What is genital herpes? Genital herpes is an infection of the genitals (penis in men, vulva and vagina in women) and the surrounding skin area. It is caused by herpes simplex virus. Buttocks and anus may also be affected. Genital herpes is usually a sexually transmitted infection. Many people who are infected with this virus have no symptoms but can still spread the infection to others. If symptoms occur, they can vary from mild pain painful blisters on the genitals (vulva, vagina or penis) and the surrounding area. Antiviral drugs for genital herpes. If you have severe recurrences. This booklet discusses only antiviral drug for genital herpes. (See separate leaflet called genital herpes for more general details about genital herpes infection. ) What is an antiviral medicine?
Antiviral drugs are available to treat genital herpes include acyclovir, famciclovir and valaciclovir. They come in different brands. They work by stopping the herpes virus from multiplying. They do not eliminate the virus from the body. If an antiviral medication starts early in an episode of symptoms, which tends to reduce the severity and duration of symptoms during an episode of genital herpes. These drugs all work is thought as well as each other when used to treat genital herpes. Acyclovir is an older antiviral medication and has to be taken five times a day. Famciclovir and valaciclovir are newer and should only be taken three times daily antiviral medications. Antiviral drugs for a first episode of genital herpes An antiviral drug is commonly prescribed for a first episode of genital herpes. (A first episode of genital herpes is also called a first episode. ) A five-day course of treatment duration is usual, but this can be extended by a few days if blisters are still forming. With a first episode of genital herpes sores and blisters can last from 10 days to 20 days.
This is so very small overall if an antiviral medication is started within five days after the onset of symptoms. The sooner the drug, the best chance of symptoms acceleration starts. Antiviral drugs for recurrent episodes of genital herpes Other episodes of symptoms (relapses) tend to be milder and usually last a few days. Usually it has 7-10 days of symptoms rather than 10 to 20 days can be produced with a first episode. Antiviral drugs are often not needed for recurrences. Analgesics, salt baths, and local anesthetic ointment (such as lidocaine) for a few days may be enough to relieve symptoms. However, an antiviral drug may be advised by recurrent episodes of genital herpes in the following situations: If you have severe recurrences. If you take a five-day course of antiretroviral medication as soon as symptoms begin, you can reduce the duration and severity of symptoms. You may be prescribed a supply of medication at home to get ready to start as soon as symptoms begin. This type of intermittent treatment, which is only used when needed, tend to prescribe if you are getting severe attacks of genital herpes less than six times a year. If you have frequent recurrences.
You may be advised to take antiviral medication every day. In most people who take medication every day, recurrences are either stopped completely or their frequency and severity are significantly reduced. A lower maintenance dose rather than the full dose of treatment is usually prescribed. A typical plan is to take a 6 – to 12-month course of treatment. Then you can leave 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 a year. For special events. A course of medication can help prevent a recurrence at special times. This may be an option, even if you do not have frequent recurrences, but I want to have the lowest risk of recurrence – for example, during the holidays or during exams. Antiviral drugs for genital herpes is while pregnant A specialist usually advise on what to do if genital herpes occur while you are pregnant, or if you have recurrent genital herpes and become pregnant. This is because there may be a possibility of transmitting the infection to her baby.
A first episode of genital herpes is while pregnant If you develop a first episode of genital herpes in the last six weeks of pregnancy, or around the time of birth, the risk of transmitting the virus to her baby is higher (there are about 1 April 10 opportunities). The baby may develop a serious infection of herpes if he or she is born vaginally. Therefore, in this situation may recommend that a caesarean is made to your specialist. This will greatly reduce the possibility that the baby comes in contact with the virus (mainly in blisters and sores around the genitals). Baby infection is then usually (but not always) prevented. However, if you decide against a caesarean section and decide to opt for a vaginal delivery, it is likely to recommend that given antiviral drugs (acyclovir usually) the specialist. It is administered intravenously (into a vein) during labor and birth. They may also suggest that antiviral medication can give your baby after birth. If you develop a first episode of herpes infection in the early stages of pregnancy, you run the risk of miscarriage. However, if you do not abort then there will be no harm to your baby. What is genital herpes? If you have frequent recurrences.
Whenever there are two months between catching the virus and give birth to her baby, it is likely to be safe for the baby of a normal vaginal delivery. This is because there will be time for antibodies to form and be transmitted to the baby to protect it when it is born. The specialist may advise that you should be treated with antiviral drugs at the time of infection. This helps the sores to clear quickly. In addition, some doctors recommend that you should take antiviral drugs in the last four weeks of pregnancy, in order to help prevent the recurrence of herpes at the time of delivery. However, this is not routine and the advantages and disadvantages of taking the antiviral medication within the last four weeks of pregnancy should be discussed with you by your specialist. If you have recurrent genital herpes and become pregnant If you have recurrent episodes of genital herpes, the risk to the baby is low. Even if you have an episode of blisters or sores during delivery, the risk of your baby developing severe herpes infection is low. This is due to pass in some antibodies and immunity to the baby during the last two months of pregnancy. However, there is some debate about what is better if you have a recurrent episode of sores or blisters during delivery. Some doctors may recommend a C-section. However, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) states that does not need a Caesarean section to be offered to women with a recurrence.
Also, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is not routinely recommended a Caesarean if blisters or sores due to an episode of recurrent herpes at the time of delivery. Again, this is because it is likely to have some immunity to the virus and the possibility that the baby developing severe herpes infection is under the baby. If you have a recurrent episode when entering the work, you should discuss your options with your specialist and together decide the best way for your baby is born. Another moot point is whether the antiviral drug must be taken in the last four weeks before delivery. This can help prevent the recurrence of blisters during delivery. Again, the specialist will be able to advise on the pros and cons. In summary A first episode of herpes at the time of birth can be serious for the baby and cesarean section it is usually advisable. In any other situation – a previous primary infection or a history of recurrent episodes – the risk to the baby is low and your specialist will advise on possible options. Are there side effects of antiviral drugs? Most people taking antiviral drugs do not get side effects, or minor. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and skin rashes (including photosensitivity and itching) are the most common side effects. Read the leaflet inside the package of drugs for a complete list of possible side effects.
Using the yellow card system If you think you have had a side effect to one of your drugs you can be reported in Scheme yellow card. You can do this online at the following Web address: www. mhra. gov. uk / yellowcard. The yellow card is used to make Plan pharmacists, doctors and nurses know new side effects that drugs may have caused. If you wish to report a side effect, you will need to provide basic information about: The secondary effect. The name of the drug you think caused it. Information about the person who had the side effect. Your contact details as reporter side effect. This is useful if you have your medication – and / or leaflet that comes with it – with you while you complete the report.