Treatment

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 have symptoms of an outbreak or that you take a certain medication daily, even when you have no signs of an outbreak. These medications are usually well-tolerated, with few side effects.

May 18, 2017
References
  1. Genital herpes: CDC detailed fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes-detailed.htm. Accessed Jan. 19, 2017.
  2. Klausner JD, et al., eds. Genital herpes. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2007. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  3. Albrecht MA. Epidemiology, clinical manifestations and diagnosis of genital herpes simplex virus infection. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  4. Longo DL, et al., eds. Herpes simplex virus infections. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  5. Frequently asked questions. Gynecologic problems FAQ054. Genital herpes. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Genital-Herpes. Accessed Jan. 19, 2017.