Herpes is a common virus that can cause painful outbreaks, but there are treatments available to help manage the symptoms. While there is no cure for herpes, antiviral medications can be used to control outbreaks and reduce the risk of infecting others. These medications come in the form of pills, topical creams, and intravenous (IV) treatments. Abreva (docosanol) is a topical antiviral available without a prescription that can help treat herpes outbreaks.
Prescription antivirals such as Zovirax (acyclovir), Famvir (famciclovir), and Valtrex (valacyclovir) are also commonly used to treat herpes. These medications can be taken daily to prevent outbreaks in people with frequent recurrences. In severe cases, treatment may include the intravenous (IV) medication acyclovir. Home treatments and over-the-counter medicines can also help ease pain during an outbreak.
Your doctor may recommend that you take the medication only when you have symptoms of an outbreak or that you take a certain medication daily, even when you have no signs of an outbreak.