Cold sores—aka oral herpes—affect up to 80% of adults. Dr. B helps you treat and prevent outbreaks with a discreet online consultation.*Prescription treatment requires a virtual medical consultation with a medical provider to determine if a prescription is appropriate.
“Cold sore” is another name for oral herpes, a very common condition that affects 50-80% of U.S. adults. Cold sores are painful blisters that form on or around the mouth and last 1-2 weeks, though prescription medication can help speed recovery. Some people never experience an outbreak and don’t know they have the virus, while others can experience mild to severe outbreaks that require ongoing treatment.
Cold sores/oral herpes are caused by two viruses: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Typically, sores from HSV-1 (cold sores/oral herpes) are on the mouth and HSV-2 (genital herpes) are on the genitals, but they can switch locations.
Cold sore/oral herpes symptoms can include tingling, itching and/or burning for about a day before blisters appear. These fluid-filled blisters usually show up on and around your mouth, and sometimes on your fingers, chin, neck, nose, cheeks or inside the mouth. When the blisters erupt, they ooze and crust over, typically healing in about two weeks. An outbreak usually lasts about 2-4 weeks total.
Symptoms of a first-time cold sore/oral herpes outbreak can also include: fever, painful gums, sore throat, headache, muscle aches and swollen lymph nodes. Some people only experience a single outbreak, while others may have recurring outbreaks. Generally, symptoms lessen over time.
The virus is contagious and can be spread via skin-to-skin contact with infected areas–most commonly by kissing or touching.
While there is no cure, antiviral treatments can provide both immediate symptom reduction and help prevent future outbreaks and transmission to partners, allowing you to live life normally. Common antiviral medications include Valacyclovir and Valtrex.
Common oral antiviral medications include Valacyclovir and Valtrex for both short-term symptom reduction and long-term prevention to lower the risk of future outbreaks and transmission of the virus to others.
For outbreak treatment, patients take Dr. B’s prescribed medication, Valacyclovir or Valtrex, when they first experience symptoms of an outbreak. A second pill is taken later that same day. If taken at the beginning of an oral herpes outbreak, Valacyclovir and Valtrex can decrease symptoms and length of an outbreak. These medications also lessen the likelihood of passing the virus onto others.
Patients suffering from six or more outbreaks a year may opt to take Valacyclovir or Valtrex as preventive treatment, which can prevent oral herpes outbreaks up to 80% of the time. Taking Valacyclovir or Valtrex every day also reduces the possibility of passing herpes onto others. Daily Valacyclovir or Valtrex treatment is FDA-approved for genital herpes, while a daily prescription of Valacyclovir and Valtrex for oral herpes prevention is considered “off label.” Health care providers can write off-label prescriptions if it is concluded that they are safe and necessary.
Consultation: A consultation costs $15.00, which is lower than most doctor co-pays. Currently we don’t submit medical consultation claims to insurance companies, but you can use insurance for the prescription itself at your pharmacy.
Medication: Dr. B only charges for the doctor consultation for a prescription. Instead of marking up medications, we enable you to choose the most affordable or convenient pharmacy to get your prescription filled. The price of herpes medications at the pharmacy are dependent on treatment type and your insurance coverage, but can cost as little as $10.
At this time we don’t submit medical consultation claims to insurance companies, but you can use insurance for the prescriptions mentioned above at your pharmacy.
We’ll send you a reminder for an online assessment when it’s time for your next refill.
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“The process could not have been easier. My chart was reviewed by a licensed professional and I was able to pick up my prescription at my preferred local pharmacy within a few hours.”
Meghan E. from Florida