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Genital Herpes Treatment

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Aciclovir Tablets 400mg
Pack Size: 15 Tablets
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The dose for Aciclovir tablets is 1 tablets three times a day for 5 days.

The dose for valciclovir tablets is 1 tablets twice a day for 5 days.

Swallow the tablets with water, with or without food. If you experience difficulty in swallowing the tablets they may be dispersed in a glass of water (at least 50ml) which should be stirred before drinking.

The two drugs are very similar. After you take Valaciclovir, your body converts it into aciclovir. It has the same effect, but you don’t need to remember to take valaciclovir as frequently as aciclovir.

It is best to start treatment with aciclovir or valciclovir as soon as you know an attack is starting or as soon as you get signs and symptoms of the infection.

Aciclovir and Valaciclovir start working straight away to reduce the severity and duration of an outbreak by one to two days.

If taken within five days of the start of an outbreak should shorten your outbreak by one to two days and make the symptoms less severe. It might even prevent the outbreak if taken early enough.

If you take too many Aciclovir tablets, contact your doctor immediately. Signs of an overdose include effects on the stomach and intestines such as feeling or being sick and effects on the nervous system such as confusion.

Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose. If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember it and then take the next dose at the right time. 

Common side effects include:

  • headache
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue
  • abdominal pain

Common (occurs in less than 1 in 10 users): dizziness, headache, feeling or being sick, diarrhoea, stomach pain, skin rashes, itching, tiredness, sensitivity to sunlight or artificial light (e.g. sunbeds), fever. 

 

  1. Do not take Aciclovir tablets
    • if you areallergic(hypersensitive)toaciclovir, any of the

    ingredients in Aciclovir tablets or valaciclovir (see section 6).

    Take special care with Aciclovir tablets
    • if you havenervous system abnormalities,pleasetell

    your doctor before you start treatment with Aciclovir

    tablets.

    • toavoiddehydration,itisimportanttodrinkplentyof

      water whilst taking Aciclovir tablets, especially if you are

      elderly or taking doses of 4g a day or higher.

    • kidney problems

      Taking other medicines

      Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking
      or have recently taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription. Especially:
      • cimetidine(usedtotreatpepticulcers)andprobenecid

      (used to treat gout), as these increase the concentration of aciclovir.

      Continued top of next column

      AAAE4539 50697504

This medicine has been prescribed for you. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their symptoms are the same as yours.

  • mycophenolatemofetil(medicineusedintransplant patients). Care should be taken if you are taking high doses of Aciclovir, as blood levels of both drugs may increase.

  • ciclosporin(animmunosuppressantdrug).Your doctor may monitor your kidney function.

  • theophylline(used in asthma and other breathing problems).

  • zidovudine(used in HIV infection).

    Pregnancy and breast-feeding

    There is limited information on the use of Aciclovir tablets in pregnancy or breast-feeding. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking this medicine.

    Driving and using machines

    Some side effects such as drowsiness and sleepiness may impair your ability to concentrate and react. Make sure you are not affected before you drive or operate machinery.

    Sugar intolerance (200mg tablets only)
    If you have been told you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicine, as it contains a type of sugar called lactose. 

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Lidocaine Ointment 5%
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Lidocaine cream is a topical cream that can be applied around the penis and scrotum in men, and around the vagina in women, if blisters or sores are present. This cream should not be used internally.

Before using Lidocaine, ensure that the affected area is clean and dry. To apply the cream, spread a small amount of the cream onto the affected area, but do not rub it fully into the skin. It may sting for a few seconds, and you may feel a tingling sensation, but within a few minutes you should notice a reduction in the amount of pain you feel.

The effects of this anaesthetic usually last for approximately four hours, although this will vary. You may wish to reapply the cream again once you have regained full sensation in the affected area. Also, if you have sores or blisters around the head of the penis, you may wish to apply a small amount of cream a few minutes before urinating if urinating causes intense pain.

Whilst using Lidocaine, be sure to wash your hands before and after use and avoid applying the cream to any other part of your body. If the cream comes into contact with your eyes, rinse them immediately.

