- 1 What is herpes? Herpes symptoms
- 2 Genital herpes causes
- 3 Genital herpes symptoms
- 4 Genital herpes medication. Acyclovir herpes pills
- 5 Zovirax for genital herpes
- 6 Oral herpes symptoms
- 7 Oral herpes treatment. Antiviral medication for herpes. Valtrex herpes pills
- 8 Herpes labial
- 9 Herpes labialis treatment
- 10 Best antiviral medication for herpes
- 11 Valtrex herpes medication cost
What is herpes? Herpes symptoms
Herpes is a highly contagious disease that is conditioned by the entry of the viruses from the Herpesvirales family in the body. According to the official statistics of WHO, about 90% of population are infected with herpes virus.
Getting the virus as a child, it is kept there for life. The virus is built into the DNA and is inactive in the nervous system. About 10% of people with the herpes virus do not even know about its existence because being infected, they do not have any symptoms of the disease. But most people face the light types of the disease: herpes on the lips, chickenpox, and genital herpes. And there is a category of people who have herpes all the time, and it causes a severe discomfort.
The Herpesvirales family contains 8 types of the virus that has different genetic code and origin, and semiology. The symptoms of the herpes may differ depending on a type of the viral infection, severity of the disease, and immune status of a patient.
The simple types of the herpetic infection have the following symptoms:
- A local formation of the skin rash, blisters, ulcers and inflammatory parts on the skin and mucous membranes;
- Itching, peeling of the skin, light pain, tingling on the places of the virus manifestations;
- Weakness, fatigue, decrease of the immunity.
These symptoms are peculiar for the herpes simplex virus. They do not cause a severe discomfort and do not cause serious problems with health. These symptoms quickly pass even without a medical treatment.
But there are severer types of the herpetic infection, for example, herpes zoster, mononucleosis, and others that have severer symptoms:
- Neuropathic pain;
- Vast affection of the skin with rash with purulent blisters;
- Formation of the ulcers on the skin;
- Fever, pain in the muscles, and headache;
- Chronic fatigue, development of the chronic diseases.
Genital herpes causes
Genital herpes is one of the most common types of the herpetic infections. According to the estimations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 700 000 new cases of the genital herpes infection are registered every year in the USA. According to the WHO, about 67% of the population all over the world have the genital herpes. It is no wonder because it is sexually transmitted. A cause of the infection is herpes simplex virus type 2 which is transmitted not only during skin-to-skin contact but also through the biological fluid, and by airborne.
The virus often enters the body through microtraumas on the skin and on the mucous membranes of the genitals during the sexual intercourse. Moreover, the outbreak of the virus may be not instant but it may happen in a while, when an infected patient has a low immune protection of the body.
The reactivation of the genital herpes happens under the action of the emotional disorder, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, during menstruation, a long exposure to the sun or overcooling.
Genital herpes symptoms
The symptoms of the genital herpes occur within 3-30 days during the primary infection, depending on the protective properties of the body. The symptoms are characterized by the vast rashes on the genitals and anus. The affection of the soft tissues is higher in girls because of the physiological peculiarities of the body.
A prodrome of the relapse is observed before the occurrence of the rash on the genitals: burning, itching, pain, and edema. Burning and itching do not pass within 3 days, and then the disease falls, and the rash is gradually reduced.
In case of the relapsing genital herpes, the symptoms may be more intensive. Numbness, severity and body pain in the upper part of the thigh that may reach the lower back or glutes, drawing pain in perineum may happen from time to time. Women often have the increase of the body temperature and general fatigue. Men usually have a lighter form of the disease.
But both men, and women have the blisters filled with the clear fluid on the skin and mucus of the genitals in 3-5 days after the development of the first symptoms. Then these blisters are popped. It is the most dangerous moment because the fluid contains virus that may be transferred to healthy partners.
The sexual intercourses are prohibited during the whole period of the relapse of the genital herpes.
Genital herpes medication. Acyclovir herpes pills
The treatment of the genital herpes is complex and takes a long period. The herpes simplex virus type 2 still remains in the body even after the complex therapy, and so the main task of any human after the infection is to improve the immunity and control the disease symptoms.
According to the official statistics, the genital herpes passes within 7-10 days during the use of the antiviral drug Acyclovir. The disease may take up to 4 weeks without the use of the medications. Acyclovir inhibits the activity of the viruses, and after the popped blisters, the liquid with the virus begins to flow out on the healthy parts of the skin, and in this case the virus is not able to infect new parts.
