Is Acyclovir Or Valacyclovir Better
Acyclovir and valacyclovir are both effective treatments for viral infections arising from the herpes simplex and varicella-zoster virus strains. The most clinically significant difference between them may be seen when treating shingles, as valacyclovir leads to a shorter duration of pain and fewer complications related to the eyes. An important consideration when choosing between the two treatments is that valacyclovir is dosed fewer times per day than acyclovir which decreases the pill burden for patients and may be easier to manage and remain compliant to treatment regimens.
Conditions Treated By Acyclovir And Valacyclovirt
Acyclovir and valacyclovir are indicated in the treatment of herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2, as well as varicella-zoster virus. The most common of these types of viruses are cold sores, genital herpes, chickenpox, and shingles. These drugs also play an important role in the prophylaxis of these types of infections, such as recurrent genital herpes.
Acyclovir and valacyclovir are used off-label for the prevention of cytomegalovirus and treatment of ocular infections related to shingles. Off-label use refers to use for treatment in an indication not approved by the Food and Drug Administration .
Using Valacyclovir To Treat A Primary Outbreak Of Cold Sores
Valacyclovir is also used to treat primary outbreaks of cold sores, or oral herpes. The standard dosage of valacyclovir for managing a primary oral herpes outbreak is 2,000 mg every 12 hours for one day .
During a particularly severe or persistent outbreak, your doctor may recommend adjusting your valacyclovir dose or extending the dosage to provide greater relief. Follow your doctors advice and instructions for the best results from valacyclovir and other antiviral medication.
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What Form Does This Medication Come In
500 mg Each blue, film-coated, capsule-shaped tablet printed with edible white ink with “VALTREX 500 mg” contains valacyclovir HCl equivalent to 500 mg valacyclovir. Nonmedicinal ingredients: carnauba wax, cellulose, crospovidone, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, Indigotine Aluminum Lake, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, povidone, silicon dioxide, and titanium dioxide.
1,000 mg Each white, film-coated, capsule-shaped tablet printed with edible blue ink with “GX CF2” contains valacyclovir HCl equivalent to 1,000 mg valacyclovir. Nonmedicinal ingredients: carnauba wax, cellulose, crospovidone, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, povidone, silicon dioxide, and titanium dioxide.
How Long To Take Them
For the treatment of herpes infections, the usual course of treatment is five days. However in some instances your doctor may want you to take your tablets for ten days.
For prevention of herpes infections, you should continue to take this medicine every day as prescribed by your doctor.
Do not stop taking Valtrex tablets just because you feel better. The herpes outbreak may not be completely over.
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Valacyclovir Dosage For Genital Herpes
If you have genital herpes, youll understand how stressful an outbreak can be. People infected with genital herpes can experience four to five outbreaks of the virus per year, making it vital to have medication like valacyclovir on hand in the event you notice herpes lesions developing.
Like oral herpes, valacyclovir is highly effective at treating genital herpes and speeding up the healing process.
Genital herpes occurs in two phases. After being infected with the virus, most people will have an initial outbreak — a powerful outbreak of the virus that can result in severe symptoms. After this, genital herpes presents itself in recurring outbreaks every few months.
The typical dose of valacyclovir used to treat an initial outbreak of genital herpes is 1,000 mg taken two times per day. This twice-daily 1,000 mg dosage usually continues over 10 days as the herpes outbreak retreats and the lesions close, scab and heal.
During a very severe initial outbreak of genital herpes, your doctor might recommend taking valacyclovir over a longer period.
For recurring genital herpes, the typical dosage of valacyclovir is 500 mg taken twice daily for three days.
As with cold sores, valacyclovir is most effective at treating genital herpes when its taken as early as possible during an outbreak. Taken early, consistently and at the right dose, use of valacyclovir can make dealing with a difficult genital herpes outbreak more manageable.
Whats Genital Herpes And Whos At Risk
There are two types of herpes : HSV-1 and HSV-2. Oral herpes around the mouth and on the lips usually is caused by HSV-1, but not exclusively so. Around 70-80% of the population have HSV-1 inside their bodies, but only about one third of those people will ever experience an oral herpes outbreak.
HSV-2, on the other hand, most often is associated with genital herpes. That said, in recent years theres been an increase in HSV-1 induced genital herpes, apparently spread through oral sex by partner who have HSV-1 oral herpes. The scientific consensus holds that around 15% of U.S. adults have genital herpes, but within these 15% only about 10-20% of carriers will experience a genital herpes outbreak . So, most people with genital herpes arent even aware that they have it.
