Best Herpes Treatment 2016 – Aciclovir, Valaciclovir, Famciclovir
There are three main medicines for infections caused by herpes viruses but which is the best herpes treatment 2016? Well, here’s a comparison of the main treatments – Aciclovir (sometimes spelt Acyclovir), known by the brand name Zovirax), Valaciclovir (brand name Valtrex) and Famciclovir (brand name Famvir).
Click on the images below for price comparisons for each of these herpes treatments – so you can get the best herpes treatment for you at the best price. And read on for more information to decide which is the best herpes treatment for you.
Which is the Best Herpes Treatment 2016?
Aciclovir, Valaciclovir and Famciclovir all act on the herpes simplex virus which causes cold sores and genital herpes. They can also be used to treat shingles (herpes zoster virus), and Aciclovir can also be used for chickenpox.
They don’t cure the infection but they can stop the virus from continuing to reproduce – they make it inactive – and so stop it spreading in your body. This way, your body can recover and heal from the infection. Basically, it means they can make the outbreak of the infection less severe and enable it to clear up quicker.
All three are taken orally, as tablets. They’re all considered to be effective and safe.
Aciclovir (Zovirax) was the first one to be developed and marketed. It was first available as an ointment and is now available in tablet form as well.
Valaciclovir (Valtrex) was the next one to come out, and it’s what’s called a ‘prodrug’ of Aciclovir – this means that once you’ve taken it, your body changes it into acyclovir in your body. This means it gets into your body more efficiently and lasts for longer, so you can take it less often – this is one of the main advantages of Valaciclovir/Valtrex – you can often just take it twice a day instead of 4 or 5 times a day like Aciclovir/Zovirax.
Famciclovir (Famvir) is the newest one and is also a ‘prodrug’ – it’s converted by the body into an anti-viral called penciclovir, which is long-lasting. Like Valaciclovir/Valtrex, you can take Famciclovir/Famvir less often than Aciclovir/Zovirax. Although it works in a slightly different way to Aciclovir and Valaciclovir, it’s about the same effectiveness.
So which one is the best herpes treatment?
Well, in terms of how effective they are, they’re all about the same (for both herpes simplex and herpes zoster) – i.e., they’re all the best herpes treatment! The main differences are in how often you need to take them. Aciclovir/Zovirax needs to be taken more frequently – usually about 5 times per day. However, Valaciclovir/Valtrex and Famciclovir/Famvir can be taken just once or twice a day.
The only difference in effectiveness may be regarding a first outbreak of genital herpes. For this, UK health authorities note there is more evidence for Aciclovir being effective, but that the others probably are also effective, but just need more research. US health authorities state that it’s just for Famciclovir that there’s not enough evidence.
However, for treating subsequent outbreaks of genital herpes, they’re all about the same. (Possible side effects are rare but are similar for them all too – nausea, headaches, vomiting, fatigue, tremors.) Also, aciclovir can be used to treat chickenpox.
So as to which ones it best herpes treatment for you, the main factor in most cases is just the convenience of how often you have to remember to take them.
The other difference is price….
Which is the Cheapest Herpes Treatment?
You’ll get all of these cheaper when you buy them in their generic forms, rather than the branded versions. Aciclovir is the only one that’s available as a generic medicine from UK pharmacies. This is why the NHS always prescribe this one preferentially, to save cost. So if you’re buying from within the UK, generic Aciclovir (Zovirax) is the cheapest.
However, if you buy online at pharmacies based internationally, you can buy generic versions of Valtrex and Famvir as well as Zovirax at much lower cost, so their prices are much more comparable.
Aciclovir (generic Zovirax) is always the cheapest per tablet, but you need at least twice as many tablets as for Valaciclovir (generic Valtrex) or Famciclovir (generic Famvir). Nevertheless, for a course of treatment, it still usually works out a bit cheaper to take Aciclovir.
(Taking the prices per tablet given at Mega Rx Deals – the cheapest online pharmacy – and taking into the account the dosages recommended by Online Clinic (outlined below), I work out that it would cost you about £17 for a standard course of treatment for genital herpes if you took Aciclovir/generic Zovirax, and about £24 if you took generic Valtrex or generic Famvir.)
For the cheapest herpes treatments, see the price comparison table above, or go straight to Mega Rx Deals – you can enter this voucher code at the checkout for 5-10% off: h9c0d3bE9z
How to Take Aciclovir, Valaciclovir and Famciclovir?
All of them are most effective when you take them as soon as you notice symptoms of herpes (e.g., tingling, pain) – and then keep taking them for another few days.
Some people who are prone to frequent outbreaks of the herpes simplex virus are prescribed anti-viral medications to take every day, to suppress the outbreaks. For most people, it’s best just to take them when you get symptoms.
Everyone’s different, so check with your doctor over how often to take these herpes treatments. However, to give you an idea of how much you might need to buy, Online Clinic gives some general guidelines –
For genital herpes or cold sores:
Aciclovir (Zovirax): 200mg 5 times a day for 5 days for a recurring outbreak (other medical websites suggest taking this for 10 days if it’s a first outbreak rather than a recurring one)
Valaciclovir (Valtrex): 500mg 2 times a day for 3-5 days for recurring outbreaks of cold sores or genital herpes; or for up to 10 days for a first outbreak of either
Famciclovir (Famvir): 250mg 3 times a day for 5 days for a first outbreak of genital herpes, 500mg 3 times a day for 7 days for cold sores
Aciclovir (Zovirax): 800mg 5 times a day for 7 days
Valaciclovir (Valtrex): 1000mg 3 times a day for 7 days
Famciclovir (Famvir): 500mg 3 times a day for 7 days
Again, this information is given for guidance only. For more information see your doctor.