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Oral Herpes (cont.)

Medical Treatment

Treatment includes medication for fever (see above) and taking plenty of fluids.

  • A topical anesthetic such as viscous lidocaine (Dilocaine, Nervocaine, Xylocaine, Zilactin-L) may be prescribed to relieve pain associated with oral blisters and lesions.
  • Oral or IV medication does exist for HSV but is not recommended for people with a normal immune system. It is used only for people with weakened immune systems, infants younger than 6 weeks of age, or people with severe disease.
  • Some people may require hospital admission.
    • Those with severe local infection
    • People whose infection has spread to other organ systems
    • People with weakened immune systems
    • Dehydrated individuals who need IV hydration
    • Infants younger than 6 weeks of age

Mild uncomplicated eruptions of herpes simplex require no treatment. Severe infection may require treatment with an antiviral agent. Oral antiviral drugs include

  • acyclovir (Zovirax),
  • valacyclovir (Valtrex),
  • famciclovir (Famvir),
  • topical acyclovir or penciclovir (Denavir), (creams) may shorten attacks of recurrent HSV-1 if it is applied early, usually before lesions develop.

These drugs may stop viral replication in the skin but do not eliminate HSV from the body or prevent later outbreaks (HSV reactivation). These drugs are used more frequently with HSV-2 infections. Most investigators suggest consulting an infectious disease expert when HSV infected people need hospitalization. Research findings suggest laser treatments may speed healing and lengthen the time before any recurrent sores.

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Oral Herpes:

Oral Herpes - How Did You Manage

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Oral Herpes - Prevention

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Herpes Simplex Encephalitis »

The human herpesvirus (HHV) family includes 2 clinically important strains, also known as herpes simplex virus (HSV).

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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