Order safe and effective treatment for genital herpes
Whether one experiences a herpes outbreak in large part depends on ones autoimmune system. The stronger that is, the less the likelihood of an outbreak, and vice versa. Sickness or certain drugs, like chemotherapy, can temporarily weaken the immune system and give the herpes virus the opportunity for an outbreak.
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How Much Does Valtrex Reduce Risk Of Transmission 2020
Corey et al. found a 48% reduction in the risk of transmission, but this reduction was from an acquisition risk of 3.6% to 1.9%. Thus, transmission is a rare event without valacyclovir use. Furthermore, when transmission does occur, most people do not develop symptomatic genital herpes.
Valacyclovir For Recurrent Herpes Outbreaks
Herpes can remain dormant in the body for weeks, months or years in between outbreaks. On average, people with HSV-1 experience about one outbreak per year, while people with HSV-2 will usually experience four to five outbreaks per year.
When these outbreaks occur, valacyclovir can provide fast and effective relief, helping to control herpes outbreak symptoms.
The typical valacyclovir dosage for recurrent herpes outbreaks is 500 mg two times per day over a period of three days. Like with first-time herpes outbreaks, valacyclovir is most effective when its taken as soon as you notice a herpes outbreak developing.
When taken as soon as you notice a herpes outbreak, valacyclovir can provide relief in as little as two to three days, minimizing symptoms and reducing the risk of you passing genital herpes to sexual partners.
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Which Is Better For Shingles: Acyclovir Or Valacyclovir
A randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial found that valacyclovir leads to the resolution of pain symptoms associated with a shingles outbreak faster than acyclovir. Treatment with valacyclovir was also linked to fewer ocular complications from shingles, which can be damaging and difficult to treat.
When Treatments For Genital Herpes Are Given
- Initial treatment. If you have symptoms such as sores when you’re first diagnosed with genital herpes, your doctor will usually give you a brief course of antiviral therapy to relieve them or prevent them from getting worse. Your doctor may keep you on the drugs longer if the sores don’t heal in that time.
After the first treatment, work with your doctor to come up with the best way to take antiviral therapies. There are two options:
- Intermittent treatment. Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral drug for you to keep on hand in case you have another flare-up this is called intermittent therapy. You can take the pills for two to five days as soon as you notice sores or when you feel an outbreak coming on. Sores will heal and disappear on their own, but taking the drugs can make the symptoms less severe and make them go away faster.
- Suppressive treatment. If you have outbreaks often, you may want to consider taking an antiviral drug every day. Doctors call this suppressive therapy. For someone who has more than six outbreaks a year, suppressive therapy can reduce the number of outbreaks by 70% to 80%. Many people who take the antiviral drugs daily have no outbreaks at all.
There is no set number of outbreaks per year that doctors use to decide when someone should start suppressive therapy. Rather, more important factors are how often the outbreaks happen and if they are severe enough to interfere with your life.
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How To Take Valtrex Tablets
Take Valtrex tablets exactly as your doctor has prescribed. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you:
- how many tablets to take at each dose
- how many doses to take each day
- when to take your doses each day.
The label on the pack will give the same information. If there is something you do not understand, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Warnings For People With Certain Health Conditions
For people with kidney problems: Your kidneys clear this drug from your body. If you have kidney problems or a history of kidney disease, you may not be able to clear it from your body. This may increase the levels of the drug in your body and cause more side effects. This drug can also make your kidney function worse. To help prevent these problems, your doctor may prescribe a lower dosage of this drug for you.
For people with advanced HIV or a history of transplant: If you have advanced HIV or a history of bone marrow or kidney transplant, you may be at a higher risk of certain blood disorders. These conditions are called thrombocytopenic purpura and hemolytic uremic syndrome . They can result in severely low red blood cells and platelets in your body. TTP or HUS can cause death.
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
What Are The Main Differences Between Acyclovir Vs Valacyclovir
Acyclovir is a prescription medication used in the treatment of herpes simplex virus and varicella-zoster virus . It belongs to a class of antiviral drugs known as synthetic purine deoxynucleoside analogues. This class is also sometimes referred to as nucleoside and nucleotide DNA polymerase inhibitor antivirals. Acyclovir fights viral infections by incorporating itself into the viral DNA and then prohibiting viral DNA synthesis. Acyclovir is available in a variety of forms including topical cream and ointment, ophthalmic ointment, solution for injection, oral capsules, oral tablets, oral dissolving tablets, and oral suspension. The oral acyclovir formulation has poor bioavailability because it is altered in first-pass metabolism, resulting in poor absorption from the gastrointestinal tract.
