Shingles Home > Specific Conditions Famciclovir Can Treat
Famciclovir for Genital Herpes
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by a virus, usually herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2). Symptoms of genital herpes may include redness, itching, bumps, tingling, vaginal discharge, and painful urination (see Genital Herpes Symptoms for more information).
Genital herpes blisters usually heal within one to two weeks. Most people who are infected with genital herpes will have recurrent outbreaks. Famciclovir is not a cure for genital herpes, and the genital herpes virus will always remain in your body. However, when used for genital herpes treatment, famciclovir can help genital herpes blisters heal more quickly.
If taken on a daily basis, famciclovir can also help prevent genital herpes outbreaks from occurring and may decrease the severity of outbreaks.
Even while taking famciclovir, it is important to avoid sexual contact while you are having a genital herpes outbreak to keep from spreading genital herpes to your partner. It is very important to always use condoms, even between outbreaks, as genital herpes can be spread at any time.
Famciclovir for Cold Sores
Cold sores (known medically as herpes labialis) are caused by a virus, usually herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1). Cold sores, also called fever blisters, usually occur on the lips or mouth (unlike canker sores, which occur inside the mouth). Cold sores can be very contagious (they can spread to other people very easily). Most people have been infected with the cold sore virus, even if they have never had a cold sore.
The cold sore virus never really goes away but remains inactive in certain nerve cells in the body. The virus can become active, often triggered by stress or illness, and can cause cold sores again and again.
When famciclovir is used for cold sore treatment, it can help the cold sore heal faster. Famciclovir works best if used at the first sign of a cold sore (which is often tingling, itching, burning, or redness). Famciclovir is not a cure for cold sores.