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Valtrex daily for HSV1 during non-outbreak periods?


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I have been diagnosed with HSV1.  I have an outbreak once every year or 18 months.  My doctor asked me if I was sure that I wanted to take Valtrex daily since I have infrequent outbreaks.  He said valtrex was used during outbreaks of HSV1, but that since mine were so infrequent, he was not sure if there would be a benefit to me by taking valtrex daily. I have looked for scientific literature to see if there is any reduction in transmission of HSV1 orally by taking valtrex daily and I have not found any information to answer that question. Any help or comments are appreciated.

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Hi!!!

Yes, so suppressive medication helps relative to the intensity and frequency of your outbreaks. According to the CDC in a 2015 study, supressive medication helps reduce intensity and number of outbreaks by 70-80%. For example, 70-80% reduction for someone who gets 15 harsh outbreaks a year would probably really benefit from supressive meds, versus someone who has one or fewer outbreaks a year (but again, this varies! I'm not a doctor and all bodies react differently to antivirals). However, some people take supressive meds prior to giving birth or if they are in a long term monogamous relationship and don't want to use condoms, regardless of their outbreak tendencies. For me personally, I have genital HSV-1 and have only had 3 outbreaks since I got it in 2019, and they aren't severe, so I chose not to take suppressive medication. 

Also, you mentioned oral HSV-1, do you have HSV-1 orally or genitally? If orally with 1 outbreak every 18 months, I am unsure if taking supressive medicine would be super helpful (however again, I am not a doctor!)

If you have oral HSV-1 and are afraid of giving someone oral sex and giving them genital hsv-1, I totally understand, as I think that is how I got my herpes! However, please know that abstaining from giving oral sex while having an outbreak or having prodrome symptoms (or a cold/fever, as this can trigger sores). You can even explain this to your potential partner as well, and they will be understanding as you are acting preventively and caring about their health and the wellbeing of your relationship 🦋.

I hope this helped!!

Sending happiness and blessings your way!! 🌻🌼🦋🌄

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Hi Flowerteacher55.  Thank you for responding to my posting.  I have oral HSV-1.  I do not have genital HSV-1.  Since I only have an outbreak once every 12 to 18 months, should I go ahead and begin taking Valtrex?  I believe I read and also my doctor told me that when I am not having an outbreak, then there is little or no possibility of me transferring oral HSV-1 to a partner through either kissing or through oral sex.  After what my doctor and the literature has said to me is that during periods when I am not having an outbreak, that taking valtrex daily may be like an insurance policy.  Provides protection for your partner just in case you begin to have an unnoticed outbreak, but that otherwise, my body is keeping the virus in check and I am not contagious during those time. Your thoughts please. Thank you.

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