Wednesday, May 4, 2011

CTV news:U.S. targets bogus cures for herpes, other STIs

The Internet abounds with bogus pills and herbal supplements that claim to cure sexually transmitted infections like herpes, chlamydia and genital warts. Now, health officials in the U.S. are cracking down.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it has sent warning letters to more than a dozen companies that sell non-prescription products that claim to clear up sexual infections.
Among the products targeted are: Herpaflor, Medavir, Viruxo, ImmuneGlory and C-Cure.
U.S. law requires that all products that claim to treat a disease undergo review by federal scientists. The FDA says said none of the products they've targetted in this crackdown have done so. In fact, there are no FDA-approved products or dietary supplements available over-the-counter that can cure or treat sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
And condoms are the only products cleared by FDA to help prevent STIs.
Not only are the products targeted in this crackdown unproven, they could actually be harmful because they could cause infected patients to delay seeking medical care.
"If you aren't treating your STD with an FDA-approved medication, you're not just putting your own health at risk -- you could be endangering your partner," added internist Dr. Debbie Birnkrant in an FDA statement.
Sexual infections are not just bothersome; they can be dangerous. Left untreated, some can lead to scarring of the reproductive organs and infertility.
"These products are dangerous because they are targeted to patients with serious conditions, where treatment options proven to be safe and effective are available," Deborah Autor, FDA's director of drug compliance, said in a statement.
Many sexually transmitted infections can be cured with antibiotics, while other infections like herpes and the more serious HIV are incurable, but can be managed with antiviral and antiretroviral therapy.
Many of the websites selling these products appeal to patients who are too embarrassed to go see their doctors, or who are looking for "natural" or alternative therapies.
The website for Viruxo, for example, claims the product is a "cure" and that it contains "14 synergistic ingredients" that will boost the user's immune system and ensure that users never have another outbreak again.
Further down on the site though, written in small print, is this disclaimer: "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."
The FDA says such sites are deceiving and are in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act because they make scientifically unsupported claims about their products ability to prevent or cure STIs.
The FDA is giving the companies 15 days to take their products off the market. If they do not, the agency can take legal action, including seizing products and taking company officials to court.
Dr. Birnkrant says in the FDA statement that people who are sexually active, have had unprotected sex, or think they have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease should get medical attention if they develop any of these symptoms:
  • burning sensation with urination
  • pelvic pain
  • discharge from the penis or vagina
  • blisters
  • sores
She also notes that the majority of people with sexual infections have no symptoms at all.

Herpes Treatments Info

Salon:The online scam of Herpes "cures"

The FDA is going after treatments sold via the Web. Here's why they're bogus, and why people want them anyway 

The website for MedaVir, a drug claiming to "stop herpes outbreaks," features a generic photo of a man in a white lab coat with a stethoscope slung around his neck. Next to him, there's an endorsement of the product: "MedaVir is the only treatment that works. That is why I continue to recommend it to all of my patients with herpes." The quote -- which ignores Famvir, Valtrex, and other FDA-approved herpes drugs -- is attributed simply to "Licensed Medical Doctor/Gynecologist, Florida." Why, thanks for weighing in with your medical expertise, Dr. Licensed Medical Doctor/Gynecologist!
Advertisements for dubious treatments for STDs -- especially herpes -- are abundant online, and the FDA has taken note. Today the regulatory agency announced that it's cracking down on some of the most outrageous examples, including C-Cure, Herpaflor, Medavir, Never An Outbreak and Viruxo. The companies were warned that their products "violate federal law" and have been given 15 days to comply. Of course, there are unproven "cures" targeting just about every condition under the sun, but this particular sliver of the market comes with an unrivaled mix of embarrassment and despair, and some companies are all too happy to exploit that.
The MedaVir site tells visitors, "Herpes outbreaks can make you feel isolated, even hopeless." The Never An Outbreak website sympathizes, "Painful, irritating, embarrassing. We understand the devastating effect cold sores and genital herpes can have on you. It doesn't have to be that way anymore." Elizabeth Boskey, a sexual health expert who has warned about the dangers of these types of sites in the past, told me, "They are basically preying on people who are desperate and willing to spend anything on something that will help them."

Herpes Treatment


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Relaxnews:Common folk remedy may be future treatment for herpes

Scientists from the UK and Spain report that a folk remedy called tansy, a flowering plant also known as mugwort, may be an effective treatment for the sexually transmitted disease herpes.
A team of scientists from the University of Greenwich and the Universidad de Oviedo have been studying tansy's antiviral properties, and discovered it has clear potential as a treatment for herpes, while also identifying the compounds in tansy responsible for this effect. Their work, announced April 14, is published in the journal Phytotherapy Research.
Tansy, Tanacetum Vulgare, has been used by many generations as an edible, herbal remedy to treat various respiratory problems, high fever, nervousness, fatigue, head ailments, ear ringing, and pains and aches. This perennial flowering plant grows all around Europe and northern regions of Asia, and is known for its antiviral, vermifuge, and insect-repelling properties.
A 2008 Moroccan study found that tansy is effective at treating hypertension and promoting relaxation, and a 2006 study discovered that tansy leaves are an effective diuretic.

However, scientists - who have been working with extracts of the roots and aerial parts of tansy - say more work needs to be done before relying on tansy as a treatment for herpes. And certain compounds in tansy can be toxic, so be sure to consult your physician before ingesting tansy.
Scientists have studied other herbal extracts and nutritional supplements based on claims that they help control or relieve herpes symptoms. Some of these include echinacea, propolis, the herb Prunella vulgaris, and an edible mushroom. None have been approved to treat herpes, but you can read more about them and other alternative treatments here:
For more tips on natural ways to control herpes, visit
Access the study's abstract here: