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How can I minimize outbreaks?

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I have HSV-1 and HSV-2. Outbreaks occur frequently, in fact they are one after another. This means three weeks of pain, itching and no sex with husband then one free week and then here comes another outbreak. Previously, I took Valtrex® but my doctor took me off it because it counteracted with another medication I was taking. Additionally, I’m also experiencing nerve problems with it. Is there any suggestion on how to really minimize the outbreaks, because I am having a very difficult time maintaining a happy lifestyle with the Scarlet H!

How were you diagnosed with HSV 1 and 2? How do you know that you have both infections genitally? That would be quite unusual. If you were diagnosed by blood antibody test, you want to be certain that the HSV-2 value was above 3.5. When people are taking suppressive therapy, and they see little relief from outbreaks, it is important to be certain that 1) you actually have genital herpes and 2) that herpes is causing the symptoms that you are having. Not everything that happens in the genital area of someone who HAS herpes, IS herpes. Other things can caused recurrent genital symptoms as well.

You might want to consider having a swab test done to be certain these are herpes lesions. Perhaps your doctor would let you take home some swabs to gather samples when you get symptoms, then you can drop them off with your doctor and they can send them to the lab for testing. There are few, if any, other drugs that interact with Valtrex. You might double check on drug interactions with a pharmacist. Another suggestion is to consider a different herpes medication, famcyclovir, with your doctor. Famcyclovir is a different medication than you have taken previously and you may find you respond well to it with no side effects. It is FDA-approved for either suppressive or episodic therapy. It may also help with post-herpetic neuralgia symptoms if that is what is causing your nerve problems.

You did not note how long you have had herpes but if you were newly infected, please note most people find recurrences tend to lessen in severity and frequency over time. Friction and steroidal medication may also precipitate or aggravate herpes recurrences. With regard to friction from sexual activity, using a lubricant may help. The frequency of outbreaks can often be managed through effective stress management, and getting adequate rest, nutrition and exercise.

 

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