Posted By Clod on July 12, 2012
For many individuals with HSV-2, no treatment is necessary since infections are frequently asymptomatic, cause few outbreaks, or the outbreaks are mild and quickly self-limited. However, some individuals are not so fortunate. In recent years new medications have become available that can often shorten the length, severity and frequency of these outbreaks, but will not cure an individual. In the early 1980′s acyclovir was developed which was a huge improvement in treatment for HSV-2. Depending on your particular situation, your physician may chose to treat only the current outbreak or use long-term therapy to suppress frequent outbreaks.
As with all drugs, acyclovir is not free of possible side effects. Greater than 10 percent of individuals may have a headache after administration. Other less common side effects include nausea, vomiting, impaired kidney function, and rash. Individuals with liver or kidney problems should alert their doctor of this fact, as the medication may be either inadvisable or require dosage adjustment. Treatment of a primary infection with acyclovir will shorten the duration of lesions and decrease infectiousness, but will not affect whether the virus will become latent or the severity or frequency of recurrences. Those with severe infection or those who have weakened immune systems may need to be hospitalized and given intravenous acyclovir; otherwise it can be taken by mouth. Other oral antiviral medications similar to acyclovir include famcyclovir and valacyclovir.
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