Genital herpes can be treated by making use of antiviral medications. However, it is important to point out that the medications available are mainly used to manage the signs and symptoms of genital herpes and not the herpes simplex virus. When a person is symptom free, it means that the herpes simplex virus is dormant. Since the primary outbreak is quite severe, the medications are used to minimize the flare ups and to ensure that the disease does not take up 3 weeks to clear. While antiviral medications are not actually real treatments, they ensure that the person with the virus is comfortable.
The three types of medications commonly used to manage and treat the signs and symptoms of genital herpes (HSV-2) are:
All of the medications listed above are taken orally. However, severe cases of genital herpes are treated by making use of intravenous (IV) medication known as acyclovir. Then again, there are topical medications that are available in the market that can be applied to the skin. The topical medications are usually used since they cause a numbing effect. Persons suffering from HSV-1 (Herpes Simplex Virus – Type 1) can use this form of medication if they are experiencing difficulty with eating or swallowing of food due to the blisters inside the mouth. Nonetheless, doctors do discourage this form of medication as they can cause a numbing effect on the body when abused.
When Medications for Herpes Simplex Virus – Type 2 Are Administered?
a. Initial Treatment
If you are experiencing signs and symptoms, for example, sores and blisters immediately after being diagnosed with herpes simplex virus – type 2, your physician may prescribe a course of medications that take up to 10 days to complete. The medications are primarily made up of antiviral drugs designed to offer relied to the affected areas and to minimize the signs from getting worse. If the sores and blisters are taking unusually long to clear, your physician may prolong the dosage.
Once the initial treatment is completed, your doctor will prescribe additional antiviral treatments so as to keep the disease in check. These include:
b. Intermittent Therapy: These are temporary medications prescribed by your doctor to use in case you experience another outbreak. These medications are to be kept with at all time. The instant you notice the sores and blisters re-appearing, you can take the medications for up to 5 days. Thereafter, you’ll notice that the sores starting to disappear.
c. Suppressive Therapy: If you keep on experiencing outbreaks, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication that is taken on a daily basis. This type of medication is commonly referred to as suppressive medication. This type of medication is usually prescribed to persons who experience up to 6-10 outbreaks in less than a year. According to CDC, suppressive medications can greatly reduce recurrence by up to 80%. A majority of people who take suppressive drugs do not suffer from recurrent outbreaks.
Then again, it is important to point out that there is no benchmark that is used to define when a person is to be put on suppressive medications. The key factor that is used to define when a person is to be placed on this type of medication is based on the number of outbreaks they experience.
Suppressive medications have also been found to greatly minimize the chances of the herpes simplex virus being transmitted from one person to the other. Since transmission from mother to child is quite common in mothers who experience initial outbreaks during the 3rdtrimester, suppressive medications can be used to minimize the rate of infection. Doctors usually advise that patients go for review after 12 months so as to determine whether they should be continued on suppressive medications.
Prevention as treatment against Herpes
The best way through which transmission from one person to the other can be minimized is by making certain that you use condoms during sexual intercourse. On the other hand, you need to take precautionary measures such as going for STI testing prior to getting sexually active with somebody.