Some doctors minimize the benefits of early treatment of herpes, which can recur many times and cause recurrent painful blisters on the skin, mouth and genitals. A recent study from Children's Hospital in Cincinnati shows that giving drugs to kill herpes early in infection in mice limits the number of nerves that are damaged by that virus. The earlier treatment was started, the fewer nerves were damaged.

If you develop blisters on your lips, genitals, or skin, check with your doctor immediately. He should do a culture, the only dependable test to determine if you really have herpes. If these studies can be repeated in humans, you should not wait for the results of the culture and start taking medication to kill herpes, such as Famvir, Acyclovir, or Valtrex, immediately. Failure to do so can prolong your attack, and increase your chances of suffering painful recurrences of herpes.

Early intervention with high-dose acyclovir treatment during primary herpes simplex virus infection reduces latency and subsequent reactivation in the nervous system in vivo. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2001, Vol 184, Iss 8, pp 964-971. NM Sawtell, RL Thompson, LR Stanberry, DI Bernstein.

Checked 8/9/05

Get our newsletter