Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

There's no cure for genital herpes. Treatment with prescription antiviral medications may:

  • Help sores heal sooner during an initial outbreak
  • Lessen the severity and duration of symptoms in recurrent outbreaks
  • Reduce the frequency of recurrence
  • Minimize the chance of transmitting the herpes virus to another

Antiviral medications used for genital herpes include:

  • Acyclovir (Zovirax)
  • Famciclovir (Famvir)
  • Valacyclovir (Valtrex)

Your doctor may recommend that you take the medicine only when you're experiencing symptoms of an outbreak. Or your doctor may recommend that you take a medicine daily, even when you're not experiencing any signs of an outbreak, to minimize your chances of recurrent outbreaks.

People who are experiencing severe complications may need to be hospitalized, so they can receive antiviral medication intravenously.

May. 21, 2011