Herpes Medications

herpes medicationsHerpes simplex virus is a common viral infection managed by many people all over the world. Its symptoms come in waves and are preventable with the right prescriptions.

Learn what about Herpes, herpes medications and the intricacies of each medicine below.

Herpes Medication Price Comparison

For your convenience we have linked to all prescription drug prices (shown below) within our database so you can quickly compare and find the lowest prices on most herpes medications.

About Herpes Simplex Virus

When it comes to herpes, there are two commonly known types. Herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) and Herpes Simplex virus 2 (HSV-2).

Both stem from a virus and cause painful sores/outbreaks on the skin. The main difference is the sores locations.

Herpes simplex 1 causes what are commonly known as cold sores, painful blisters on or around the mouth. Herpes simplex 2 is genital herpes, which causes the same blisters on or around the genitals.

These blisters come in waves, usually staying dormant for weeks or months at a time with no symptoms. Neither type of HSV is curable, but treatment is easy.

Herpes Medications

The herpes medications available on the market are all anti-viral. They work by preventing the herpes virus from exiting the spinal column, where it lies dormant.

People take the medications every day as a preventive method or as needed if they sense an outbreak.

Many people with herpes simplex describe a tingle or an itch in the area before they get a sore. Others know that they get outbreaks in reactions to certain triggers, like cold or stress.

Regardless of how and when they come on, the sores are painful and unsightly. Learn about the different antiviral herpes medications below.

Valtrex, Valacyclovir

Valtrex (brand name) treats infections by viruses, like herpes, shingles, and chicken pox.

In cases of oral herpes, doctors recommend taking a high dose when the patient feels the “tingle” coming on. The faster the Valtrex gets into your system, the better chance of prevention.

For those with genital herpes, it’s useful to take valacyclovir as a preventative every day. This can reduce the number/severity of future outbreaks.

When taken daily, Valtrex is a tool to prevent herpes simplex virus from passing to others.

Side Effects

Though most patients tolerate valacyclovir well, there are a few common side effects. When taking it for the first time look out for

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain
  • Mild dehydration

Worst case scenario, this drug can cause a rare disorder that affects the blood processing centers of the body. Seek help immediately if you experience

  • Urine changes
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Severe stomach pain

Considerations

Before taking Valtrex, let your doctor and pharmacist know if you have kidney problems. Give them an updated list of medication allergies and voice any concerns.

Valtrex can cause dizziness when drinking alcohol or consuming marijuana, so limit exposure.

Do not take Valtrex while taking any other antivirals unless approved by your doctor. If you have kidney problems, be careful using NSAIDs which process through your kidneys.

Acyclovir or Zovirax

herpes medicationAcyclovir is almost the same drug as valacyclovir, as their name suggests. Their uses, side effects, and considerations are almost identical. That said, get information about acyclovir and its differences from Valtrex below.

Zovirax (brand name) treats infections by viruses, like herpes, shingles, encephalitis, and chicken pox.

In cases of oral herpes, doctors recommend taking a high dose when the patient feels the “tingle” coming on. The faster the drug gets into your system, the better chance of prevention.

For those with genital herpes, it’s useful to take acyclovir as a preventative every day. This can reduce the number/severity of future outbreaks.

When taken daily, Zovirax is a tool to prevent herpes simplex virus from passing to others.

Unlike Valtrex, acyclovir comes in injectable and oral suspension forms. You can even use it as a powder for injection.

Side Effects

Though most patients tolerate valacyclovir well, there are a few common side effects. When taking it for the first time look out for

  • Nausea
  • Malaise
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain
  • Hives (topical or injection)
  • Swelling at the site (topical or injection)

Worst case scenario, this drug can cause ataxia, anemia, coma, confusion, death, or anaphylactic shock. (All very rare)

Considerations

Before taking acyclovir, let your doctor and pharmacist know if you have kidney problems. Give them an updated list of medication allergies and voice any concerns.

