Genital herpes (Herpes Simplex Genitalis, hsv 2)

Comparison of medications for herpes

Famvir

Valtrex

Aciklovir

prescription medication Yes Yes Yes
Active ingredient: Famciclovir Valaciclovir Aciklovir stada
Formulation type: Oral Oral Oral
Manufacturer: Novartis GSK Actavis
Treats genital herpes: Yes Yes Yes
Treats oral herpes: Yes Yes Yes
Treats Shingles: Yes Yes Yes
Relieve pain: Yes Yes Yes
Prevent blisters: No No Yes
Transmission: Yes Yes No
Course of treatment: 3tab/day for 7days 3tab/day for 7days 4tab/day for 5days
Available doses: 250, 500 mg 500 mg 200, 800 mg
Price from: £94 £60 £34
Online pharmacy link: Famvir Valtrex Aciclovir

Comparison of medication used for treating genital herpes and oral herpes:
Aciclovir – Famvir – Valtrex

Aciclovir
Aciclovir treats and prevents outbreaks of genital herpes, cold sores and shingles. When used for treating herpes,
it reduces pain and other symtoms as well as shorten the course of the disease. The earlier you begin treatment after the first symptoms have appeared, the faster your rashes will disappear. Aciclovir is the only drug that can be used effectively as a preventive to reduce outbreaks of herpes, both for type 1 and 2. On important occasions when outbreaks of herpes are especially undesirable, it is a comfort to have Aciclovir in your medicine cabinet!

Famvir
Famvir differs from other medication used for herpes in that it works faster and is more effective for stopping an outbreak of herpes that has already occurred. It is important to take Famvir as early as possible when blisters start to appear in order to shorten the outbreak. In favourable circumstances the infection and lesions can heal within twenty-four hours. Famvir is often prescribed to treat genital herpes for persons with severe symptoms. Long-term treatments for herpes with smaller doses of Famvir are also possible. However, this option can be costly since Famvir is more expensive compared to other drugs used for herpes.

Valtrex
Valtrex is a superb medication for outbreaks of herpes which offers pain relief and decreases rashes as well as shortens the duration of the outbreaks. Valtrex works best if you start taking it within 72 hours after the first blisters occur. Valtrex can be used to prevent outbreaks of herpes and also heals shingles and chickenpox.

genitalherpes.org.uk recommends:
Aciclovir is the ideal option since it comes at an affordable price and can be used as a preventive treatment! For the most effective treatment of outbreaks of herpes, Famvir is the best option, but this also makes Famvir more expensive than other drugs. Valtrex is a more widely used anti-viral drug that has proven to be effective not only for treating herpes, but also for treating shingles and chickenpox.

There are two types of herpes viruses
– Hsv type 1: Causes cold sores around the mouth, also known as oral herpes. It may affect the genital area but this is unusual.
– Hsv type 2: Causes genital herpes. Transmission to other parts of the body is possible but less common.

Herpes simplex has developed into two types which have adapted to affect either the genital area or the mouth. In some unfortunate cases, both viruses may affect other parts of the body as well.

Herpes simplex can not be cured, but it can be effectively treated
Once you have been infected with the virus you can never get rid of it. This viral disease can not be cured and lies dormant in the nervous system of the spinal ganglia between the outbreaks. Unfortunately, there is presently no vaccine or cure for herpes. With that said, there are effective treatment options. Treatments such as anti-viral medications and ointments stimulates the immune system to resist outbreaks of herpes and speed up recovery. The effect of the medication prevents herpes outbreaks and can under favorable conditions heal a herpes outbreak within one or two days.

Herpes – as common as a cold
Research shows that about 80% of the UK population are infected with or carries antibodies against the herpes simplex virus. Around 20% suffer from cold sores regularly, while the remaining part consists of so called “silent carriers”. 80% of all infected persons never develop any symptoms. However, this makes them no less likely to pass the virus on to other healthy individuals. This is the most important reason why herpes is so widely disseminated.

Genital herpes – the most common sexually transmitted disease
As many as 12,5 million Britons are infected with genital herpes virus or carries antiebodies against the virus. Only about 3 million of these persons develop sores and rashes in the genital area regularly. The remainder consists of so called “silent carriers”, persons who carry the virus unknowingly and who may infect other people.

The majority of infected persons never show any symptoms
Relatively few people who are infected with herpes develop symptoms such as sores and blisters. Whether you will develop sores or not from herpes depends on the strength of your immune system. A person who has carried the herpes virus for 20 years without symptoms may suddenly start developing sores.

The virus attacks when your immune defence is weak
Genital herpes is most likely to cause outbreaks during periods when your immune system is weak. There are many things that affect the immune system, for example sleep loss and stress, not to mention depression. Outbreaks of herpes are more likely to occur if you spend a lot of time in the sun, which is why many people have outbreaks during holidays in warmer countries. The herpes virus is usually most active during the first 5 to 10 years after infection, thereafter outbreaks are less frequent.

The infection is transmitted through sexual intercourse
Most people get infected with genital herpes during sexual intercourse. The virus is most likely to spread through secretion from sores and blisters when it comes into contact with skin. Outside the body the virus only survives for a very short time. Therefore the possibility of getting an infection from toilet seats, towels and underwear is merely theoretical. The possibility exists, but the virus dies very quickly in these environments. The virus may also be transmitted during delivery when a pregnant woman is having visible sores which may infect the neonate.

Signs of infection – how to know if you are infected with genital herpes
The first outbreak of herpes in the genital area typically causes a mild fever and pain in the groins and the lymphatic glands. Recurrent outbreaks are usually associated with itching and burning, and the feeling of a small lump under the skin. After a few days a blister appears, which bursts to form an open sore. This phase is usually painful and unpleasant with running sores causing burning pain, and it is also the phase during which the virus is most likely to be transmitted to other people. The period from the appearance of blisters to the forming of sores typically lasts for about 1-2 weeks.

genital herpes male
Areas where symptoms of genital herpes are most likely to appear include:
– Just inside the vagina and around the vaginal opening.
– On the shaft of the penis.
– On the scrotum.
– On the buttocks, in the lumbar region or around anus.

Genital herpes is a harmless infection
Even if genital herpes is an unpleasant disease which causes problems such as sores and blisters during outbreaks, the virus itself is harmless. Research is being conducted on how the virus affects the immune system of our bodies and it has been suggested that the immune system may build up a defence against other infections when being exposed to the herpes simplex virus. Future research will undoubtedly show connections with other diseases, both positive and negative.

When herpes becomes a health risk
The largest health risk from herpes are the sores caused by the infection. These may be slow-healing and there is always a risk of acquiring other infections from open sores, which may result in suppuration and spreading of the sores to other areas. Such cases may become serious unless they receive medical attention and are treated with antibiotics. A neonate infected with the virus may have serious problems since its immune system is not yet adapted to the virus. The virus may affect the mouth, the nose and the respiratory passages and in some cases lead to meningitis, which would put the child in a life-threatening situation. For women who are having visible sores from a primary herpes infection, caesarean section is usually recommended.