Lidocaine is used for a wide range of anaesthetic treatments, including eczema, mild burns to the surface of the skin, and insect bites. When delivered as a cream, it is remarkably easy to apply and makes a big difference to the level of pain suffered. The cream may sting initially for a few seconds, but then subsides and the area becomes numbed.

In the case of genital herpes specifically, the medicine applied directly to the blistered area results in pain relief in as little as two minutes. This effect can then last for several hours without the inconvenience of reapplying regularly. This helps patients to get through the difficult, sore period of when genital herpes presents symptoms.

Genital herpes is caused by a virus called the Herpes Simplex virus, which occurs in two different strains. This is the same virus that causes cold sores on the face, but with similar blistering in the sensitive genital area, sufferers often find it more difficult to get on with their daily activities.

Lidocaine is an anaesthetic that works by impairing the functionality of the nerves that transmit pain sensations to the brain. By stopping this message from being properly delivered, the soothing cream helps to dull the soreness of genital herpes or, in some cases, provide complete pain relief for a temporary period.

Being a topical cream, side effects when using Lidocaine are infrequent. The most common side effects include burning, swelling or redness of the skin in the area where you have applied the cream. If these symptoms persist or if you are concerned about them, contact your doctor.

In addition, some people are allergic to the ingredients of the medicine. The symptoms of an allergy are facial swelling or shortness of breath – if you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

In some very rare instances, patients report increased blistering as a result of applying Lidocaine. If this occurs, contact your doctor immediately.

As with all medications, you should check the ingredients of Lidocaine before taking it. If you are allergic to any of the substances within the medicine, or any other amide-type local anaesthetics, you should not apply the cream. You should also inform us if you have a history of kidney, liver or heart problems, as in some instances this drug can interact with the medications you might already be using to treat those issues. In many cases, we can still prescribe Lidocaine unless the issues described above are particularly severe or your dosage of other medication is particularly high.

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Valaciclovir 500mg Tablets
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About Genital Herpes

Genital Herpes Background

The Independent Pharmacy Online Doctor service allows patients who have genital herpes, to have a private consultation with a doctor and receive the treatment they require in a safe and discreet manner.

Genital herpes is a common infection that can be passed from person to person via intimate sexual contact. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV type 1 and type 2). Most people will catch it at least once in their lifetime, although the majority of infected people won’t even realise they have it:

  • One in five people will not present with any symptoms
  • Three in five people will only suffer mild symptoms and are unlikely to be diagnosed
  • Only one in every five people will present with obvious symptoms and will require a diagnosis

The herpes virus (HSV 1 & 2) can infect any mucus membrane in the body. When it affects the mouth it produces cold sores. When it affects the genitals it can cause genital herpes; painful blisters and ulcers on and around the genital area. The viruses that cause genital herpes are relatively harmless and will not affect fertility or future health.

Genital herpes is a chronic condition. After the initial infection the virus will remain in the body, where it can periodically reactivate and cause another outbreak of symptoms. On average the rate of recurrence is between four to five times in the first two years following initial infection. Over time the rate of recurrence becomes less frequent with the symptoms becoming less severe.

Genital Herpes Symptoms

The majority of people infected with the genital herpes (herpes simplex virus 1 & 2) will experience very mild symptoms, if any at all. Many won’t even realise they have the condition. If symptoms do present it can be months or sometimes even years before they develop. However, most people who suffer symptoms will usually experience them between four to seven days after having been exposed to HSV. The symptoms are usually more severe during your first bout of genital herpes. The symptoms of genital herpes can include:

  • Painful red blisters. These blisters can burst to leave open sores around the genitals and surrounding area.
  • For women, blisters and ulcers can appear on the cervix and they can experience a discharge from the vagina.
  • Pain when passing urine.
  • A high temperature or fever with associated aches and pains and a general feelings of being unwell.

These symptoms can last up to twenty days with the sores eventually scabbing over and healing. After the initial breakout has cleared up, the HSV virus will remain dormant in the body. This virus can reactivate periodically, causing future outbreaks. The symptoms of a recurrent outbreak of genital herpes will typically include:

  • Tingling, burning or itching sensation around the genitals. This sensation will prelude the appearance of blisters.
  • Painful red blisters that are prone to bursting, leaving open sores around the genitals, rectum, thighs and buttocks.
  • For women, ulcers and blisters can appear in the lower part of the womb (cervix).

