In most people, antiviral medication such as acyclovir, famciclovir, or valacyclovir can control the infection. Some people also need pain medicine. Many people who are treated for an episode of herpes esophagitis need other, long-term medicines to suppress the virus and prevent reinfection.
Esophagitis can usually be treated effectively. Healthy people recover on their own in 3 - 5 days, but those with a weakened immune system take longer to get better.
The outcome depends upon the immune system problem that makes the person more likely to develop the infection.
Call your health care provider if you have any condition that can cause reduced immune response and you develop symptoms of herpes esophagitis.
Whitley RJ. Herpes simplex infections. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 397.
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