Antiviral preparations / Antiherpetic drugs
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Antiherpetic drugs

Herpes is an infection caused by herpes simplex virus HSV-1 and HSV-2 that affects the mucous and skin. It is transmitted transplacentally from mother to fetus, through direct or sexual contacts. Herpes is characterized by rash of grouped vesicles on the skin and mucous membranes.

Most often the virus affects skin, eyes (conjunctivitis, keratitis), mucous membranes of the face, mucous membrane of genitals, central nervous system (encephalitis, meningitis). Development of the disease is contributed by hypothermia, decreased body resistance, overheating, stress. Possible herpes and in the hot season when overheating of the body. There are the following classes of herpes:

  • Herpes simplex - after entering the body, the virus remains in throughout life
  • Herpes Zoster - a virus called varicella. Most children are predisposed to the disease. The pathogen affects the skin and nerves.

There are 7 types of human herpes virus:

  • Herpes simplex type I - it is often the cause of vescles on the lips
  • Herpes simplex type II - in most cases causes genital problems
  • Varicella zoster virus: children's disease chickenpox and shingles
  • Epstein - Barr virus - a virus of type IV - causes infectious mononucleosis
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • The value of VI and VII types are not fully clear. It is believed that they play a role in chronic fatigue syndrome, the sudden appearance of a rash. There are even suggestions on the role of herpes in the development of schizophrenia.

Symptoms
Herpes simplex is characterized by a crowded group of vesicles with clear content on the inflamed base. Herpes is preceded by itching, burning skin, sometimes chills, malaise.

Herpes Zoster is characterized by pain along the nerve, headache. A few days later at the site of the skin along the nerve rash appears as grouped vesicles, first with a transparent, and later with a purulent bloody content. Lymph nodes get enlarged, body temperature rises, general state worsens. Neuralgic pain may hold up to several months.

Pathogenesis
The herpes virus is transmitted by direct contact, as well as through household items. You can also transfer infection by droplet spread. Herpes penetrates the oral mucosa, upper respiratory tract and genital organs. Overcoming the tissue barriers, the virus enters the blood and lymph systems, and spreads in various internal organs.

The virus enters the sensory nerve endings and is embedded in the genetic apparatus of the nerve cells. To remove the virus from the body is impossible, it will remain in the human body for all life. The immune system responds to the penetration of herpes by production of specific antibodies that block the viral particles circulating in the blood. The infection is usually awaken during the cold season, with colds, and vitamins deficiency. Reproduction of herpes in the epithelial cells of the skin and mucous membranes leads to degeneration and cell death.

According to a research conducted by scientists at the Columbia University, herpes is a stimulating factor for the development of Alzheimer's disease. Later, these data were independently confirmed by researchers from the Manchester University. Earlier the same group of researchers conducted by Ruth Itzhaki had shown that herpes simplex virus was detected in the brain of almost 70% of patients with Alzheimer's disease. In the latest study, researchers were able to determine that 90% of plaques in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease contain the DNA of herpes simplex virus - HSV-1.

Treatment with antiherpetic drugs
Currently, there are no methods of guaranteed cure for herpes. However, there are drugs which, if taken regularly, can effectively suppress the symptoms of virus infection, its reproduction and development (i.e., improve the quality of life of the patient):

Acyclovir (Zovirax and many generics). Antiviral drug that prevents the multiplication of the virus in the cells. Medication formulation - tablet, cream and solution for injection. Relatively inexpensive, effective for most patients.

Valaciclovir (Valtrex). It differs from acyclovir only by method of delivery, but it has a higher efficiency. In most cases, Valaciclovir completely suppresses the symptoms of the virus and its biological activity, blocks its reproduction and, with a high probability, prevents transmission of the virus to other partners during contacts. Currently in the West, this drug is the primary remedy for treating herpes.

Famciclovir (Famvir) that is an oral form of penciclovir. It is effective against strains of the virus Herpes zoster and Herpes simplex (including those resistant to acyclovir and having a modified DNA polymerase). The mode of action is similar to acyclovir and Valtrex. It has high efficiency.

The effectiveness of valaciclovir and famciclovir is higher than that of acyclovir.

Tromantadin (Viru-Merz) is an antiviral drug for external use only. It is active against Herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2 of types and Herpes zoster.

Infected people should also maintain immunity using immunostimulating drugs and immunomodulators, as herpes viruses weaken the immune system very much rights because of their rapid multiplication. Among immunostimulating agents can be distinguished cycloferon and liquorice root that contains glycyrrhizic acid being effective against herpes viruses.

Preventive means

  • Condoms. Efficiency is high but less than 100% because transmission of the virus can be carried out through the area of the mucous membranes and skin (especially if it has microfissures and damage) that is not covered with condom.
  • Antiseptics (Miramistin and the like), which should be treated plots, which should be applied on the possibly infected area. The degree of effectiveness is difficult to determine.