Cold Sores Treatment Plan
Daily therapy to suppress outbreaks and reduce the risk of transmission to an uninfected partner
Not a Ro member yet? Learn more about valacyclovir here.
Herpes is not simply an infection. Many people suffer silently, not even reaching out to their healthcare providers. However, the proper treatment of herpes is dependent on your participation. Educating yourself and formulating a plan will go a long way towards successful management. Medication is available—and it works extremely well. By using the guidance of experts to craft a personalized plan, you can find the best time and way to use it. With the education provided, you will be able to decide how best to use all the tools at your disposal. The key is to learn as much as you can and make informed decisions. The information below will help you gain a level of independence you may not have realized is possible. Carefully read your provider’s personalized treatment plan and all the material provided. It may provide some new information that will be helpful to you. Nothing is sugar-coated because you deserve to have all the information you need to live your life the way you want. We encourage you to read it all, along with the package insert and the information in the Prescribers’ Digital Reference (PDR). One important point is that if the medicine prescribed does not improve your condition (now or at any time) or if your symptoms at any point in the future are not completely typical of your usual outbreak, then you must be seen by a physician in person and checked for other conditions. Lastly, the plan your personal provider has provided is just the initial plan. You may well choose a different one after reading more about other options or, in six months, your life circumstances may have changed and a different plan may suit you better. Just reach out to us. We are here to make your life better, not to give you more challenges in finding the care you need. And don’t forget, contact us if you need us.
Your provider has reviewed your medical information and has prescribed valacyclovir 500 mg to treat oral herpes. Valacyclovir has been approved to treat oral herpes.
Your provider has written a prescription for valacyclovir to be used to limit outbreaks and reduce the risk of transmitting herpes by taking one pill every day. One of the most important advances in herpes treatment came with the knowledge that transmission from an infected person to their uninfected partner could be reduced by the use of daily valacyclovir. Valacyclovir not only reduces the number of outbreaks a person experiences when using the medication every day but it reduces the number of days that someone sheds the virus asymptomatically (shedding of the herpes virus from normal skin when a person feels completely well).
Asymptomatic shedding is how most transmissions occur. Reducing asymptomatic shedding results in fewer uninfected partners catching herpes. Fewer outbreaks and fewer episodes of asymptomatic shedding means fewer people become infected. In one study that followed the course of 144 couples in which one partner was infected and the other not infected, transmission occurred in 14 couples. In nine of those cases, the person who transmitted the disease was completely free of symptoms—no outbreak, not even a prodrome (a warning that an attack was coming). The other five transmissions happened when the person who was infected had a prodrome or developed lesions near the time the infection was transmitted. As noted, the key to preventing transmission isn’t just limiting outbreaks but reducing asymptomatic shedding. Valacyclovir, taken daily, reduces the number of outbreaks a person experiences and the number of days that someone sheds the virus asymptomatically.
To reduce the number of outbreaks an infected person experiences and to reduce the risk of transmission to an uninfected partner (by up to 50%), the PDR recommends the infected partner take valacyclovir 1,000 mg/day. The study measured results “in monogamous, heterosexual relationships when combined with safer sex practices.” The data are strong but refer to patients with nine or fewer outbreaks each year. Also, the study ran only for eight months.