Herbs Vitamins And Other Supplements
It isnt always possible to eat foods containing the high levels of nutrients your body needs to fight genital herpes, but herbs, vitamins, and supplements can help. The following choices are known to boost immune system function and help the body combat herpes outbreaks.
Zinc. Chickpeas, pork, lamb, and wheat germ all contain high levels of zinc. Research shows that zinc ions are active against the herpes simplex virus and may even extend the time between outbreaks.
Lysine. Research is still ongoing, but recent reports suggest that daily lysine supplementation may reduce the recurrences of herpes outbreaks. Though lower doses of lysine show little effect, high doses of up to 3,000 mg a day may be beneficial.
Probiotics. Probiotics are well known for their immune-boosting abilities. Now research also shows that certain probiotic strains can limit herpes infections as well.
Vitamin B Complex. The full range of B vitamins serves many critical roles in your body, including healthy cell growth, metabolism, and energy. You need all of these functions in full force to respond to an active outbreak of herpes.
Aloe vera. Aloe vera isnt just for sunburn! Pure aloe vera offers antimicrobial, antifungal, and wound healing properties that soothe herpes symptoms and encourage rapid healing.
Why Is This Medication Prescribed
Acyclovir injection is used to treat first-time or repeat outbreaks of herpes simplex and to treat herpes zoster in people with weak immune systems. It is also used to treat first-time genital herpes outbreaks in people with normal immune systems. Acyclovir injection is used to treat herpes simplex encephalitis and herpes infections in newborn infants. Acyclovir injection is in a class of antiviral medications called synthetic nucleoside analogues. It works by stopping the spread of the herpes virus in the body. Acyclovir injection will not cure genital herpes and may not stop the spread of genital herpes to other people.
What Other Information Should I Know
Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to acyclovir injection.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
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Can You Prevent Herpes Outbreaks
Taking good care of yourself can help prevent future herpes outbreaks. Eating healthy foods, getting plenty of sleep, and avoiding stress can all help outbreaks from occurring.
If you have frequent outbreaks, your doctor may recommend that you take medicine daily, which is called suppressive therapy. It can help prevent future breakouts, and lower your chances of sharing herpes with your partner.
Research has not concluded what causes genital herpes outbreaks whether its sex, your period, stress, skin irritation, or surgery. Oral herpes outbreaks can be caused by sunburn, other infections, or injuries to your lips.
Before Using Acyclovir Injection
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to acyclovir, valacyclovir , any other medications, or any of the ingredients in acyclovir injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: probenecid . Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had problems with your immune system, human immunodeficiency virus infection , or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or kidney or liver disease. Also tell your doctor if there is a possibility you may be dehydrated from a recent illness or activity.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while receiving acyclovir injection, call your doctor.
Can Herpes Be Cured By Antibiotics
No. However, antibiotics may be helpful if you have both an infection caused by bacteria as well an infection with the herpes virus.
In this case, an antibiotic will treat the bacterial infection and may make those symptoms go away, but the herpes virus will remain in your body. Antibiotics are ineffective against viruses.
What Are The Symptoms Of Genital Herpes
If you do notice symptoms, youll experience them differently depending on whether youre having your first herpes outbreak or a recurrent outbreak. Recurring symptoms are usually milder than the first outbreak. Symptoms dont last as long with later outbreaks. Some people may only have one or two outbreaks during their lifetime. Others may have as many as four or five outbreaks a year.
How do genital herpes first appear?
When symptoms occur, theyre usually worse during the first outbreak or flare-up . Symptoms typically appear within two to 20 days after infection. Active symptoms may last up to four weeks.
You may experience:
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What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture .
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
How Is This Infection Diagnosed
Several different infectious agents can cause upper respiratory disease in cats , with subtle differences in examination findings between the different diseases. A presumptive diagnosis of feline viral rhinotracheitis is based primarily on a cat’s medical history and clinical signs combined with the findings on physical examination, particularly if the cat has evidence of a corneal infection. Corneal staining with fluorescein dye is often performed to look for any ulcers that may have developed. A Schirmer tear test to assess tear production may be supportive of a diagnosis of FVR, since decreased tear production has been associated with FVR conjunctivitis.
