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Recurring herpes outbreak
April 20, 2011 1:57 PM   Subscribe

Recurring herpes outbreak - every week for 6 months

It's been 6 months since I got genital herpes. I have been getting herpes outbreak every week or every two weeks... Between recurring outbreaks, 3 days was the max days in a row that I didn't have herpes... In 6 months!

On top of that, my two outbreaks I had before this one were around my butthole... Now it's in my genital. These three outbreaks were all in three weeks...

I've tried suppressive therapy for 2 months(taking Valtrex everyday for 2 months), that didn't help.
I take Lysine everyday, that doesn't help.

I've been taking b/c pill the whole time, and I got off of it last week on a theory that there's a relation. But I just got another rather painful outbreak, so I don't know what. Maybe it takes time...

Any thoughts on this? I'm planning to go see a doctor in a month or two.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
 
Any thoughts on this? I'm planning to go see a doctor in a month or two.

Is there a reason you're not trying to see a doctor much much sooner? I understand the problems with getting an appointment with a doctor in the US, if that's where you are, but worst-case that should be "I have an appointment but it's awful far off" rather than "Some vague time in the future."
posted by Tomorrowful at 2:00 PM on April 20, 2011


In a month or two? My god, get yourself to a Planned Parenthood center or a local free clinic NOW. If the treatments you've already tried don't work, you need to be proactive about seeking medical attention because your health is important, and having constant outbreaks is no bueno. :( Would you be willing to MeMail me or at least divulge your location so I/we can help you find some resources?
posted by patronuscharms at 2:07 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


IANYD, but I agree that you should go in and see your doctor earlier if possible, or at least call them. Or your local Planned Parenthood.

Ask your doctor about switching to another suppressive antiviral such as acyclovir, or famciclovir. In theory, they should all be the same, but practically, you may do better on another medication. It shouldn't hurt you to try. I'm assuming you were under the care of a doctor already, since you mentioned being on suppressive therapy?

It sounds like you were not on suppressive therapy before this current attack. Since you've had more than six attacks in a year, you should remain on suppressive therapy. And make sure you are compliant with taking the medicine every day. Suppressive therapy should reduce the number of attacks per year by about 75%. It does not eliminate them.

The evidence supporting using lysine for suppression is weak.

PS - Remember that the dosing for suppression is lower than the dosing for treatment. You said you were having another attack, so make sure you are taking the correct dose.
posted by Meta-4 at 2:37 PM on April 20, 2011


Did you see a doctor when you got the Valtrex? It could be that the dose is not high enough. The acyclovir products are pretty well tolerated in higher doses by most people.
But some don’t get relief from them.

Same with the Lysine. Some people have success with it others nothing. I believe it’s been shown that lower does are ineffective and you need to be taking around 3000mg a day along with vitamin c to see results.

Then there are the triggers for attacks. Biggest ones are stress and fatigue. You need to get lots of sleep and try to manage your stress. Sunlight for many people is a big trigger. Also certain foods are big triggers for some folks, especially those with a high arginine content. Worst offenders are nuts, peanuts very high, chocolate, oatmeal and oat products, beer, wheat..the list is pretty long.

You want to get your Lysine/Arginine balance shifted to the Lysine side, so google that and see how your diet matches up.

I’m sorry you’re going through this, I know it sucks. See a doctor that’s got some experience with this asap. Good luck
posted by PaulBGoode at 3:08 PM on April 20, 2011


Diet can make a big difference.
posted by tamitang at 7:59 PM on April 20, 2011


I'm not afflicted downstairs, but twenty years ago when I first caught cold sores on my face, I also got management advice from their lovely donor: vitamin B. I found that taking a daily multi-B at the first sign of a tingle made my outbreaks last only two or three days; without, they'd go for a week and get much more painful along the way. I also tried lysine, and found that the vitamin B worked better.

Could well have been a placebo effect, but it was cheap and harmless and worked for me.

They were a painful nuisance for a couple of years, and then they started to fade in both frequency and intensity. I haven't had an outbreak for the last six years. The body does adjust.
posted by flabdablet at 8:52 PM on April 20, 2011


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