Can I get a Valtrex prescription although I don't know if I have herpes?
August 7, 2008 6:49 PM   Subscribe

Can I get a Valtrex prescription although I don't know if I have herpes?

Last Saturday I had sexual contact. Yesterday I started feeling tender in an area near my waist. There is a kind of muscle ache below the surface. The skin is very sensitive to any kind of touch or abrasion, and feels a little bit warm, although it looks normal. I am worried that this could be the "prodrome" before a first herpes outbreak; it's possible that my partner is carrying genital HSV1.

I gather that there's no way a doctor could tell yet whether I have herpes. But I'm wondering, can I get a course of Valtrex just in case? Will a doctor prescribe one in the absence of more definitive symptoms? I understand that it is supposed to make outbreaks more manageable, and that the earlier you take it the better, so I don't want to wait until I get a full-blown outbreak.

Thanks for any advice. Throwaway email address at
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (3 answers total)
I doubt it. But in several weeks, you can get two blood tests, one specific for HSV-1, the other specific for HSV-2, and then maybe you can get Valtrex.

Valtrex isn't a cure, it just suppresses outbreaks.
posted by orthogonality at 7:27 PM on August 7, 2008

Valacyclovir is usually pretty well tolerated, though there are some rare adverse reactions associated with it. If you have a vesicle or other lesion, it would probably be reasonable to for your doctor to empirically prescribe you a short course of the 'initial outbreak' dose while sending in a sample from it for a direct immunofluorescence test. Blood tests, as orthogonality says, aren't going to be much help for a while. I don't know if just having the discomfort provides a high enough index of suspicion, though; this may be a decision that's up to your individual doctor.
posted by monocyte at 8:07 PM on August 7, 2008

Even if it were herpes, is the incubation period for herpes that quick? Pretty sure it has to lay around a while before it manifests itself. But yes, good idea to get the blood tests as orthogonality suggests.
posted by the dief at 8:17 PM on August 7, 2008

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