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Genital Herpes (cont.)

Genital Herpes Medications

Treatment with medication is effective in shortening the initial outbreak of the infection, lowers the chance that the infection will come back, and makes any later outbreaks less severe.

  • There are similar antiviral drugs available for the treatment of genital herpes infection, These antiviral medications vary in cost and how often they should be taken. All should be taken for 7-10 days. The patient's doctor may extend the course of therapy if ulcers have not healed in 10 days. Examples of these antiviral medications include:
  • For preventing later genital herpes outbreaks, people with recurring infections also may benefit from the antiviral medications. Treatment is started when the recurrence first begins and continues for five days.
  • For continuous prevention, a few individuals who have frequent outbreaks (generally over six recurrences per year) can only control the outbreaks by taking medication every day. Acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir are all used to treat recurrent disease. This is known as suppressive therapy. Suppressive therapy has been shown to decrease the frequency of genital herpes recurrences by 70%-80% in those who have frequent recurrences, and many individuals taking this treatment report no symptomatic outbreaks.

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