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How Long Does Valacyclovir Take To Work
The amount of time required for valacyclovir to control a herpes or chickenpox outbreak varies based on the severity of the outbreak and how soon you take valacyclovir after noticing herpes symptoms.
For most initial herpes outbreaks and cases of recurring herpes, valacyclovir takes effect very quickly and provides some level of relief in as little as two to three days. Generally, the sooner you take valacyclovir after noticing symptoms, the faster it will be to provide relief.
Its important to remember that every outbreak is different, meaning valacyclovir can potentially take less or more time than the figures listed above to provide relief and control over a shingles infection or herpes outbreak.
Our guide to how long valacyclovir takes to become effective covers more about valacyclovirs onset of action and average time to start working for different viral injections.
How Should I Use This Medication
The recommended adult dose of valacyclovir to treat shingles is 1,000 mg 3 times daily for 7 days. The treatment should be started within 72 hours of the onset of the rash.
To treat the first episode of genital herpes, the dose of valacyclovir is 1,000 mg twice daily for 10 days. Treatment should be started within 72 hours of the onset of symptoms, and ideally within 48 hours for best effectiveness.
To treat recurrent genital herpes, the dose of valacyclovir is 500 mg twice daily for 3 days. The treatment should be started at the first sign or symptom of recurrence.
To prevent recurrences of genital herpes, the recommended dose is 1,000 mg once daily. For people with a history of 9 or fewer recurrences per year, the recommended dosage of valacyclovir is 500 mg orally once daily. This dose helps to reduce the risk of transmitting genital herpes to others.
To treat cold sores, the usual dose of valacyclovir is 2,000 mg at the first sign of symptoms, followed by another 2,000 mg 12 hours later. The treatment should be started at the first sign of a cold sore for best effectiveness.
People with poor kidney function may need lower doses.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way you are using the medication without talking to your doctor.
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How Much Valacyclovir Should You Take For A Recurrent Genital Herpes Outbreak
After the primary outbreak, genital herpes enters a latent stage. During this period, the virus lays dormant in the body , with no clear symptoms or signs of an infection.
Over time, many people with genital herpes will experience recurrent outbreaks of the virus that cause herpes sores to develop. Outbreaks affect people with HSV-1 and HSV-2, although they tend to be more common in people with the HSV-2 type of the herpes virus.
Recurrent outbreaks are usually less intense than the initial outbreak. Most people only notice the development of herpes sores on the genitals, with few or none of the flu-like symptoms that can make a primary outbreak so unpleasant.
During a recurring outbreak, you normally wont need to take as much as you did for the primary outbreak. A standard valacyclovir dosage for recurrent genital herpes outbreaks is 500 mg twice per day for three days.
If you have particularly severe genital herpes outbreaks or the herpes sores you develop during an outbreak take longer than normal to recover, your doctor may adjust your dosage to provide extra relief from symptoms and faster healing. In any case, follow your doctors instructions.
Are There Any Other Precautions Or Warnings For This Medication
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Genital herpes: To reduce the risk of spreading the virus, wash your hands immediately after touching your skin sores. You should avoid intimate contact when live lesions are visible on your skin. The herpes virus can still be spread even when you do not have blisters or sores.
Immunosuppression : People who have a weakened immune system should only use valacyclovir if the benefits outweigh the risks. If you have had an organ transplant, are infected with HIV, or otherwise have a weak immune system, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Kidney disease: Valacyclovir may cause decreased kidney function or kidney failure. People with kidney disease may need a lower dose of this medication. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
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Warnings For Other Groups
For pregnant women: This drug is a category B pregnancy drug. That means two things:
Talk to your doctor if youre pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Animal studies do not always predict the way humans would respond. Therefore, this drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed.
For women who are breastfeeding: This drug may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.
For seniors: The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.
For children: This drug has not been studied for use in treatment or prevention of herpes simplex virus infection in newborn babies. The following are other age limitations for use of this drug:
All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:
- your age
- the severity of your condition
- other medical conditions you have
- how you react to the first dose
What Should I Discuss With My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Valacyclovir
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to valacyclovir or acyclovir .
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Herpes can be passed to your baby during childbirth if you have a genital lesion when your baby is born. If you have genital herpes, it is very important to prevent herpes lesions during pregnancy. Take your medicine as directed to best control your infection.
It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.
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