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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Question: Chronic Herpes and severe pain

 alice d - Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:00 pm

Hi, I'm a 38 yr. old woman who has had genital herpes for 22 years. I have not had severe recurrent outbreaks until about 4-5 years ago. I have tried EVERY medication consistently and my body does not respond, the outbreaks continue. I have been tested for HIV and I am negative. My paps are completely normal. My blood work is normal. I am 5'6", 128 lbs., eat healthy, and when I am not in severe pain, I exercise 3 to 4 times a week. The prognosis is that I am under a great deal of stress and until this is resolved, I will continue to have these outbreaks.

When I say outbreaks, I don't mean one tiny sore. It can be up to 10 or 12, with a fever, severe pain, and fatigue to the point of not being able to get out of bed. I have taken prozac for the stress/depression, but had to switch to wellbutrin since the prozac made me drowsy. The wellbutrin is marginal at best in aiding the depression. I continue to have outbreaks that last anywhere from 2-3 days, to 7-8 days, frequently.

I have recently moved to a new city and have been to 2 doctors who are reluctant to provide percocet for the pain, for fear of loosing their license. I have found that this is the only medication that relieves the pain and seems to "numb" the area. I am extremely faithful in taking the amount prescribed, nothing more. I'm assuming their reluctance is due to media attention of this drug but it makes it difficult for people who have a legitimate problem.

My question is this; is there something comparable to percocet that will ease the pain, that doctors will be willing to prescribe? I've tried Tylenol with codeine but it is not effective.

In conclusion, I believe in Divine healing, but until that arrives, I believe that we are guided to doctors that can help us through times of stress and discomfort. I am very discouraged. Frankly, I want to progress past this "stressful" point of my life and be free of all medications, but until that happens I need solution to my painful situation.

Thank you for your time,
 John Kenyon, CNA - Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:23 pm

User avatar Hello -

While there are a number of drugs comparable to percoset, these are generally not any longer the drugs of first choice for herpetic (or post-herpetic) pain. What is usually prescribed now is one of the neurlaleptic medications (gabapentin, pregabalin, etc.), which serve to block the pain rather than mask it. They can be very effective and while they are often Schedule II drugs like percoset, etc., doctors aren't as slow to prescribe them.

In either case there is the potential for abuse, and if the doctors you've seen are unwilling to prescribe anything, it is either because they are overly cautious or because there is something about your extremely long history that makes them uncomfortable with prescribing opioids. It may be that they would be willing to try one of the nerve pain blocking meds instead, unless of course you've already gone that route. If so, then you'll have to find a pain specialist and probably enter into a medication "contract" with one.

I hope this is helpful. Best of luck to you.

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