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Ingredients to look for:

Active ingredients to look for are acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir.  Suppressive antiviral tablets are available by prescription only. 

BENEFITS of Prescription tablets:

  • Can be helpful if the outbreaks are severe or happen often, such as 6 times or more a year
  • May help to prevent another outbreak happening if taken daily
  • If taken within a few hours after the first tingle they may help to prevent the sore developing
  • Clinically proven to help reduce herpes viral shedding, so really helpful if you are in a relationship and concerned about passing the virus on
  • Serious side effects are rare, most people don’t experience much of a problem on these medications

DISADVANTAGES of Prescription tablets:

  • Usually only work when taken within the first 72 hours of feeling symptoms
  • Generally not effective once a cold sore or herpes blisters has developed
  • Can occasionally cause side effects, some not so serious like nausea, headache and diarrhea, others a bit more concerning like depression
  • Available by prescription only – good in terms of safety and guidance but adds that extra inconvenience
  • Can sometimes be ridiculously expensive, especially if not covered by insurance and taking it regularly
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