How is herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection treated?

Updated: Mar 01, 2018
  • Author: Folusakin O Ayoade, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Overall, medical treatment of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection is centered around specific antiviral treatment. While the same medications are active against HSV-1 and HSV-2, the location of the lesions and the chronicity (primary or reactivation) of the infection dictate the dosage and frequency of medication. It is important to note that life-threatening HSV infections in immunocompromised patients and HSV encephalitis require high-dose intravenous acyclovir, often started empirically. [20]

When constitutional effects such as fever occur, symptomatic treatment can be used.

Appropriate wound care is needed, and treatment for secondary bacterial skin infections may be required.

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