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What’s the difference between preventive and outbreak treatments for herpes?

For outbreak treatment, patients take a valacyclovir pill at the first sign of an outbreak (when you experience tingling, itching, burning, or whatever your typical first symptoms are), then take a second pill later in the same day. When taken at the start of a herpes outbreak, valacyclovir will decrease the intensity of symptoms, decrease the duration of the outbreak, and reduce the chances of spreading herpes to others. 

Patients who experience more frequent outbreaks (usually more than six per year) may choose to take valacyclovir daily as preventive treatment, which can suppress herpes outbreaks by up to 80%. Taking valacyclovir daily also decreases the chances that you will transmit herpes to others. Daily valacyclovir therapy is an FDA-approved treatment for genital herpes, but prescribing valacyclovir to be taken daily for oral herpes prevention is an “off label” prescription. It is legal for medical providers to write off-label prescriptions if they conclude that it is safe and appropriate.

To request herpes treatment from Nurx, get started here.

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