Recurrent bouts of genital herpes are typically less severe and clear up faster. This is due to the antibodies produced after the initial infection. These protective proteins are now able to identify and combat HSV more efficiently.

Genital Herpes Diagnosis

If you develop any symptoms of genital herpes it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This is because the infection is much easier to diagnose when it’s still active. If the HSV has reverted to a dormant state then the laboratory analysis may come back as negative, meaning a conclusive diagnosis will not be possible until you suffer a recurrent outbreak.

Your doctor or sexual health specialist may ask:

  • If this is the first time you have experienced these symptoms.
  • If you have ever suffered from cold sores (also caused by the herpes virus).
  • If you have ever had a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
  • About your history of sexual partners.

For a conclusive diagnosis a swab will be used to collect a sample of fluid from one of the blisters. This sample will then be sent to a laboratory for analysis. The laboratory will be able to identify the presence of the herpes simplex virus.

Genital Herpes Treatment

The treatment for genital herpes varies between an initial outbreak (primary infection) and a recurrent attack. If you are suffering with a primary infection of genital herpes then it is likely you will be prescribed an antiviral medication. An example of an antiviral medicine used to treat genital herpes is Aciclovir.

Aciclovir works by preventing the herpes simply virus from multiplying. Aciclovir and other antivirals are unable to completely eradicate the infection from the body. The dose for taking Aciclovir when treating genital herpes is typically one tablet, five times a day after your inital outbreak. You will need to take Aciclovir for at least five days or longer depending on whether new blisters are still forming when you start treatment. For subsequent outbreaks of genital herpes, you only need to take 1 Aciclovir tablet, three times a day for five days. Other antiviral medications used to treat genital herpes include Valaciclovir, which works in a similar way to Aciclovir.

Recurrent outbreaks may require a course of Aciclovir or Valaciclovir if the symptoms are more severe. If your symptoms are milder, your GP may recommend some self-help techniques to ease the symptoms. These can include:

  • Using salt water to clean the affected area can help prevent blisters and ulcers from becoming infected as well encouraging them to heal more rapidly.
  • Drinking plenty of fluid. This will help dilute the urine, making it less painful to pass.
  • Avoid wearing clothing that is tight fitting as this may irritate the ulcers and blisters.
  • Use an ice pack wrapped in a flannel to help soothe the pain and speed up the healing process.
  • Apply petroleum jelly (Vaseline) to any blisters or ulcers to help reduce the pain when passing urine.

Genital Herpes Prevention

By following the advice below you can help reduce the risk of developing genital herpes:

  • Avoid sexual contact: If suffering from genital herpes it is recommended to avoid sexual contact with others until the blisters or sores around the genital area have completely healed. If you feel the tingle or itch of an oncoming bout of genital herpes then it is best not to have sex as during this period as the infection is highly contagious.
  • Sharing sex toys can transmit sexual transmitted diseases, such as genital herpes. If you do share them, ensure the toy is washed or a fresh condom placed over the top between users.
  • Wear a condom: condoms can help protect against sexually transmitted diseases and can help prevent genital herpes from spreading. However, if genital herpes is present on and around the anus then using a condom will not provide protection against spreading the infection through sexual contact.

*RRP is based on the highest price found for a comparable online service found on 04/09/14.

The Independent Pharmacy is an online pharmacy and online doctor service is owned and operated by ABSM Healthcare Ltd (Company Reg. 08515600) and Red Label Medical Ltd (Company Reg. 08676338). All information that appears on this website is intended for information purposes only and should be used to supplement, not replace, your relationship with your local healthcare professionals. You should consult your doctor if you think you may have a health problem or before you start taking a new medicine. Please ensure you always read the information leaflets supplied with any medicinal products.For more information see our policies and terms and conditions at the bottom of every page. © 2014 ABSM Healthcare Ltd. All rights reserved.
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