the antiviral medication takes effect.
Pain medicine can help ease your symptoms until the antiviral medicine begins to work.
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Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Beverly Siegal, MD, FACOG
Last Updated: 8/10/2018
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