SmartMeds Online Doctor

Genital Herpes

SmartMeds Valaciclovir
A fast and effective antiviral treatment for genital herpes. Valaciclovir can also be taken to prevent future outbreaks.
SmartMeds Valaciclovir
Fast, Effective treatment for current and future outbreaks of herpes.
SmartMeds Clinic famciclovir-125mg
Fast, effective treatment for current and future outbreaks of herpes.

Genital Herpes Treatment Comparision Table




Active Ingredient/s




Available Strengths





One tablet three times daily for five days

One tablet twice daily for five days

One tablet twice daily for five days

Side effects

Headache, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea

Headache, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea

Headache, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea

What is Genital Herpes?

Genital herpes is a very common and highly contagious infection usually spread through sex. This infection is usually caused by the herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) or the herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1), the virus usually responsible for cold sores.

Most sufferers of genital herpes will not know they have it because in most cases, the illness does not present with any clinical symptoms. Genital herpes is quite similar to herpes that appears on the hands and face, also known as cold sores, except it appears around the vagina, anus or penis. 

There are two types of herpes virus, HSV-1, and HSV-2. Both types can cause genital herpes, although the first episode of infection (primary) with genital herpes is often quite severe. There are blisters and inflammation at the site of infection and the sufferer may feel generally unwell. It is common to have symptoms of burning when passing urine.

After the first episode of infection with HSV the virus enters into a dormant phase in the nerve, which supplies feeling to the area where infection occurred. The dormant virus reactivates from time to time to cause recurrences.

Some people might get symptoms indicating that a recurrence is about to occur. This can present as itching, tingling or a painful sensation in the genital area, followed by sores or blisters. These symptoms tend to be less severe than the ones presented at the time of the first episode of infection. On occasion, the virus may reactivate without causing any symptoms of infection at all.

Who Gets Genital Herpes?
Anyone who has sex can catch genital herpes. The people at most risk are those having unprotected sexual intercourse (i.e. not using condoms), especially those with more than one sexual partner and those who change sexual partners.

How do you get infected with Genital Herpes?
Genital herpes is spread by direct contact with the infectious virus, via unprotected vaginal or anal sex, genital contact or through oral sex with someone who gets cold sores.

Genital herpes and cold sores are both very infectious when an infected person has blisters or sores. It is possible for an infected person to transmit the virus when they have no symptoms of infection. The risk of this happening is reduced by using condoms.

What Are the Symptoms of Genital Herpes?
Despite being able to spread the infection, you may never notice symptoms from an HSV infection. Alternatively, you might notice symptoms within a couple of days to a few weeks after engaging in initial contact. Another possible situation is you might not have an initial outbreak of symptoms until months or even years after becoming infected.

When symptoms occur soon after a person is infected, they tend to be severe. They initiate as small blisters that eventually break open and produce raw, painful sores that scab and heal over within a couple of weeks. The blisters and sores may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms with fever and swollen lymph nodes.

Symptoms of genital herpes are as follows:
Cracked, raw, or red areas around your genitals
Itching or tingling around your genitals or your anal region
Small blisters around your genitals that break open and cause painful sores
Pain from urine passing over the sores, problematic in females
Flu-like symptoms

How Serious is Genital Herpes?
The majority of people with genital herpes experience mild and infrequent symptoms. Some people may experience more frequent and severe recurrent episodes.
The risk of transmission from a mother to her baby is greatest for babies born to a woman with first episode genital herpes around the time of delivery. Neonatal herpes is potentially life-threatening but occurs very rarely in the UK.

Women with recurrent herpes prior to pregnancy are at very low risk of transmitting the infection to their babies.

How does the treatment work?

At SmartMeds Clinic, we offer one of three effective therapy options for people with genital herpes. You need to initiate treatment as soon as possible to obtain the best results.

Genital herpes is a long-term condition with no cure. Once you have had the infection, it can stay dormant in your body for years and be activated at any time, causing another outbreak.

Aciclovir, Valaciclovir, and Famciclovir are antiviral medicines that can help to control the outbreaks by reducing the pain, severity, and duration of genital herpes episodes.

Valaciclovir is converted to Aciclovir in the body. Valaciclovir has a longer duration of action than Aciclovir, so less frequent dosing is required.

All three medications are five-day courses when treating an outbreak, with an option for suppression therapy that should be reviewed every six to twelve months. 

You can find out more about each of our treatments above. Further questions or queries can be handled by getting in touch with the SmartMeds Team.

SmartMeds Clinic is part of the SmartMeds Wholesale Limited group
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Superintendent Pharmacist GPhC Reg:
Sarah Khalil  2070782
Premesis GPhC Reg Number
SmartMeds Clinic   9010905
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Superintendent Pharmacist GPhC Reg:
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SmartMeds Clinic - 9010905
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Registered with UKCS
Copyright © 2018 Smartmeds Clinic. All rights reserved
This work is registered with the UK Copyright Service: Registration No: 284709387