Pregnancy :: Antiviral helpful for genital herpes in pregnancy

Treatment with the antiviral drug valacyclovir, sold as Valtrex, curbs recurrent bouts of genital herpes in pregnant women, a study shows. Moreover, no safety concerns were identified in mothers, fetuses, or neonates exposed to the drug.

Genital herpes is usually caused by herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV-2). It’s estimated that up to 25 percent of pregnant women have been exposed to the virus and about 20 percent of them have a recurrence during pregnancy. This often occurs late in pregnancy, raising the risk that mom will transmit the virus to her baby, which is a big concern given that HSV-2 can be deadly to the fetus or newborn infant.

To curb the odds that mom will pass the virus on to her infant, it’s recommended that women with active genital herpes sores, or early symptoms suggestive of an outbreak, deliver by cesarean section.

It’s previously been reported that the antiviral drug acyclovir, started late in pregnancy can reduce recurrent genital herpes bouts and may reduce the need for cesarean delivery resulting from active HSV-2 lesions.

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