In case of the preventive use of Acyclovir, a duration and a quantity of the outbreaks are reduced, and the remission period are prolonged.
The scheme of the use of Acyclovir during the genital herpes:
- A standard single dose of Acyclovir is 200 mg for the genital herpes.
- The pills of Acyclovir 200 mg should be taken 5 times per day with the interval of 4 hours.
- In case of the relapse of the genital herpes, the treatment lasts within 7-10 days, till the complete healing of the small ulcers.
To prevent the genital herpes and reduce a risk of the infection of another partner during the remission, it is necessary to start taking Acyclovir 2 days before the sexual intercourse. If you have one sexual partner, both partners should take Acyclovir for the prophylaxis. In case of the outbreak of the genital herpes in one of the partners, the pills should be taken by both partners.
Acyclovir is a universal antiviral drug which gives a good account of itself in the treatment of the genital herpes. But in case of the frequent relapses (more than 3 times a year), patients should use Acyclovir in combination with Interferon. It is a stimulant of the immune system and quickly improves the natural protective functions, helps to quickly cope with the herpes virus on the cellular level.
Zovirax for genital herpes
Zovirax is taken during the genital herpes, is released in the form of tablets and ointment for the external application. The use of the ointment accelerates the formation of the skin crusts on the rash and neutralizes the activity of the virus.
If the tablets act in a consistent manner and inhibit the activity of the virus in the central nervous system, the Zovirax ointment acts only on the places of the application reducing a number of the active virus cells in the genitals.
A prescription of Zovirax in the form of the tablets and ointment helps to neutralize the activity of the herpes simplex virus type 2 by two times faster. The Zovirax ointment is a great alternative during the genital herpes for some patients who cannot use the tablets due to the physiological reasons.
The Zovirax ointment is applied to the infected area 5 times a day, with a thin layer. The ointment is quickly absorbed into the skin, and therefore do not rub it into. Wash your hands after the application of the ointment.
Using the Zovirax ointment, a dose of Zovirax in tablets is not reduced. Follow the standard dose of Zovirax 200 mg 5 times a day.
Oral herpes symptoms
The oral herpes is the most common type of the herpetic infection. Herpes simplex virus type 1 causes it, and about 3,7 billion people in the world have it. The oral herpes affects the skin and mucous membranes around the mouth: lips, cheeks, nasal mucus, area around the lips. The rashes are accompanied by the tingling and itching. At first, a patient has some inflammation and a knobble over the lip or nasal labial fold which is very itchy.
Then, several blisters look like a rash appear within 24 hours. These blisters are gradually filled with the clear fluid. If there are several blisters, they can merge in one big blister, and so the area of the inflammation grows. A patient experiences itching, tingling, light edema during this process.
The oral herpes do not have a severe symptomatic and do not cause fever, high body temperature, and other dangerous symptoms. In rare cases, patients with the immune deficiency have severe symptoms but they are often manifested in the form of the vast area of the rash, painful sensations, and fever. The oral herpes is not dangerous itself, and during the in time treatment, a patient may not even feel any symptoms.
Many people associate the oral herpes with the affection of the soft tissues of the lips. Yes, it is manifested on the lips only, according to the statistics. In 65% of cases, the herpes affects the upper lip. However, the other parts may suffer too: nasal labial fold, internal area of the mucus of the cheek, nasal mucus, and area around the nose.
One can cope with the labial herpes without any medications but in case of occurrence of the rash on other parts, the treatment should be started as soon as possible. The matter is that a spread of the oral herpes may be controlled only by means of the medications, reducing the activity of the virus cells.
If the rash appeared around the nasal labial fold, it may easily spread to the nose, and others. Moreover, the herpes simplex virus type 1 may affect the mucus of the eyes and soft tissues of the eyelid. Due to this, various complications may occur.
Acyclovir is well studied and proved product but its drawback is a frequent application with the same interval. Valacyclovir (Valtrex) is more convenient because just 2 tablets 500 mg should be taken within a day.
Valtrex herpes pills are taken in the morning and evening with the interval of 10-12 hours. As Valacyclovir is more active type of Acyclovir, it quickly neutralizes the activity of the herpes, and so the treatment of the oral type of the herpetic infection takes 5 days.
