Genital herpes, also commonly called as “herpes”, is a highly contagious sexual transmitted disease caused by the virus called herpes simplex virus (HSV).
Actually, there are two various types of herpes virus: HSV-1 and HSV-2.
Actually, HSV-1 causes fever blisters in and around the mouth and can be transmitted from person to person through kissing whereas HSV-2 is the major cause for genital herpes. In rare cases, genital herpes is caused by HSV-1.
HSV-2 causes pain, itching and herpes sores in your genital area. Sexual contact is the primary way that genital herpes simplex virus spreads. As the herpes virus cannot survive for long time outside your body, you cannot acquire this virus from any object used by an infected person.
Generally, symptoms of herpes are called outbreaks. The main reason for the increase in the rate of herpes infection is you will not aware of HSV in your body and may never have an outbreak of sores.
Moreover, there is no cure for genital herpes but treatments cannot stop outbreaks. The standard and effective treatment for genital herpes is antiviral drugs. Moreover, a daily suppressive therapy can reduce transmission of virus to your partners.
You can take antiviral drugs to treat the symptoms, to help prevent future outbreaks and to stop HSV from replicating in your body. Remember that the treatment works only during the period you take drugs. It will not work once you stop taking.
The most common antiviral medicines to treat genital herpes are Acyclovir (Zovirax), Famciclovir (Famvir), and Valacyclovir (Valtrex).
This antiviral drug can lessen the severity of genital herpes outbreaks and shorten their duration. As episodic treatment, you should take aciclovir five times a day.
This can also be used as suppressive treatment to help decrease the number of outbreaks. In this case, you should take tablets two, three or four times a day.
The general side effects of aciclovir are very mild such as nausea and diarrhea.
This antiviral drug makes the healing of sores faster, and shortens pain period during the outbreak. If you are taking valaciclovir as soon as you experience the first outbreak (tingling, itching or redness), then you can completely prevent the painful blisters development.
As episodic treatment, you should take valaciclovir twice a day. You can also use valaciclovir as suppressive treatment to prevent herpes outbreaks. For this, take the drug once a day.
The common side effects with valaciclovir are very mild such as headache or nausea.
When used as episodic treatment, this can reduce the duration of outbreaks and the severity of outbreaks pain. Remember that for the initial genital herpes episode, take this drug three times a day and for recurrent outbreaks, take twice a day.
Famciclovir is also preferred for suppressive therapy to increase the time between outbreaks. In this case, the drug should be taken twice a day.
Even these side effects are, similar to aciclovir, very mild such as headache and nausea.
It is highly recommended for you to consult your doctor for further information regarding antiviral treatment for your genital herpes.