Zovirax can cause dizziness when drinking alcohol or consuming marijuana, so limit exposure.

Do not take acyclovir while taking any other antivirals unless approved by your doctor. If you have kidney problems, be careful using NSAIDs which process through your kidneys.

Interactions:

Every drug has a mild interaction profile, but here are the ones worth being worried about

  • Acyclovir and Cidofovir
  • Acyclovir and Bacitracin
  • Acyclovir and Neomycin PO
  • Acyclovir and Oral Probenecid
  • Acyclovir and amphotericin B deoxycholate
  • Acyclovir and Talimogene Laherparepvec

If you’re concerned about any interactions, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Famvir or Famciclovir

Famvir (brand name) Tablets are another type of antiviral herpes medications but used more commonly to treat Shingles. There are those who use famciclovir for HSV1 and HSV2, but only as a fallback if the first two in this list don’t work well for them.

Like the medications above, Famvir can’t cure herpes, but it treats and prevents outbreaks.

Patients take this herpes medication within 48 hours of an or a predicted outbreak.

It’s only available in tablet form and comes in 125-500 mg doses.

Side Effects

Depending on your body, side effects of Famvir include:

  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Stomach Pain
  • Heavy Bleeding

Less commonly, people experience

  • Changes in urine
  • Weakness and Confusion
  • Swelling, weight gain, breath changes

If you have any side effects, contact your doctor. They may give you options for handling side effects or switch your medication.

Considerations

Before taking Famvir, let your doctor and pharmacist know if you have kidney problems. Give them an updated list of medication allergies and voice any concerns.

Discuss Famciclovir with your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, galactose intolerance, lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption.

Famvir can cause dizziness when drinking alcohol or consuming marijuana, so limit exposure.

Do not take acyclovir while taking any other antivirals unless approved by your doctor. If you have kidney problems, be careful using NSAIDs which process through your kidneys.

Interactions

Famvir doesn’t interact with many other meds, other than the herpes medications we’ve discussed. The other two interactions to look out for are Denavir and Benemid.

Trifluridine

In rare cases, the herpes simplex virus causes blisters in or around the eye. Trifluridine is an antiviral eye drop that treats HSV and other optical infections.

Your eye doctor will give you specific dosing instructions and directions based on your symptoms.

Side Effects

Generally, eye drops have low side effects, and those they do have go away quickly. Trifluridine’s most common side effect is

  • Burning or Stinging

In rare cases, this medication can cause

  • Eye dryness
  • Eye irritation or redness
  • Blurred or changed vision

If you have any side effects, contact your doctor. They may give you options for handling side effects or switch your medication.

Considerations

This medication needs to be refrigerated, to keep its quality. Do not freeze or put too far back in the fridge.

There are no large contraindications syndrome or related illness wise. However, it’s important to tell your doctor what you’re allergic to so that they can assure nothing in the medication will trigger a reaction.

Over the Counter Options

Manufacturers make a few over-the-counter creams and liquids for cold sores. These deliver a very small dose of antiviral medication, not comparable to the medications above.

However, if you’re in a lot of pain and already taking a prescription option, over the counter creams can reduce pain and swelling. Most have a numbing agent and can get your mind off your herpes simplex symptoms.

Finding Affordable Herpes Medications

Especially if you’re managing genital herpes with a partner, using herpes medications regularly can be expensive. That’s why it’s important to search online resources such as edrugsearch.com to find the best medication pricing near you.

Sites like edrugsearch use your location to find comparable prices and get your savings. You can see the average retail price, any relevant coupons, and insurance-related savings.

To find your comparative rates, search the medication name in the search bar in the middle of the screen. For an even easier option, click the blue links of the medication names above to go directly to their price listings.

This works with any medication or diagnoses you have, as we’re constantly expanding our database.

If you have a condition we don’t yet have listed, contact us and we’ll work on adding it. We’re always looking for new ways to save you money!