Valtrex herpes pills are taken to prevent relapses in patients with the chronic type of the oral herpes (who have more than 8 relapses within a year). Valtrex is taken in the dose of 500 mg a day within 6-9 months depending on a quantity of the relapses and an immune status.
Herpes labial is one of types of the oral herpes that affects the area of the lips. It is usually light but intensive: the symptoms develop within a day and a vast space of the lips are affected. As a rule, the multiple rash is observed during the herpes labial: the amount of the small blisters with the fluid may reach up to 10 and more.
The herpes labial passes, and even many doctors do not insist on a pharmaceutical treatment, if the symptoms do not cause a severe discomfort and there are no preconditions for the affection of the new parts of the skin.
The herpes labial symptoms are the same as in oral herpes. The active stage of the virus replication and a development of the primary symptoms pass quickly. However, after opening of the blisters with the fluid, small ulcers may be kept for a long period. It happens because herpes may appear in inconvenient places, at the junction of the lips, and wounds may crack during eating or talking.
Herpes labialis treatment
The herpes labialis treatment may be done by the standard scheme:
- One Valtrex tablet 500 mg 2 times a day within 3-5 days;
- One Acyclovir tablet 200 mg 5 times a day within 7-10 days.
But many doctors recommend more comprehensive option of the herpes labialis treatment:
- Valtrex in the dose of 2000 mg is taken 2 times a day.
- The interval between the first and the second dose should be at least 8 hours, 10-12 hours are better.
What does this herpes labialis treatment give?
- A faster opening of the blisters and a formation of the skin crust happens.
- A high dose of the antiviral drug does not let the viruses spread and the area of the affection of the lip will be lower.
- The herpes symptoms such as itching and tingling will be weaker.
A patient may not even have such severe rash, and a light inflammation may occur on the lip during such method of the herpes labialis treatment. It will get rid of the visual discomfort.
And the second alternative method is effective only if the treatment begins during the first signs of the herpes labialis: a development of the light itching and edema. It is pointless to treat the herpes labialis for the 2-3rd day this way.
If you could not begin the treatment at first, it is better to follow the standard scheme because the virus has passed the most active stage of the development, and the most important is to keep it from the affection of the skin and mucus. The loading dose of the antiviral drugs will not help to accelerate the healing.
We can distinguish three main products for the herpes treatment without giving specifics of the pharmacological and pharmacokinetic properties of all antiviral drugs:
- Acyclovir (Zovirax);
- Valacyclovir (Valtrex);
- Famciclovir (Famvir).
The matter is that all antiviral drugs for the treatment of herpes have the identical structure and a similar mechanism of the action. They are based by the analogy with Acyclovir but they are improved for more active effect on the virus cells.
According to the pharmacological characteristics, these drugs are identical. Famciclovir is slightly inferior: it has a narrow pharmacological action as to the herpes virus. But, for example, this product is better for the herpes zoster.
So, an individual approach to a choice of a drug is preferable in every clinical case. Moreover, a sensitivity of a patient to every drug may be different, and it will be a determinant issue in a choice of the best antiviral drugs during herpes.
If you face the relapses of the herpetic infection on a regular basis and have to look for the personal medication, we recommend you to try every of these medications, and make your own choice.
Valtrex herpes medication cost
A determinant factor of a drug choice for the herpes treatment will be its cost. For example, Valtrex herpes medication cost may differ in the city pharmacies and online pharmacies.
- An average cost of brand Valtrex 500 mg is $10 per pill in the city pharmacies in the USA.
- A cost of brand Valtrex 1000 mg may be $20 per pill in the pharmacies in the USA.
A cost is unreasonable, and people with low or average income level cannot afford a pack of brand Valtrex at $600. It may even be 1/3 of the monthly salary.
But if we pay attention to Valtrex herpes medication cost in the online pharmacies, the image is more interesting:
- The average cost of Valtrex 500 mg online costs $0,70 per tablet.
- A cost of Valtrex 1000 mg online may be $0,90 per tablet.
Absolutely every citizen in the USA can pay for the package of Valtrex 30 tablets, this is $20-27.
Objectively, a cost of the tablets is increased on purpose in the city pharmacies in order to attract more profit in the pharmaceutical industry. However, it should not affect the usual citizens. The antiviral medications must be affordable at any amount. This way, it is possible to effectively control the herpes virus and reduce a speed of the spread of the virus among the population.