Antiviral Medication for Genital Herpes

Genital herpes infections of the genitals ( penis in men , women vulva and vagina ) and skin surrounding area. It is caused by herpes simplex virus . Such as aciclovir, famciclovir, and valaciclovir are used as antiviral drugs to treat genital herpes infection . They do not remove the virus from the body , and some people ( to come back again and again ) are infections that are recurring . They will reduce the duration and intensity of symptoms , which works by stopping the virus from multiplying .
Genital herpes is an infection of the genitals (penis in men, vulva and vagina in women) and surrounding area of skin. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus. The buttocks and anus may also be affected.
Genital herpes is usually a sexually transmitted infection. Many people who are infected with this virus never have symptoms, but can still pass on the infection to others. If symptoms occur, they can range from a mild soreness to painful blisters on the genitals (vulva, vagina or penis) and surrounding area.
This leaflet just discusses antiviral medication for genital herpes. (See separate leaflet called Genital Herpes for more general details on genital herpes infection

 HSV-2 hides in the nervous system of the infected host and can reactivate periodically. When the virus is re-activated in a nerve cell, it is transported along the nerve to the skin, where it is replicated anew causing 'shedding' and new sores. Intensive genital secretion collection demonstrates that HSV shedding episodes are three-times more frequent than was previously thought.

Dr. Christine Johnston at the University of Washington Virology Research Clinic in Seattle, WA, USA, and her team conducted three separate but complementary open-label crossover studies involving 113 patients. They compared giving patients no medication with those who were administered the standard-dose of aciclovir 400 mg twice daily.
Further episodes of symptoms (recurrences) tend to be milder and usually last just a few days. You usually have 7-10 days of symptoms rather than 10-20 days that can occur with a first episode. Antiviral medication is often not needed for recurrences. Painkillers, salt baths, and local anaesthetic ointment (such as lidocaine) for a few days may be sufficient to ease symptoms. However, an antiviral medicine may be advised for recurrent episodes of genital herpes in the following situations:
  • If you have severe recurrences. If you take a five-day course of an antiviral medicine as soon as symptoms start, it may reduce the duration and severity of symptoms. You may be prescribed a supply of medication to have ready at home to start as soon as symptoms begin. This kind of intermittent treatment, that is just used as needed, tends to be prescribed if you are getting severe attacks of genital herpes fewer than six times a year.
  • If you have frequent recurrences. You may be advised to take an antiviral medicine every day. In most people who take medication every day, the recurrences are either stopped completely, or their frequency and severity are greatly reduced. A lower maintenance dose rather than the full treatment dose is usually prescribed. A typical plan is to take a 6- to 12-month course of treatment. You can then stop the medication to see if recurrences have become less frequent. This type of continuous treatment can be repeated if necessary. This type of daily treatment tends to be prescribed if you have severe attacks of genital herpes more than six times per year.
  • For special events. A course of medication may help to prevent a recurrence during special times. This may be an option even if you do not have frequent recurrences, but want to have the least risk of a recurrence - for example, during a holiday or during exams.
A specialist will normally advise about what to do if you develop genital herpes whilst you are pregnant, or if you have recurrent genital herpes and become pregnant. This is because there may be a chance of passing on the infection to your baby.