Herpes Medications Comparison
Price-RX provides unique comparison of herpes medications. Usual price-per-pill comparisons are generally inconclusive. That is because different medicines require different intake schedules and the length of anti-infective treatment may vairy noticeably.
Currently, there are three oral prescription medicines approved by the U.S. FDA for the treatment of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections:
All three antivirals are almost similarly effective against HSV-1, HSV-2, and herpes zoster and are equally safe.
Genital Herpes: Suppressive Therapy
In persons with more than 6 recurrences of genital herpes per year, chronic antiviral therapy may be prescribed to reduce recurrences. Suppressive therapy means taking an antiviral medication daily as a preventative to keep HSV under control, reduce the number of outbreaks and, sometimes, prevent them altogether. Suppressive therapy also reduces asymptomatic shedding, and helps prevent the transmission.
Efficacy: Famciclovir appears somewhat less effective for suppression of viral shedding . Valacyclovir suppressive therapy has also been proven to reduce the risk of transmission to a partner.
Genital Herpes: Treatment of Recurrent Outbreak
Episodic therapy means taking the drug only during an outbreak to speed up healing. Antiviral drugs work best if they are taken promptly during the prodromal stage (tingling and pain), just before blisters or sores appear. The healing time and severity of the first herpes episode can be dramatically reduced. The recurrent outbreak can be shortened by about two days.
Efficacy: Acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir appear equally effective for episodic treatment of genital herpes .
Cold Sores (Herpes Labialis): Treatment of Outbreak
Although oral acyclovir regimen is not FDA-approved for cold sores, it is widely used off-label in practice .
Last Updated: December 14, 2013