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Do you let herpes outbreaks happen or suppress with medication?

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Hello. I'm new to this group. I was diagnosed with HSV 1 and 2 last year (February of 2014). My guess is that I got HSV 1 when I was very young as I had cold sores all my life. Not all the time. Maybe once a year. I'm not sure when I got HSV 2. I've been married for 6 years. My spouse does NOT have it. I was not unfaithful. My first outbreak was in Feb. of last year. It was so so minor. In fact I went to see my gyno because I thought maybe I had a yeast infection or something. I did have a small bump that I thought was an ingrown hair. They swabbed it. That came back negative for HSV. But my blood test came back positive for both. I wasn't totally freaked out. But still a little taken back, mostly because it definitely drives me a little nuts that there are so many unknowns. I will say that from age 18 till about 21, I got BV quite a bit. Or at least that is what they treated me for. It only happened when I got my period. And not every month. I'd say a few times a year. Maybe those were outbreaks and I just didn't know. I never had any sores or anything....or at least not that I knew of. After age 21...nothing. I haven't even so much as had a yeast infection since then. I'm 36 now! Last February I went through IVF to try to have a baby. Very stressful. I'm sure that's what brought on my first "outbreak". My gyno gave me valtrex and although the outbreak wasn't bad and clearly almost cleared up, I took it. Since then I've had about 5 or 6 outbreaks (always minor, I'm talking like 1 blister), almost always when I get my period. I take the valtrex at the first sign of it. I get some prodrome symptoms (I think). Like nerve pain in my butt. I only really notice it when I sit on the toilet. It's kinda hard to wrap my head around this since my guess is that I've had HSV 2 for god only knows how long. My stress is under control. I eat well. I exercise. I am taking l-lysine. I know that for some people the outbreaks will lessen as time goes on and the body gets it under control. Now for my question...I'm wondering if I should stop taking the valtrex at the first sign of an outbreak? If I just let my body go through the outbreak without suppressing it with the valtrex, will my body get a handle on this quicker? I hate to complain about it because like I said my outbreaks are very manageable. But it's basically been every other month since the initial one and I'm just at a loss. Although it sounds like a lot of people are in that same boat. Thanks for any help, advice, etc.!

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Hello and Welcome!


You are far from alone with having Herpes and not knowing .... there's a reason this virus has been so successful in getting into the majority of the population one way or another for the last several thousand years... it's very good at generally keeping quiet (as you can imagine, it wouldn't spread as easily if everyone had long, painful OB's ;) )


So - Meds... well, *I* don't think there is anything wrong with taking them in whatever way works for you AND your hubby. Given he doesn't have it you don't want to risk passing it to him if you can help it so the faster you control it, the shorter the window of possible transmission.


You already HAVE the antibodies ....so not taking the meds with the idea that your body will develop more/better antibodies isn't going to help anything. I always take a double dose at the VERY FIRST sign of an OB and perhaps a few more regular doses ... until I feel it drying up then I let my body take over and I can usually whip them in under a week start to finish.


I think that the faster you can chase the virus back into the ganglion the better... that way the nerves get less irritated and don't have as much healing to do... but that's an opinion... I don't have anything to base it on except my personal experience.


You may want to try some of the things in the links below ... mostly external treatments that help to sooth the area and often help to dry things up..









Links to some of the items suggested in the links

http://tinyurl.com/pmosahc Link to Alum




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Thanks so much for your reply @WCSDancer2010!


I think I'll talk to my gyno to see about switching up the way my script is written. Right now I just get 6 pills each time I fill it. Basically to take 2 pills a day for 3 days. I think I'd feel more comfortable with having more than 6 on hand in case I do get a bad outbreak OR the 6 pills just don't cut it. So far every outbreak is said and done within a week...but that is with taking the meds. I also use colloidal silver topically (and I take it orally if I feel an OB coming on). I'm also wondering if maybe going on the meds daily for just a short time might break the cycle?


I'll definitely check out the links your provided!

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I have also been wondering about this. I contracted H in mid August. Following my initial outbreak, I had a second outbreak right away, followed by constant prodrome. My doctor prescribed antivirals as a supressive therapy. Since taking them, I had one very mild outbreak at Halloween. This past weekend, I skipped taking them for two days. It was a silly decision because I was working in New Orleans for a few days, which led to many late nights and early mornings. I had another outbreak which began Sunday/Monday. Just one sore, but the most clear outbreak I've had since my initial. And of course accompanied by a cold. I've been sleeping at least 9 hours a night since Sunday. And skipping my regular exercise routine as I feel very tired, and have a lot of work right now.


I do not want to continue with the medication long term, but I can't tell when I should just let my body do the work. Are the antivirals preventing this from happening? Or should I wait a few months? Also, @wscdancer2010, you mentioned titrating? I take one 500 mg valcyclovir daily, unless I feel an OB coming, then I take two. I also take 500 - 1,000 mg of Lysine daily. When I want to discontinue the supressive therapy, how should I do it? Every other day for a bit? Sorry, I just don't think my PCP knows enough about this to ask her.


One other bit of info - I am in my final stages of a PhD program. I have two intense job interviews coming up (interviews that take course over a period of 2-3 days). There is only so much I can do to minimize the stress of this right now. Maybe now isn't the time to stop? Argh, so frustrating.

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Your situation is a little different because you acquired the virus more recently... so your body is still learning to deal with it. I definitley wouldn't go off the meds till you get the interviews and program out of the way... you don't need more to trigger you and your reaction to the 2 days off shows that you are already pushing the limits of your body (getting a cold on top of it all).


I'd say get this part behind you and do all you can to have time to chill out... because you MUST look after your body through all this. Herpes is a great "First Responder"/indicator that your body is over-stressed, so let it be your guide.


When you start to cut back you can either cut the pills in half or go to every other day... I'd tend to look at cutting the pills ... that way you still have some in your body at all times... you can even go slower, go to 1/2 pill ever other day and a full pill on the alternate days... go as slow as your body needs you to go :)

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  • 1 month later...

@WCSDancer2010 (or anyone that can help!) so I JUST got my obgyn to give me a script for suppressive therapy. It's been a little bit of a shit show. When I was initially diagnosed my swab came back negative but the bloodwork was very positive. When I called to talk to them about suppressive therapy they asked me how many ob's I had and what they were like. Then they wanted me to call at the next sign of an ob to get it swabbed. I'm not sure why because my bloodwork was a very clear positive. So I had an ob, I called, they swabbed...negative. My guess is that my ob are so minor and maybe I just didn't call in time to get a good swab. They did my bloodwork again to double check...still very positive. My dr seemed a little hesitant to let me try suppressive therapy. She was kinda like "eh, is it really that big of a deal?". I told her that I wanted to see if I could break this cycle of getting ob's every other month or so at ovulation WITHOUT going on birth control. She did agree and gave me a new script. But, here is where I'm a little confused. She wrote me a script for acyclovir 400mg. And said just to take 1 a day...up it to 2 a day if I do get an outbreak. All of the stuff I've read said that 400mg. of acyclovir a day isn't enough for suppression? That it doesn't really cut down shedding at all if you don't take at least 800mg a day. I was just wondering what your thoughts were on this? :)

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