Over The Counter Herpes Medication
Today we either take the help of antivirals to deal with the symptoms of herpes, or rely on natural remedies for herpes treatment if you value your health a bit more than others. An antiviral medication for herpes works something like this: the drug presents itself to the herpes virus as a chemical element that the virus needs to reproduce itself. But it is really just a phony, and when the virus tries to reproduce after it takes up the medicine, it can’t. It doesn’t die off completely, but it doesn’t reproduce effectively either. There have been many attempts to find a successful treatment for herpes, but to date, no permanent cure has been found. However, great progress has been made on treating the disease, and research is constantly being conducted on all aspects of the infection. This also is a great achievement and a good relief for herpes patients.
The over the counter herpes medication may be taken in one of three ways: first episode treatment, episodic therapy- the taking of herpes medication with outbreaks only, and suppressive therapy – taking medicine every day. The first two uses of the drug attempt to shorten the length and severity of a specific outbreak. Taking medication with outbreaks, either first or future ones, has not been shown to impact future recurrence rates of herpes. The episodic treatment with the help of over the counter medication for herpes speeds up the healing process during an outbreak. The herpes patient usually starts taking the antivirals in appropriate dose as soon as he or she feels the initial symptoms of the outbreak occurring into the body. Also, episodic therapy has its best results when treatment begins at the very first sign of an outbreak. It is important to act instantly while the first signal of the cold sore appearing. If you can successfully figure out that it is going to be a cold sore only (if you are a long time sufferer then it is not that difficult to assess the beginning of an outbreak) more than half of the treatment is done. You will have to do least efforts if you start early.
The third use of the drug i.e. over the counter treatment for herpes is for suppression of outbreaks- to prevent outbreaks from coming, is recommended for anyone who has frequent outbreaks, who are bothered by their outbreaks, or who has an uninfected partner and wishes to reduce the risk of infecting them. After a primary infection, the virus travels to a nerve cell ganglion where it persists in a dormant phase. Various factors such as sun exposure, chapping or abrasion of the skin, fever, stress, fatigue, or menstruation can reactivate the virus, resulting in a recurrence at the site of the original infection. You can drop the chances of re- occurrences to almost nil with the help of suppressive therapy of over the counter herpes medication. It is kind of permanent cure only, right? Suppressive therapy seems to be the best alternative until you know about the side effects. The long term health hazards and short term discomfort the regular intake of the over the counter medication for herpes can cause make it the least worthy investing. Read more to get details about the effects and side-effects of medications on herpes and sufferers.
Antivirals And Herpes
Studies with the over the counter herpes medication have found that 80-90% of the people who take the drug for suppression have greatly reduced frequency of outbreaks or do not have outbreaks while taking the drug. The virus is still present in the body, and after the drug is stopped, the outbreaks and shedding come back to a regular level. You can use the following approved drugs in order to reduce the pain and suffering during herpes outbreak.
Acyclovir is one of the oldest over the counter herpes medication available since 1982. Acyclovir is an antiviral drug loaded with chemicals. It is used to treat certain type of viruses. Most commonly prescribed medicine in herpes outbreak is acyclovir only. It greatly reduces the frequency of outbreaks and is also helpful in treating the cold sores. Acyclovir being the oldest has a larger number of side effects. Starting from nausea, it may cause vomiting, diarrhea and headache. And wait, it is not going to stop here, you may also feel agitation, confusion, rashes, anemia, and muscle pain, hypersensitivity reactions, seizures, agitation, and hepatitis. What about the effects of acyclovir on healthy, uninfected cells? Once you take it, acyclovir goes everywhere in your body, not just to the sites of herpes infections. This means that, wherever DNA is being made, acyclovir will have an effect. Keep in mind that DNA is being made wherever cells are dividing: mostly cells of the skin, bone marrow, and intestinal lining. Read more to know about the side-effects of medications for herpes.
