Module 5 Discussion
STIs Therapy & Education
J.R. is a 36-year-old white, middle-class woman who has been sexually active with one partner for the past 2 years. She and her partner have no history of STIs, but her partner has a history of fever blisters. She reports genital pain, genital vesicles and ulcers, and fever and malaise for the last 3 days. Examination reveals adenopathy and vaginal and cervical lesions.
What drug therapy would you prescribe? Why?
What are the parameters for monitoring the success of the therapy?
Discuss specific education for J.R. based on the diagnosis and prescribed therapy.
Your initial post should be at least 500 words, formatted and cited in current APA style with support from at least 2 academic sources. Your initial post is worth 8 points.
You should respond to at least two of your peers by extending, refuting/correcting, or adding additional nuance to their posts. Your reply posts are worth 2 points (1 point per response.)
All replies must be constructive and use literature where possible.
Please post your initial response by 11:59 PM ET Thursday, and comment on the posts of two classmates by 11:59 PM ET Sunday.
You can expect feedback from the instructor within 48 to 72 hours from the Sunday due date.
Expert Solution Preview
The drug therapy that I would prescribe for J.R. based on her symptoms and presentation is antiviral medication. Given her history of genital vesicles and ulcers, along with the presence of adenopathy and vaginal and cervical lesions, it is likely that she is experiencing a primary episode of genital herpes caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Antiviral medication is the mainstay of treatment for genital herpes.
There are three classes of antiviral medications commonly used to treat genital herpes: acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir. These medications work by inhibiting viral replication, reducing the severity and duration of symptoms, and preventing recurrent episodes. The choice of medication and dosage will depend on various factors such as the severity of symptoms, frequency of outbreaks, and the patient’s overall health status.
Acyclovir is available in multiple formulations including oral, topical, and intravenous (IV). It has been used for many years and is considered safe and effective. Valacyclovir is the prodrug of acyclovir and has a higher bioavailability, allowing for less frequent dosing. Famciclovir is another prodrug of penciclovir, which has a similar mechanism of action to acyclovir.
In this case, considering J.R.’s symptoms, I would prescribe oral valacyclovir. The recommended dose for the treatment of a primary episode of genital herpes is 1 gram twice daily for 7 to 10 days. This dosing regimen provides high enough levels of the medication in the bloodstream to effectively suppress viral replication and reduce the severity and duration of symptoms. Additionally, valacyclovir has good bioavailability and patient adherence is generally better with less frequent dosing.
Monitoring the success of therapy for J.R. would primarily involve assessing the resolution of her symptoms. It is important to evaluate if the genital vesicles and ulcers, as well as the systemic symptoms such as fever and malaise, have improved or resolved. This can be done through clinical examination and regular follow-up visits. If necessary, additional laboratory tests like viral culture or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing can be performed to verify the diagnosis and monitor the viral load.
In terms of specific education for J.R., it is crucial to provide information regarding her diagnosis and the prescribed therapy. First and foremost, J.R. should be informed about the nature of genital herpes as a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the herpes simplex virus. She should be made aware that the infection can be transmitted to her partner even if she is asymptomatic and that the use of barrier methods like condoms can reduce the risk of transmission.
J.R. should also receive detailed instructions on how to take the prescribed antiviral medication (valacyclovir) correctly. This would include information on the recommended dosage, frequency, and duration of treatment. It is important to emphasize the importance of completing the full course of medication, even if her symptoms improve or resolve before the treatment is completed.
Additionally, J.R. should be educated about the potential side effects of the medication, which are generally mild and include headache, nausea, and abdominal pain. She should be informed to seek medical attention if she experiences any severe or persistent adverse effects.
Furthermore, J.R. should be counseled on the importance of regular follow-up visits and the need for ongoing management of her condition. This would involve discussions about strategies for preventing recurrent episodes, managing symptoms during future outbreaks, and the potential benefits of suppressive therapy to reduce the frequency and severity of outbreaks.
Overall, providing comprehensive education to J.R. about her diagnosis, prescribed therapy, and long-term management strategies is essential to empower her in managing her condition and preventing transmission to her partner.