How Do I Choose the Best Antiviral for Herpes?

Felicia Dye

If you are trying to select the best antiviral for herpes, realize that your motive needs to be considered. You may want to then weigh the costs of the available options because some of these medications can be pricey. Another factor to consider is how often you will have to take a particular drug. Do not forget to assess the potential side effects and drug interactions. Most important, allow your doctor to play a prominent role in your final decision.

A blister caused by herpes type 1.
A blister caused by herpes type 1.

Begin by analyzing your motives for taking an antiviral for herpes. These drugs are most commonly used to the treat the symptoms associated with breakouts and to shorten the length of each occurrence. This means that you take the medication only when there is a problem.

Acyclovir, which can help with herpes.
Acyclovir, which can help with herpes.

You may, however, be looking for a drug to suppress your symptoms so that you can reduce the number of outbreaks. This generally involves taking the medication on an ongoing basis. Some drugs may be more highly recommended for this type of usage than others. If you are experiencing your initial outbreak, you may not want to make famcyclovir your first choice unless otherwise advised. There are some questions as to whether it is comparable to its peer drugs in this regard.

Cost is another factor that you should consider. Herpes antiviral drugs can become a notable expense, especially if they need to be taken often. Acyclovir is the oldest drug in this group. It is available in generic versions, and it is generally considered to be the cheapest option. Even if you choose another drug, you should consider whether there is a generic version and compare the costs.

You may also want to factor in how frequently you need to take any particular antiviral for herpes. One of the drawbacks of acyclovir is that it must be consumed more than most of its peer drugs. Some people may need to take it a minimum of five times per day for it to be effective. Valcyclovir, however, works in much the same manner as acyclovir, but it does not need to be taken as often.

How often you need to take the medication can be very important depending on the characteristics of your lifestyle. Another reason to consider frequency, however, is that this too can have an impact on the costs. If, for example, you choose a cheap drug that needs to be taken five times per day for five days to address a breakout, it could end up being more expensive than one you only need to take twice a day for three days.

Do not forget to consider the potential side effects of a particular antiviral for herpes before making your final decision. If you notice a drug is associated with a particular side effect that you have experienced in the past with other medications, you may want to consider another option. You must also consider drug interactions.

This highlights an important factor in your choosing of an antiviral for herpes. Your doctor should play a major role in your final decision. You must remember, however, that for the doctor's advice to prove most beneficial, you must be open and honest about your medical history, current medications, and any other information that may be requested.

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