Specific identification of FVR virus particles may be made by collecting samples of cells and discharges from the nose, eyes, or back of the throat. Identification of feline herpesvirus DNA by polymerase chain reaction amplification is the most sensitive test available for diagnosing infection by FHV-1. Unfortunately, if the virus is in a latent state , diagnostic testing is usually not rewarding.
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Are Other Cats In The Household At Risk Of Infection
A cat that has an acute FVR infection will be infective to other cats during the incubation period and for up to three weeks after developing symptoms. A cat that is a carrier may always be infective to other cats. The risk of infection increases in cats that are unvaccinated, are young, or have chronic underlying problems. Adult cats that have been adequately vaccinated will likely only develop a mild case of illness, which may resolve without treatment.
“A cat that has an acute FVR infection will be infective to other cats.”
Affected cats must be isolated from other cats to avoid further spread of disease. It is always prudent to isolate any new cat from the other cats in your household for at least one to two weeks to minimize transmission of any infectious diseases.
Is It Safe To Breastfeed If I Have Genital Herpes
Yes as long as there isnt an open lesion on your chest or breast. If you have an active outbreak while breastfeeding, its possible to spread the infection to your nipples through touch. Careful hand-washing can prevent this spread. You shouldnt nurse from a breast that has herpes sores. You can pump breast milk until the sores heal. Dont give your baby expressed breast milk if the pump comes into contact with an open sore.
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Clinical Trials: Key To Genital Herpes Research
Although these new genital herpes treatments are just on the horizon, it may be years before any are available to consumers.
The process of introducing a new treatment to the public can be a long one. Before the FDA approves a drug, it must go through rigorous clinical trials, which are divided into three phases. In phase I, researchers try to find out if the drug is safe for people to take. If the drug is deemed safe, it may go on to phase II, when researchers aim to determine if the drug works as it should. They also collect more safety data. In phase III trials, they expand their research to include more patients in more places.
To conduct a clinical trial, scientists need people to participate voluntarily. Clinical trials often involve thousands of patients who volunteer to take the experimental drug. The FDA and an independent review board carefully monitor every aspect of the trial. There are rules the researchers must follow to ensure that their work is scientifically correct and ethically sound. Study volunteers have clearly defined rights, such as the right to drop out of the trial at any time.
What Are The Symptoms Of Herpes
The most common symptom of genital herpes is outbreaks of itchy, painful blisters or sores on the vagina, vulva, cervix, penis, butt, anus, or inside of the thighs.
The first outbreak usually starts about 2 to 20 days after exposure to herpes, but sometimes it takes years for the first outbreak to happen. It usually lasts about 2 to 4 weeks. Even though the blisters go away, the virus stays in the body and can cause sores again. It is common to get repeat outbreaks, especially during the first year of having herpes.
The first outbreak of herpes is usually the worst. Repeat outbreaks are usually shorter and less painful. Most people with herpes get fewer outbreaks as time goes on, and some stop having them altogether.
Other symptoms may include itching, pain around the genitals or having trouble peeing. If genital herpes is caused by HSV-2, there may also be flu-like symptoms, such as swollen glands, fever, chills and aches.
Usually, oral herpes is less painful than genital herpes and doesnt make you feel as sick. Oral herpes causes sores on the lips or around the mouth called cold sores or fever blisters.
Cold sores last a few weeks and then go away on their own. They can re-appear in weeks, months, or years. Cold sores are usually harmless in kids and adults, but can be dangerous to newborn babies.
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What Happens If I Dont Get Treated
Genital herpes can cause painful genital sores and can be severe in people with suppressed immune systems.
If you touch your sores or the fluids from the sores, you may transfer herpes to another part of your body, such as your eyes. Do not touch the sores or fluids to avoid spreading herpes to another part of your body. If you do touch the sores or fluids, immediately wash your hands thoroughly to help avoid spreading your infection.
If you are pregnant, there can be problems for you and your developing fetus, or newborn baby. See Im pregnant. How could genital herpes affect my baby? above for information about this.
Treatment For Oral Herpes
The antiviral medications available in pill form have been specifically developed for the treatment of genital herpes. However, it is not uncommon for healthcare providers to prescribe the antiviral drugs to those who have frequent or severe outbreaks of oral herpes.
