Specific Drugs Used for Genital Herpes
When used to treat genital herpes, Valtrex can help herpes blisters heal more quickly. In research studies, people who took Valtrex to treat their first genital herpes infection had their lesions heal in nine days, on average, and experienced pain for five days, on average. For outbreaks in people who had previously been infected, it took an average of four days for the lesions to heal, compared to six days for people who were not taking Valtrex.
If taken on a daily basis, Valtrex can also help prevent genital herpes outbreaks from occurring and can help prevent the spread of the virus to sexual partners. About 65 percent of people who took Valtrex every day were outbreak-free for six months, compared to only 26 percent of people who were not treated.
Taking Valtrex every day also decreased the chance of spreading genital herpes to sexual partners. After eight months, less than 1.9 percent of partners of the people who were taking Valtrex daily were infected, compared to 3.6 percent of partners of people who were not taking the drug.
Previous studies have also evaluated Famvir for treating recurring genital herpes in people who experience more than six outbreaks per year. In these studies, taking Famvir at the first signs of a genital herpes outbreak decreased the time until the lesions were healed and decreased the time until all of the symptoms were gone.
Studies have also shown that taking Famvir every day can help prevent recurring genital herpes outbreaks. One study in people with six or more outbreaks per year showed that after one year, 29 percent of people had not experienced a single outbreak, compared to only 6 percent of those not taking Famvir.
In 1985, the FDA approved Zovirax as the first genital herpes medicine. It is now available in a generic form (acyclovir). In research studies, people who took the drug to treat their first genital herpes outbreak had their lesions heal more quickly and experienced pain for a shorter period of time, compared to those who did not take the drug.
Studies also showed that Zovirax helps prevent genital herpes outbreaks in people with frequent recurrences (six or more outbreaks per year). In these people, Zovirax reduced the frequency and severity of outbreaks.