This one is newer version of herpes antivirals, an up gradation of Acyclovir that efficiently delivers acyclovir into human body. Only the mode of action has been made better, rest almost everything else is just the same including effects and side effects. Valtrex, also known as valacyclovir, is another over the counter herpes medication used to treat infections with herpes zoster (shingles), herpes simplex genitals (genital herpes), and herpes labialis (cold sores). Valtrex is available in generic form. It is taken as caplets that may be taken with or without food. Valtrex, also called Valacyclovir, is the most common name on the doctor’s prescription list if you go for treatment of herpes. Side effects of Valtrex may include headache, dizziness, tired feeling, depression, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, joint pain, menstrual pain, skin rash, stuffy nose, or sore throat and the list is still not complete. Apart from the side effects, a very important point to note about valtrex and its analogs is that they act at a late stage of viral replication, when viral DNA is already being made. This means that a lot of what the herpes virus does during an infection has already been done. Read more to know about the valrtex side-effects on herpes patients.
Famciclovir is also a variant of the previously discussed over the counter herpes medication methods. It comes as a tablet and has to be taken orally generally after meal. When famciclovir is used to treat shingles, it is usually taken every 8 hours for about a week. Rest depends on the severity of your symptoms, frequency of outbreaks, and type of treatment the doctor chooses to give you. It stops Herpes simplex virus from replicating inside the human body. This is an improvement in the previous variant. This variation can also minimize the frequency of re-occurrences of herpes outbreak. To keep genital herpes from returning, famciclovir is usually taken twice a day for up to 1 year. When famciclovir is used to treat herpes infection in people infected with HIV, it is usually taken twice a day for 7 days. Whatever is the dosage you are told to follow; keep in mind one thing, regular intake of this drug can make you drowsy, dizzy, confused, weak and affect your movements.
Over the counter creams
The most common symptom of herpes is cold sores. These sores can practically occur anywhere on your body. Although they are very common but cold sores are not the first symptoms. In fact, you would see them only after many reactions have already taken place in your body due to activation of herpes virus. The internal issues are often addressed with the help of oral prescriptions, and the skin issues like cold sores, rashes and itchiness can be taken care of with the help of some very common over the counter herpes medication ointments and creams. Some of them are:
Penciclovir is one of the most frequently used over the counter herpes medication ointment that is helpful in relieving you from pain, itching and redness of the cold sores. Without this the cold sores generally take at least a week to heal on their own, but with this over the counter cream you can get rid of them in just a few days. It is usually used externally every 2 hours while you are awake for 4 days.
This is also available in the form of cream, external application of which can reduce itching, burning and tingling sensation from the skin affected by cold sores. Acyclovir cream works by stopping the growth of the virus once it comes in contact with the skin. Unfortunately this medication does not cure herpes, and it does not prevent passing the infection to someone else. In addition to this tenofovir, an anti-HIV mediation, when formulated as a vaginal gel, was found to reduce herpes simplex infection risk, scientists from the USA, Belgium and Italy reported in the journal Cell Host & Microbe. They explained that when in the vaginal gel formulation, higher concentrations of the drug reach the vaginal cells compared to tenofovir’s orally administered equivalent.
Even with the ointments you can suffer from many side effects. Dry, chapped, cracked, or peeling lips; dryness or flaking all of a sudden on the skin; burning, tingling, or itching when the medicine is applied are some of the very common side effects. Be it ointments or oral prescription, or over the counter herpes medication, complete and permanent cure of herpes is not possible with the help of any of these, and only thing they can do for us is masking the symptoms. But the cost of the ease they provide in not only in terms of a few dollars, but several inevitable health complications which makes them really not affordable for human body.
Over the counter herpes medication is not that much helpful in preventing you from herpes virus, instead, they introduce you with a number of harmful side-effects.
Over the counter medications are always harmful for our health. Click here to get knowledge about the side-effects of medications for herpes.
Natural Remedies are always better than antiviral medications. Read more to know about what is the cure for herpes – medication or natural remedies.