Although genital herpes cannot be cured and you will have it for the rest of your life, it is treatable — meaning its symptoms can be relieved and its spread or progression possibly prevented.
There are a variety of different medications, therapies, vitamins, herbs, ointments, creams, and things you can do to make it easier to live with. Lifestyle changes can also be made to cut down on the recurrence of outbreaks. Many people with genital herpes believe some of these things will help prevent further outbreaks. Some people experience pain during outbreaks.
Some people even have severe pain. You can take painkillers for the pain such as, antidepressants, and epilepsy medication. Over the counter medicines are usually not enough, but you can try them first, such as Tylenol.
There are many different types of treatments to choose from. A couple of those are episodic and suppression therapies. Episodic medications treat the outbreaks as they happen. It will help lessen the pain and length of the outbreak. The medication should be taken as soon as the person knows they are having an outbreak, and works best if it is taken before blisters appear. Some people have warning symptoms of an outbreak, such as burning, tingling, or itching.
Suppression therapy is taken over a long period of time, and is usually recommended for people who experience frequent outbreaks. If an outbreak does occur, the medication is already in your body. One five-year study determined that twenty percent of people using suppression therapy reported no outbreaks at all while on the medication. Some people even combine both the suppression and the episodic medications, taking one for a period of time, and then switching to the other.
Some oral medications are Viraway, Isoprinosine, Famvir, and Zovirax. It is important to discuss any of these options with your doctor.
There are also some topical creams, including prescription and non-prescription creams. Of the prescription creams, there is Zovirax cream, and Cidofovir cream. Zovirax cream should be applied to the infected area as soon as an outbreak is known. The FDA has not approved Cidofovir, but it has been used in the treatment of severe outbreaks that can occur with people living with HIV and genital herpes.
There are also some non-prescription medications, but it’s important to be careful in choosing these. The FDA has not approved most, and some are merely scams. It would be a good idea to consult your doctor about any medications. Some non-prescription medications include, Viraderm, Herpasil, and Coraphor, which are topical creams.