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First Outbreak Frustration

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I'm over three weeks into my first outbreak and it's just not going away. I'm taking anti-virals (Valocyclovir) and it seems to get better...then it's back within a few days after finishing the recommended 3-day course. And now it's starting back even though I'm on day 3 of meds. Should I be trying a different anti-viral medication? Or let this outbreak run its course to develop my body's natural defenses?

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I don't have direct experience with a primary outbreak, but I've seen several others describe that they can come and go for some time. Everyone's body is different. It couldn't hurt to try a different antiviral. If a different one doesn't make a significant difference, you can search these forums for topical application ideas to manage the discomfort until your own body decides to calm things down. It's probably a judgement call whether to tough it out and let your body develop some of its own defenses or not. I don't have a high tolerance for pain, so I'd be reaching for the drugs if I were experiencing a severe outbreak! Perhaps someone with more firsthand experience will weigh in.

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Thanks. I wouldn't call this severe by any means. The skin irritation is quite mild. Coconut oil does the trick and my doctor prescribed a lidocaine jelly if I need something stronger. It's the muscle aches, fatigue and general sick feeling that is wearing on me. I've survived worse. I can get through this.

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Hi @SPATX919 - I am still recovering from my first outbreak. I feel your pain and frustration ---It's like I can just not move like a regular person. I am now on the highest daily dose of Valtrex (for the next year). I have had a hell of a year so the doctor decided with my stress levels to keep me on after the 7 day dose - 3 times a day dose initially. I am having those muscle aches and terrible low back nerve aches that seem to keep me up and down all day. I too wonder what else can I do. How long will this last? I am taking two aleve a day to help but that doesn't do much. I too have the lidocaine and yes, it helps, but when will this subside is the real answer I know you are looking for. My doctor said this could be a 4 week thing and that the first year is difficult and this could be an off and on thing throughout that year. I take that as...even one is different and I need to make some adjustments to cope and stay positive through this stressful time. Daily aches can weigh on you. I am trying to make plans...give myself something to look forward to so that I can get my mind off the uncomfortableness. I know we have to grieve this too...but we also have to know that as you said we will get through this. PS -- I even ordered two pairs of lower chunky high heels because I thought... damn I don't think I can wear my high ones with these aches and walk. I know right now it doesn't seem funny but I am trying to laugh even through a lot of this darkness in the beginning.


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I'm trying to keep myself busy, too. I sit behind a desk all day, which makes the rash and nerve pain particularly uncomfortable. I make so many needless trips to the ladies room people are going to start to wonder! And sometimes the fatigue hits me like a freight train. I've crawled into bed before sunset more than a few times.


I've decided to confide in a trusted friend who will help me laugh about all this.

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@SPATX919 Hey, thanks for reaching out! My first outbreak was entirely uncomfortable. I made sure to start taking better care of myself with more hydration and taking a stress B complex to help with the immune system. After my first outbreak, I was clear for about 5 days and had my second outbreak and immediately started antivirals and its been clear for a week plus now. I think sometimes it takes the body different amounts of time to create antibodies to the virus even with the help of antivirals. I tried to avoid any friction/underwear/tight clothes until most if not all symptoms subsided, but that's sometimes easier said than done.

& I agree with @Cecilia, do something to treat yourself! take some of the stress off and find some good laughs.


Hope you're feeling better!

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  • 1 month later...

Hi I planned on going straight to suppressive therapy once I found out, however I took double the pills during the initial outbreak and ran out before 30 days I'm so scared that another outbreak will come and I will not have access to meds since insurance won't cover it until 30 days have gone any thoughts, doctor says to stay off the meds and see how my body does with the virus

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I was trying to tough it out and let my body build up an immunity. I wasn't taking pills 2x a day for the full time. I'd do a 3-day round and then stop for a few days. My first OB, while mild, lasted 6 weeks before it started getting better. And was back a few days later. Got better again, and was back again. So since I've had more OB days than not, I've decided on suppressive therapy at least for a few months.


Remember that stress can be a trigger so try put your mind elsewhere. Read a book, find a television show to binge. You should also look into strengthening your immune system through diet and supplements (diet will be more effective than supplements) - look for foods rich in vitamin C and with a higher Lysine:Alkamine ratio - this is going to be your fresh vegetables and lean protein, fewer nuts and grains. I googled a lot of my foods before preparing them to check.


Tea tree oil and coconut oil have been really effective topical treatments for me. Just make sure to dilute the tea tree with either water or a carrier oil (like coconut) - it's been more effective for me if I put 2-3 drops on a wet cotton square. And I've been using coconut oil all over my body as a moisturizer anyway.


In the end, I think you're just going to have to give your body some time to get used to it. And give yourself some time to get over it. Be kind of your body and your soul. Do something nice to treat yourself. You'd be surprised how connected your physical and emotional health can be.

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