What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Valacyclovir
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- confusion, agitation, or you feel shaky or unsteady
- problems with speech
- a seizure or
- kidney problems –little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath.
Serious side effects may be more likely in adults who are 65 or older.
Stop taking valacyclovir and call your doctor right away if you have any of the following signs of a serious side effect that can harm red blood cells:
- fever, pale skin
- unusual bleeding
- red or pink urine, little or no urination
- purple or red spots on the skin
- feeling weak or tired
- stomach pain, bloody diarrhea, vomiting or
- swelling in your face, hands, or feet.
Common side effects may include:
- nausea, stomach pain or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
How To Take Valaciclovir
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer’s printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about valaciclovir, and it will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you could experience from taking it.
- Your dose will depend upon the type of infection you have, so take the tablets exactly as your doctor tells you to. Typically, doses range from 500 mg to 2 g, taken 1-4 times daily. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you what dose is right for you, and this information will also be printed on the label of the pack to remind you about what the doctor said to you.
- Space out your doses evenly during the day. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. You can take valaciclovir tablets either with or without food.
- Even if you feel your infection has cleared up, keep taking valaciclovir until the course is finished . A short course of treatment commonly lasts for up to 10 days. You will be prescribed a longer course than this if you are taking it to prevent further episodes of infection, or following an organ transplantation.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember and then continue as before. Try to take the correct number of doses each day, but do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
Prevented And/or Blocked Lesions
The primary efficacy measure in study 2 and the secondary efficacy measure in study 1 was the proportion of subjects in whom cold sore lesion development was prevented and/or blocked and did not progress beyond the papular stage. Subjects with a blocked lesion could experience prodromal symptoms, erythema, or a papule but not the vesicle, ulcer, or hard-crust lesion stages.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Valacyclovir That I Need To Call My Doctor About Immediately
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash hives itching red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever wheezing tightness in the chest or throat trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking unusual hoarseness or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
- Feeling confused.
- Change in the way you act.
- Mood changes.
- Hallucinations .
- Trouble speaking.
- Shakiness, trouble moving around, or stiffness.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly blood problems like thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/hemolytic uremic syndrome have happened with valacyclovir in some people. Call your doctor right away if you feel very tired or weak or have any bruising or bleeding dark urine or yellow skin or eyes pale skin change in the amount of urine passed change in eyesight change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other, trouble speaking or thinking, or change in balance or fever.
What Are The Side Effects Of Valaciclovir
Like all medicines, valaciclovir can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.
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For Children 11 Years And Younger
Valtrex is not recommended for treating cold sores in children of this age group. But it can be used to treat chickenpox in children ages 2 years and older.
- Take Valtrex at the first sign of a cold sore.
- You can take it with or without food.
- Dont take more than the prescribed number of caplets each day.
- If your child cant swallow caplets, ask your pharmacist to make the caplets into an oral suspension .
- Be sure to drink lots of water. Since your kidneys help remove the metabolized drug from your body, its important to stay hydrated to lower the risk of serious side effects, such as kidney damage.
How Is Valacyclovir Best Taken
Use valacyclovir as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food.
- Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
- If you are taking valacyclovir to treat cold sores, chickenpox, shingles, or genital herpes, start valacyclovir as soon as you can after your signs start. This medicine may not help if you start taking it too late.
- Keep taking valacyclovir as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- A liquid can be made if you cannot swallow pills. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
- If a liquid is made, shake well before use.
- Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with valacyclovir. If there is none, ask the pharmacist for a device to measure valacyclovir.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
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How To Heal A Herpes Outbreak Quickly
This article was medically reviewed by Lacy Windham, MD. Dr. Windham is a board certified Obstetrician & Gynecologist in Tennessee. She attended medical school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis and completed her residency at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2010, where she was awarded the Most Outstanding Resident in Maternal Fetal Medicine, Most Outstanding Resident in Oncology, and Most Outstanding Resident Overall.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 93% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 108,707 times.
Herpes is caused by a virus called herpes simplex. Once the virus enters ones body, it will always remain there by hiding in the nerve roots. When ones immunity is lowered, it will result in outbreak. Sores usually take about 1-2 weeks to heal, but there are some things that you can do to speed the healing process. Things like allowing your sores to be exposed to air, talking to your doctor about medications, and using ointments may help speed healing time. There are also some things that you can do to reduce and prevent outbreaks, such as reducing prolonged exposure to sunlight, reducing friction during sex, and managing stress.
What Is In This Leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Valtrex tablets. It does not contain all of the available information.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking Valtrex tablets against the benefits this medicine is expected to have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.
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What Other Drugs Will Affect Valtrex
Valtrex can harm your kidneys. This risk may increase when you also use certain other medicines, including: antivirals, chemotherapy, certain antibiotics, medicine for bowel disorders, medicine for high blood pressure, medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection, injectable osteoporosis medication, and some pain or arthritis medicines . Ask your pharmacist if you are concerned you are taking other medications that may harm your kidneys.
