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no success with Valtrex - any stories with Famciclovir for herpes outbreaks?

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I don't know how helpful this is but I've seen some people on here say their periods cause them to outbreak. I've had hsv 1 drink a pot of coffee a day and take no medicine or vitamins and I've had 3 outbreaks so far. But I'm also on a form of birthcontrol that takes away my menstrual cycle. its called mirena. there's another one that takes away your menstrual cycle called depo provera its a shot though for every 3 months. there's been a lawsuit for some women with mirena going on on tv but i asked my obgyn and he said it was still ok to use. i havmt had any problems with it but if you don't have any luck with the other medicines maybe you might want to try something that takes ur menstrual cycle away temporarily

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You may want to try Acyclovir - doesn't hurt to try a different drug.


But I wonder if you are over-stressing your body with the Yoga/excercise? Herpes has a way of telling us that we are out of balance. It may just be that your body is asking for you to back off a little. Just a thought :)


One thing I have not suggested elsewhere but you may want to try is to get to a good Natural/Holistic store and get some GOOD immune boosting supplements. I have one I like from New Chapter that I take as soon as I feel a cold coming on and it stops it dead in it's tracks . http://www.newchapter.com/mushrooms/lifeshield-immunity. It may just be your body needs to get your immune system kicked into gear.


Sun, Chocolate, and Nuts are all also known to contribute to OB's in some people. And as Peacy said, hormones can be the devil at times too. Theres a few threads on here about triggers in the last few weeks that may help you figure out what is causing your OB's. Something is stressing your body and weakening your immune system - you just have to figure out what it is :/



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Hi adventurelovelife,


First of all, I've read your other post and responses to various threads, and want to say I really appreciate how your amazing attitude and positivity comes through in your writing, and despite the severity of your symptoms. I really feel for you - outbreaks every month sounds so frustrating, and yes, it would be awesome to get this under control so you can feel at ease about pursuing a relationship.


Valacyclovir (Valtrex) is a prodrug of acyclovir, which means that enzymes that your own body produces will convert it to acyclovir. It therefore acts the same way as acyclovir but has better bioavailability - meaning that less of it gets digested/metabolized or degraded and excreted in urine, and that a person can take a lower dose or at a lower frequency for the same effectiveness.


If Valtrex has never worked for you, acyclovir is unlikely to produce different results for this reason, but famcyclovir has a slightly different mechanism of action, and that might be just enough to make a difference for you! Famcyclovir (trade name Famvir, made by Novartis) is a prodrug of pencyclovir, again with better bioavailability when taken orally. It has not been as well studied, but I don't think it would hurt to ask for it to treat your next outbreak and see if it makes a difference in the severity or length of the outbreak. Although evidence is inconclusive and varied as far as I can tell, famcyclovir seems to be more commonly prescribed to treat recurrent HSV-2 in immune-compromised patients who might have slight differences in the proteins their particular herpesvirus codes for. One study also suggests that valacyclovir is more effective at suppressing latent shedding, but famcyclovir is better at reducing future recurrences when used during initial treatment (although much of this may be speculative). Perhaps your body is immunocompromised for whatever reason, or that there is a slight difference in the DNA replication machinery that the herpesvirus in your body produces.


Famcyclovir is ultimately reduced to the active form penciclovir-triphosphate, as opposed to the slightly structurally different aciclovir-triphosphate that Valacyclovir becomes. Both penciclovir-3P and aciclovir-3P act to inhibit the herpes virus's ability to replicate it's DNA by several mechanisms: 1) competitively taking up an active site on the viral DNA polymerase protein, thereby knocking out deoxyguanosine triphosphate 2) becoming incorporated by the DNA polymerase into the growing new DNA strand, which stops the ability to add more nucleotides onto it, or 3) binding to the viral DNA polymerase itself and thereby blocking/deactivating it. This may be a little too much detail (though if you're interested I could try to explain it better or send links), but the main point is that the active end product of famcyclovir is chemically different than that of valacyclovir.


I've never tried famcyclovir but would probably ask for it if/when I have another outbreak myself. It is usually prescribed for use over a shorter interval (as opposed to the standard 10 day Valtrex regimen), and if you ask your doctor about it he/she can work out an appropriate dose in consideration of any other health factors like your kidney function, other active medical conditions, etc.


I'd also be really interested to hear if anyone has used famcyclovir and can give a comparison!


Cutting out coffee and other arginine-high foods as you've been doing may help to inhibit herpes DNA replication and prevent outbreaks, and along this vein lysine amino acid or L-lysine supplements may further help to block arginine. I don't know much about this and believe clinical trial results have been mixed.


The NIH rates propolis, a resinous botanical remedy, as "possibly effective" in treating cold sores and genital herpes. I know even less about this but apparently there are 3% propolis ointments (Herstat or ColdSore-Fx) that may help to heal lesions faster.


I hope this helps, and I hope your symptoms let up and you're able to find something that works better for you! Best of luck and warm thoughts to you!

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