Although you can’t cure the herpes virus, there are very effective preventative and episodic treatments that can provide you with relief and help you to control outbreaks. The most effective anti-viral treatments for genital herpes, cold sores and shingles are the prescription medications Famvir, Valtrex and Aciclovir.
Anti-viral medications work by preventing the spread of the virus, by inhibiting the enzymes it needs to reproduce. This gives your body the time to fight off the virus, and force it back into a dormant state. The dosages for each treatment will differ depending on the infection it is being used for. You may also choose to use one treatment over the other because it treats your condition more effectively, or because you experience some side effects when taking medication in high doses.
Dr Hilary Jones discusses herpes virus treatments
Aciclovir is effective in treating a full outbreak of genital herpes, and is often recommended to people who are experiencing an outbreak for the first time. It can also be used as a suppressive treatment, especially if you suffer from multiple outbreaks a year.
For the treatment of genital herpes, a 200mg dose should be taken five times a day for five days. As a preventative treatment, a 200mg dose four times a day for up to 12 months will usually be prescribed.
Famvir and Valtrex aren’t normally prescribed as a preventative treatment for cold sores; however Aciclovir can be taken over a period of six to twelve months to suppress the virus and reduce cold sore outbreaks. For an existing cold sore, a 200mg tablet should be taken four times a day for five days.
Aciclovir is very effective in treating a full outbreak of shingles, and an 800mg dose five times a day for seven days is usually prescribed. It can also help to relieve some of the nerve pain associated with this condition.
Genital herpes can be successfully treated by taking Valtrex within 48 hours of you noticing symptoms. You will take the treatment for seven to ten days, with most people noticing an improvement in their condition within as little as 24 hours and with the full symptoms clearing within as little as five days. Valtrex is also available in lower doses to be taken as a preventative treatment.
Valtrex can treat an outbreak of cold sores with just one day of treatment. It stops the virus from spreading so that your body heals one to two days quicker than before. The treatment involves taking a dose of four 500mg tablets twice a day during a single 24 hour period.
You can be treated effectively with Valtrex by taking two Valtrex 500mg tablets three times a day for seven days. A shingles rash usually spreads for three days before being stopped by the body’s immune system. Valtrex can reduce the spread by more than a day, helping you to recover more quickly.
Famvir is a fast-acting treatment that can prevent a full outbreak of genital herpes if taken within the first 24 hours of you noticing active symptoms. Take two Famvir 500mg doses, 12 hours apart and you can prevent a full outbreak from occurring.
Famvir is also available in a 250mg and 150mg pill that can be taken as a preventative treatment for up to a year to help suppress the virus. This is often recommended to people who have regular, disruptive outbreaks.
Famvir is also a better anti-viral treatment option for people over 50 with genital herpes, because it’s very well tolerated by the body
One dose of three Famvir 500mg tablets is all that is required to effectively treat cold sores. If you take Famvir as soon as you notice the first tingling sensations that are characteristic of an outbreak, it can reduce the amount of time you display symptoms by two days.
Taking Famvir can help reduce your recovery time by two to three days, and can help to treat some of the nerve pain that shingles causes. The treatment for shingles usually involves taking a 750mg dose of Famvir daily for seven days.
What’s the next step?
These three treatments are available from HealthExpress and can be ordered safely and securely online. HealthExpress offers every patient a free online consultation, so that they can find out which medications are best suited to their condition. Once they have made their choice, a prescription will be issued and our pharmacy will dispatch the order for free next-day delivery.