I get calls and emails all the time from people with herpes who want to know if the over the counter remedies they've seen in on-line ads will really help with their symptoms. Having herpes can be emotionally challenging and it's normal to want to get rid of symptoms quickly and get on with your life. It's also normal to want to use a so called natural ingredient to prevent outbreaks and make them go away as quickly as possible. If there were such remedies that really worked, I'd be the first person telling my patients about it, but unfortunately these things DON'T work.
It's a modern day example of snake oil salesmen preying on people who are dealing with very personal and private concerns, who are desperate for something that will work. For the last 12 years, I've been talking about herpes all around the country, reading every research study and talking directly to the experts, and here's what I know. This virus absolutely does respond to the oral and IV antivirals available, Acyclovir, Valacyclovir and Famciclovir are very effective at preventing herpes outbreaks and reducing the time of an outbreak if they're taken as soon as possible after symptoms show up.
We also know from very well designed studies that Valtrex (Valacyclovir) helps reduce the chance of transmitting the virus to a sexual partner. And, if people use condoms plus valacyclovir, there's an even lower chance of infecting someone else.
The products to watch out for are Medavir, Herpaflor, Viruxo and Never An Outbreak. I've looked at their websites and read the ingredients list. There's nothing in these that has been shown to work any better than a sugar pill. You'd be a lot better off, saving your money and spending it on a nice dinner out withyour partner. The FDA is also cracking down on these manufacturers because of their false and misleading claims.
My friend Terri Warren, who is a nationally recognized herpes expert on WebMd and owns the Westover Heights Clinic in Portland, Oregon is an excellent source for herpes information. In addition check out American Social Health Herpes Resource Center.
Follow me on Twitter@NurseBarbDehn.