Other drugs may interact with valacyclovir, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
Can Valacyclovir Treat Shingles
Yes. Valacyclovir is an FDA-approved treatment for herpes zoster . It decreases the duration and severity of symptoms . It should be started as soon as possible after the rash starts. You will get the best response if you take the medication within 72 hours of the rash appearing .
Data shows that even if valacyclovir is started more than 72 hours after a rashs appearance, there can still be some benefit . Sometimes, depending on your pain level, your healthcare provider may recommend pain medication or over-the-counter remedies along with valacyclovir. As with other herpes viruses, valacyclovir does not cure shinglesit can make your current episode less painful and resolve faster if started right away.
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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.
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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Drug Interactions Of Acyclovir Vs Valacyclovir
Acyclovir and valacyclovir are known to have negative effects on both the kidneys and the liver. For this reason, both drugs may be dangerous to take with drugs that are also nephrotoxic or hepatotoxic. In some cases, the risk is so severe that the concurrent use with these drugs is contraindicated. This is the case with cidofovir. Other drugs are strongly discouraged from being used concomitantly with acyclovir or valacyclovir for the same concerns. These include capreomycin, foscarnet, and mannitol.
Vaccinations against varicella and zoster have significantly decreased outbreaks of these viruses. However, the administration of live attenuated vaccines depend on the bodys immune system and natural response to the vaccine to produce antibodies in order to be effective. For that reason, acyclovir and valacyclovir should not be administered within a specific window before and after administering these vaccines. Your healthcare provider can provide more specific information prior to your vaccine.
This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all potential drug interactions. Please ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information and be sure they know all prescription drugs and supplements you are taking prior to beginning antiviral therapy.
Treatment For Genital Herpes
There are three antiviral medications that are FDA-approved for the treatment of genital herpes:
- Acyclovir: The oldest antiviral medication for herpes is acyclovir. It has been available since 1982 in a topical form and sold since 1985 in pill form. Acyclovir has been shown to be safe in persons who have used it continuously for as long as 10 years.
- Valacyclovir: A newer drug, valacyclovir, actually uses acyclovir as its active ingredient. This medication delivers acyclovir more efficiently so that the body absorbs much of the drug, which has the advantage of taking the medication fewer times during the day.
- Famciclovir: Famciclovir uses penciclovir as its active ingredient to stop HSV from replicating. Like valacyclovir, it is well absorbed, persists for a longer time in the body, and can be taken less frequently than acyclovir.
Antiviral medication is commonly prescribed for patients having a first episode of genital herpes, but they can be used for recurrent episodes as well. There are two kinds of treatment regimens: episodic therapy and suppressive therapy.
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How Does Valtrex Work
Valtrex belongs to a class of drugs called nucleoside analogs that mimic one of the building blocks of DNA. It stops the spread of herpes virus in the body by preventing the replication of viral DNA that is necessary for viruses to multiply. Other drugs in the same class include acyclovir and famciclovir . Valacyclovir is actually a “prodrug,” in that it is not active itself. Rather, it is converted to acyclovirin the body, and it is the acyclovir that is active against the viruses. Valacyclovir, therefore, is active against the same viruses as acyclovir, but valacyclovir has a longer duration of action than acyclovir, and, therefore, can be taken fewer times each day.
The FDA approved valacyclovir in 1995.
Valacyclovir For Shingles: How Effective Is It
Shingles, like other herpes viruses, is a lifelong infection and there is no cure. However, treatments like antivirals can decrease both the length and severity of your outbreak. Antivirals are most effective if started as soon as possible and include medications such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir.
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Valacyclovir Lowers Herpes Transmission Rates
If you have herpes, youve probably taken valacyclovir before as part of an outbreak or initial infection treatment protocol. Valacyclovir is extremely helpful in the management of herpes. During an outbreak, it can speed up the rate of recovery and quickly remove herpes sores.
When it comes to preventing the transmission of herpes, valacyclovir can be helpful but shouldnt be relied on as a 100% effective solution.
Study data shows that people with symptomatic herpes who take valacyclovir are almost 50% less likely to transmit the virus to others than non-medicated people with herpes. In one study, the HSV-2 acquisition rate was reduced from 3.6% to 1.9% using valacyclovir treatment.
Other studies show a similar reduction in herpes transmission rates when the infected person used valacyclovir.
For example, in a 2004 study, researchers noticed that people with non-symptomatic genital herpes were 50% less likely to transfer the virus to their sexual partner. People with herpes symptoms had an even higher drop in transmission ratea reduction of 77 percent.
Its important to remember that this still means there are cases where herpes is transmitted between sexual partners, even when the infected person takes valacyclovir.
In short, while valacyclovir doesnt completely block genital herpes transmission through sex and genital contact, using valacyclovir does lower your risk of catching herpes from a sexual partner.