Back in early May, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent warning letters to a number of companies touting treatments and cures for STDs. According to one letter, sent to Medavir Medical Advances, Inc. the language on the website could put consumers in danger because herpes should not be self-diagnosed and treated. Some of the statements on the website www.medavir.net, [prior to the letter being sent]:
- "Apply MedaVirTMjust before the outbreak (burning, itching prodromal phase) and sores never break thru skin"
- "Any sores that do occur heal 50% faster and are much less severe, results are dramatic."
- "MedaVirTM is the only treatment that works."
- "This is a great time to order MedaVirTM since outbreaks can be completely prevented when this product is applied during the burning, itching prodromal phase. Over 90% of outbreaks do not occur when you apply MedaVirTM at first signs of outbreak."
- "Heal Sores in Hours"
- "Stop herpes simplex outbreaks forever"
Having to go to the doctor for herpes can be humiliating for many people. Sites such as MedaVir tout treatments that can be bought over the internet, without having to face a doctor. But such claims are unsubstantiated and some can be outright lies. Besides Medavir, other sites sent warning letters include:
- Never an Outbreak
The warning letters gave the companies 15 days to comply with FDA regulations.
What the Sites Say Today
Now, more than 30 days since the FDA sent letters, sites have changed but are still trying to sell products that are not recommended by doctors. Remember, herpes, although embarrassing, are treatable, although not curable, and there are FDA approved medications which have been proven to be effective.
Some of the statements on the sites today:
"To our loyal customers: we have been advised by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of regulatory requirements that affect the marketing of products such as Herpaflor. You will notice we can no longer provide descriptions of our products, or make any health claims for them."
"There is currently no cure for Herpes but you can still live a confident life against outbreaks. The bottom line is that Viruxo works!
"Thousands of people suffering from herpes are excited to see web sites claiming to have a miracle Herpes Cure. Unfortunately, lack of credibility leads these site to making amazing claims atempting to convince you to buy. Viruxo is the only herpes tablet providing honest, reliable facts supported with a proven track record. Even though there is no herpes cure, you can still live your life without any outbreaks."
At the bottom of their site, in small print, it states, "Warning: Statements expressed within this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any and all information and/or statements found within this site are for educational purposes only and are NOT intended to diagnose, treat, cure, prevent disease or replace the advice of a licensed healthcare practitioner."
Never An Outbreak
"The products offered by Never an Outbreak do not promise to treat or cure any disease. We do believe however that your experience with our products will be a positive one.
We do advise you to first seek the advice of a licensed medical professional, however you should consider all of your options not just the potentially costly prescription medications offered by large pharmaceutical companies."
Despite the statement that their products do not treat any disease, various products are being sold under the misleading name, Never an Outbreak.
"Stop Herpes Outbreaks Forever with Medavir – Clinically Proven Medical Breakthrough Proven to Stop Herpes Outbreaks before they start."
"There is still no cure for herpes, now there is a non prescription treatment that prevents sores from erupting through your skin and also reduces or eliminates future outbreaks."
"MedaVir ® is the only treatment that works. That is why I continue to recommend it to all of my patients with herpes. Most report all outbreaks stop after a few treatment cycles. I really like the fact that it is safe with no known side effects and solid research backs it."
And in the small print it states, "The scope of this website is limited to conditions which can be self diagnosed and self treated. Any reference to herpes conditions that require physician treatment are for information purposes only. This website should not be construed as medical advice and all medical questions must be directed to a licensed physician."
But as we know, all cases of herpes require physician treatment.
What You Should Know
At this time, there is no cure for herpes. Private companies have not come up with a miracle cure or a miracle medication that can stop all future outbreaks. While herpes outbreaks can sometimes be managed, it is a medical condition and should be done with under the supervision of your doctor. Together, you and your doctor can determine your best course of treatment.
When searching for products on line, check the disclaimers and small print, such as the ones previously quoted. Understand that these products have not been tested and evaluated by the FDA and have not been proven to be safe or effective.
Look for clinical trial information. Many sites use customer testimonials to try to prove their effectiveness. But in using this type of information, you have no way of knowing whether customers had herpes to begin with or received any long-term relief from these products. Medications approved by the FDA go through a rigorous process of being tested and evaluated for both safety and effectiveness.
While it may be embarrassing to talk with your doctor, it is still the best way to treat herpes.
For more information:
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.