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I was prescribed valocyclovir to be taken as needed whenever an outbreak occurs. I've heard there are also medications that you can take daily to prevent outbreaks. Why would I not just be immediately put on the daily medication? Are there strong risks or side effects that come with it? It just sounds so much better to not constantly worry about whether or not I'm having an outbreak. 

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Hello!

Great question! 

There are two main medication options for HSV: 1) to take only when an outbreak is suspected to happen (prodrome symptoms) or when you see sores, and 2) suppressive medication, which is taken daily. 

Many people take supressive medication for factor like...

- being in a long-term relationship and not wanting to use a condom or worry about transmission

- having other health illnesses that may increase outbreak likelihood

- being asymptomatic and not knowing when you have outbreaks, so you want to try and prevent them with supressive medication 

- and many other reasons!

People who have very rare outbreaks, aren't having sex, or don't like taking medicine may opt to take medication only when they have an outbreak or feel the virus become active. 

Remember, medication DOES NOT magically 100% prevent the spread of herpes. It helps work to stop the virus from being active or shedding (how it spreads). Also, it is possible to still get an outbreak while using supressive medication.

Also, many people take supressive medication not for just sex reasons, but so they do not need to suffer with the pain from HSV. 

If you wanted to learn more if suppressive medication is right for you, talk to your doctor, and, if you have an intimate partner, talk to them about it, too. It is entirely your choice, but if it would help you feel safer physically and mentally, it may be right for you! 

I hope this helps!! 

Blessings,

Grace

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I take one 500mg Valacyclovir (generic Valtrex) per day and it has worked wonders. No outbreaks in a couple years. I stopped during the various lockdowns (because I wasn't sleeping around) to see how long it would take to get an outbreak. I got one after about a month, fairly mild. I went back on the meds and nothing since. My outbreaks were never horrible, but I just don't want to have them, so I take the meds daily. I I think I could not do it daily and take it just enough to not have outbreaks, maybe once or twice a week. That would take some figuring out. I am sleeping with people again now though, so I take it daily to help suppress it. I have heard it can affect your kidneys, but also heard it doesn't. I got a kidney test done and it came back normal. No other side effects to report, and I'm never stressed about an outbreak popping up. Maybe it's an issue for people with kidney issues. Something to discuss with your doctor.

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