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Herpes & Cold Sores

A Guide to Herpes Medication & Treatment

By Margeaux Fincher

How Can I Treat Herpes Online?

Looking for a comprehensive guide that covers all the herpes treatment options available? One of our goals at Wisp is to give you a clear understanding of how to treat and prevent herpes outbreaks with prescription medication or all natural herpes home remedies. 
The medical community doesn’t have a cure for herpes (yet), but we do have some stellar treatment options to help you control outbreaks and prevent transmission to loved ones. Let’s dive in! 

How to Treat an Active Herpes Outbreak

When you experience your first herpes outbreak, your doctor will prescribe a herpes treatment of antiviral drugs, like Valacyclovir (Valtrex) or Acyclovir, for 7 to 10 days. Antiviral medication is extremely effective at reducing the severity of your symptoms and both stopping and preventing another outbreak. 
As mentioned, the two main antiviral medications for treating herpes outbreaks are acyclovir and valacyclovir, both FDA-approved antiviral drugs that have been used as safe herpes treatments for over twenty years. Their brand names include Valtrex, Sitavig, and Zovirax. Both medications are available as pills and creams. The drugs are most effective in their oral pill form, but some studies show pairing the pills with the same drugs in a topical cream form increases the effectiveness of treatment

Long-Term Herpes Treatment Options

After your first cycle of treatment, it’s important to make a game plan with your doctor based on the severity of your symptoms and the frequency of your outbreaks. You may choose either episodic herpes therapy (taking medication when an outbreak occurs) or long-term herpes treatment, known as suppressive herpes therapy (taking medication daily as a preventative measure). Learn more about the advantages of suppressive and episodic herpes treatment.
You might be wondering about the difference between acyclovir and valacyclovir. Which is the best option for you? Both drugs utilize the same active ingredient, but valacyclovir is considered the premium version and therefore costs a bit more for a prescription. By delivering a more condensed dose of medication, most patients respond to this herpes treatment with fewer pills required for the same effect. Keep in mind, however, that quality is not related to efficacy—both drugs work equally well. 
Another reason your doctor may prescribe one herpes treatment over the other is that everybody’s body chemistry is different and one drug may perform better at controlling a herpes outbreak. 

Just a Heads Up - Antibiotics Don’t Treat Herpes! 

One of the biggest misconceptions we’ve encountered is the belief that antibiotics can treat herpes. Herpes is a virus (the herpes simplex virus, HSV Type 1 & HSV Type 2) and antibiotics are not effective at treating viruses. If antibiotics worked on herpes, we would have a cure for the disease. 
Instead, antiviral medication acts on the immune system, and helps the body control the influence the herpes virus has on your body. Antivirals are indispensable when your immune system is run down or triggered by environmental influences, such as sun exposure, known to cause herpes outbreaks. 

All-Natural Approaches for Treating Herpes 

It’s always recommended to start with prescription antiviral drugs when treating herpes. But once you get your symptoms under control, it’s worth exploring all-natural herpes treatment options as well. The more you invest in improving your general health and your immune health in particular, the more likely you are to mitigate major herpes outbreaks. 

Lysine for Herpes

 Lysine is an approachable alternative treatment for herpes outbreaks. It’s a naturally-occurring amino acid that’s available as an over-the-counter supplement. It may inhibit your body’s absorption of arginine, another amino acid that helps HSV grow. As with many alternative medical treatments, research on lysine as a herpes treatment is still developing.  
In one study, lysine supplementation did not improve the healing of active lesions or prevent the recurrence of outbreaks. However, Lysine showed very promising at suppressing outbreaks, as patients had fewer recurrent herpes flare-ups on lysine. Further research confirms these promising results for lysine as a long-term suppressive herpes treatment. 

All Natural Herbal Treatments for Herpes

Several antiviral herbs may help your body combat herpes as well. Wisp’s herbal herpes supplement, designed by a licensed herbalist, includes andrographis paniculata, astragalus membranaceus, and echinacea angustifolia. These herbs, used since ancient times as medicinal treatments, can stimulate an immune response and inhibit HSV activity. 
Much like getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a diet rich in micronutrients, taking an herbal supplement to treat herpes outbreaks helps support your body’s systems in fighting the herpes virus to avoid recurrent outbreaks. 

The Future of Herpes Treatment 

Whether you have battled cold sores since childhood, or recently contracted genital herpes, consider yourself equipped with the best options available today for treating herpes and preventing outbreaks. Keep in mind, too, that a vaccine for herpes may be in the not-to-distant future. While the structure and behavior of the herpes virus make it very difficult to develop a vaccine, scientists and medical researchers continue to pursue a herpes cure. 
In the meantime, know that you can live and thrive with herpes by managing symptoms with both prescription drugs and holistic approaches.

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