Treatment and Prognosis
There is no permanent cure for herpes, but antiviral medications can relieve pain and reduce the number of outbreaks.
In genital herpes condition, everyday administration of suppressive therapy can reduce transmission to partners.
Antiviral medicines used in the treatment of herpes include acyclovir, valacylovir and famiclovir.
In an already affected person, medications must be taken as soon as the tingling, burning, or itching start as these could be signs of recurrence. For those with a chronic disease, it is mandatory that they start taking the medicines daily for a certain period of time.
Side effects from medications include headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, rash, tremors, and seizures.
Pregnant women are offered treatment usually during the last month of pregnancy as an attempt to reduce chances of outbreak at the time of delivery. Most often a C-section is recommended in order not to infect the baby. In a pregnant woman, the highest risk is when outbreak occurs at the time of delivery. In those with occasional or no out breaks there is rarely a risk of transmitting the disease.
Once a person is infected with herpes simplex, it remains in the body for life. In some people the outbreaks may recur, while in others the virus remains dormant.
Recurrence is attributed to several factors such as fatigue, stress, menstruation, general illness or immunosuppression. In those with normally functioning immune system, the disease is not life-threatening.