A recent study found valacyclovir to be effective for treating oral herpes in a one-day treatment of 2 grams taken at the first sign of a cold sore, and then again about 12 hours later.
There are two topical antiviral medications prescribed for the treatment of oral HSV symptoms: acyclovir ointment and penciclovir cream. Both work to speed up the healing process and reduce the viral activity. These topical drugs are put directly on the lesions themselves, but can also be used at the onset of prodrome.
Other topical treatments for oral herpes are available over-the-counter , but are not antiviral compounds like acyclovir and penciclovir. Some also contain ingredients that numb the area and induce temporary relief from the discomfort of an outbreak. Unfortunately, some OTC treatments may actually delay the healing time of symptoms because they can further irritate the area with repeated applications. There is only one OTC FDA-approved cream, called Abreva®, which has been clinically proven to help speed the healing process.
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Home Remedies And Lifestyle
At-home treatments for a cold sore or genital herpes can relieve symptoms. However, it can not cure the infection. To ease the pain and prevent sores from getting worse, try the following:
- Apply cold compresses. Place a well-insulated ice pack on your lesions for as long as it makes you feel better. The cold will not worsen or improve the lesion, but it can lessen the pain.
- Don’t scratch. Avoid touching and rubbing lesions caused by herpes. Doing so can spread the infection to other areas of your skin.
- Keep the sores clean. Cold sores and genital herpes infections can become infected with bacteria from your hands or, in the latter case, from urine or feces. Therefore, keep the sores and blisters and the areas around them clean and dry to avoid an additional infection.
- Reduce stress. Stress can affect how well your immune system can keep your herpes infection in check. Therefore, reducing your stress may help prevent excessive herpes recurrences.
How To Get Rid Of Cold Sores Naturally Fast
Herpes labialis is infection of the lips, mouth, or gums with the herpes simplex virus. It leads to the development of small, painful blisters commonly called cold sores or fever blisters. Cold sores will generally heal themselves in one to two weeks however, taking action can prevent spreading the virus further and speed up the healing process. Here to some steps on how to get rid of cold sores naturally fast:
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Genital Herpes Is Spread By Skin
The herpes virus is spread by skin-to-skin contact and can be transmitted during vaginal, oral or anal sex. The infection can occur anywhere on the genitals, in areas around the groin or pubic area, and in or around the anus. Cold sores on the mouth can cause genital infection during oral sex for those who do not already have the cold sore virus.
The virus can be spread when someone with HSV has an episode or an outbreak characterised by having a sore, blister, ulcer or skin split . It can also be spread between episodes, when there is no sore, blister, ulcer or skin split present called asymptomatic viral shedding.
During viral shedding the virus is on the skin surface and can be spread through genital skin-to-skin contact, or from the mouth or face to genital skin during contact.
Understanding Herpes With H Hunter Handsfield Md
Herpes expert H. Hunter Handsfield, MD, explains the basics about genital herpes, including the difference between genital HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection, testing options and the importance of knowing virus type, and the three-prong strategy for prevention. See more herpes videos at sexualhealthTV.com.
Have a question about herpes youd like Dr. Handsfield or our other experts to answer? Visit our Ask the Experts page to learn how.
Facts About Herpes Simplex 2
Herpes simplex 2 causes a chronic viral infection. Practically, the virus is transmitted from one person to another upon sexual and even nonsexual but physical contact, thereby undergoing incubation and causing an outbreak followed by a subsiding of the symptoms only to cause a remission and then several outbreaks but with reducing severity.
It may seem that the symptoms have completely subsided over a period of time and one may feel cured of herpes. But the virus continues to live on in the human body and can get triggered through incubation in the future. Hence, it is medically known as a chronic infection or condition. It is hard to say if someone is completely cured of herpes without any treatment.
The virus may live for the entire lifetime of the host and not cause any further outbreak if there is no incubation. With no vaccine for herpes simplex 2 and no medicine having any effect on the elimination of the virus, it remains a chronic condition without any cure in traditional medicine.
Reducing The Risk Of Genital Herpes
The best way to prevent all sexually transmitted infections is to practice safer sex. This means using a condom for vaginal, anal or oral sex.
Using condoms has been shown to half the risk of passing on herpes.
If your partner has herpes, avoiding sex when they have visible sores reduces your risk of getting herpes.
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