Valacyclovir May Interact With Other Medications
An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. To help prevent interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs youre taking.
To find out how valacyclovir oral tablet might interact with something else youre taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that youre taking.
This drug comes with several warnings.
What Valtrex Tablets Look Like
Valtrex 500 mg tabletsWhite, film coated tablet, white to off-white core, biconvex, elongated, unscored engraved with “500” on one side and plain on the other. AUST R 73917. AUST R 73918.
Available in a pack size of 10, 30, 42 and 100 tablets.
Valtrex 1000 mg tabletsWhite, film coated tablet, white to off-white core, biconvex, elongated, unscored engraved with “1000” on one side and plain on the other. AUST R 73920.
Available in a pack size of 4 tablets.
Treating Cold Sores With Valtrex
Cold sores typically start to heal on their own within about four to six days. Although, the first cold sore you get will likely last longer.
Most people dont require treatment for their cold sores, but, in some cases, a doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication such as Valtrex. This may be because you get cold sores often or if youre at high risk of serious complications, such as from a weakened immune system.
To treat a cold sore, you take Valtrex on the day you notice a cold sore forming. Valtrex works by preventing the herpes virus from growing and spreading.
Your doctor may also prescribe Valtrex to help prevent future cold sores, which is an off-label use. In that case, you and your doctor would work together to create the best treatment plan for you.
Valtrex is an oral caplet. It comes in 500-milligram and 1-gram strengths. Its available as a brand-name product as well as a generic medication . The generic product is an oral tablet which comes in the same strengths.
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How Much Valacyclovir Should You Take For A Cold Sore Outbreak
Cold sores also come and go, with many people experiencing recurrent outbreaks every few months after the initial outbreak passes. Like genital herpes, oral herpes outbreaks are often triggered by external factors, such as hormonal changes and illnesses.
The standard valacyclovir dosage for an outbreak of cold sores is the same as the dosage used for a primary oral herpes outbreak — 2,000 mg of valacyclovir taken every 12 hours, for a total of two doses. Taken early in a cold sore outbreak, this can significantly speed up healing.
For particularly bad outbreaks of cold sores, your doctor may also recommend the use of topical treatments, which can alleviate pain, itching and discomfort. Follow your doctors instructions on medication use for the fastest recovery and best results.
Suppressive Therapy For Recurrent Hsv
Suppressive therapy reduces frequency of genital herpes recurrences by 70%80% among patients who have frequent recurrences . Persons receiving such therapy often report having experienced no symptomatic outbreaks. Suppressive therapy also is effective for patients with less frequent recurrences. Long-term safety and efficacy have been documented among patients receiving daily acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir . Quality of life is improved for many patients with frequent recurrences who receive suppressive therapy rather than episodic treatment . Providers should discuss with patients on an annual basis whether they want to continue suppressive therapy because frequency of genital HSV-2 recurrence diminishes over time for many persons. However, neither treatment discontinuation nor laboratory monitoring is necessary because adverse events and development of HSV antiviral resistance related to long-term antiviral use are uncommon.
Valacyclovir 500 mg orally 2 times/day for 3 daysOR
Valacyclovir 1 gm orally once daily for 5 days
*Acyclovir 400 mg orally 3 times/day is also effective, but are not recommended because of frequency of dosing.
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What Is Valtrex Used For
The Food and Drug Administration approved Valtrex for the following indications:
- Genital herpes, usually caused by herpes simplex virus 2
- Prevention of transmission of HSV
- Suppression of HSV
- Suppression of HSV for people who are immunosuppressed due to human immunodeficiency virus
- Shingles, which is caused by reactivation of varicella zoster and produces a painful rash
The dosing of Valtrex differs for children and adults and is based on weight for the treatment of chicken pox. Valtrex is used short term for the treatment of chicken pox, shingles, and cold sores.
It can also be used for the short-term treatment of genital herpes or long term to suppress the virus and prevent transmission to a partner. However, it is important to remember that Valtrex will not cure your herpes infection completely.
Verywell / Dennis Madamba
How To Use Valtrex
This medication works best when started at the first sign of an outbreak, as directed by your doctor. It may not work as well if you delay treatment. For shingles or chickenpox, start taking valacyclovir at the first symptom or as soon as possible after the rash appears. For cold sores or genital herpes, start taking this medication at the first sign or as soon as you feel tingling, itching, or burning.
Valacyclovir works best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished. Do not change your dose, skip any doses, or stop this medication early without your doctor’s approval.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
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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.
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How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Valtrex
There are several considerations that you must keep in mind to stay healthy while you are taking Valtrex:
- Maintain hydration: Valtrex is more likely to cause kidney damage if you are dehydrated.
- Pain control for shingles: Shingles can cause substantial pain. Your healthcare provider may prescribe a pain-control medication for you as your condition is resolving.
- Rest and fever control for chicken pox: Chicken pox infection can cause high fevers and sometimes fatigue. If your child has this infection, maintain rest, and follow their providers advice regarding management of fevers.
Herpes viruses are highly contagious, so its important to avoid infecting others while you are recovering.
Tips to avoid the spread of the following infections:
- Cold sores: Dont share cups, utensils, lipstick, or kiss others while a cold sore is present
- Genital herpes: Practice safe sex.
- Chicken pox and shingles: Avoid contact with people who are immunosuppressed , people who are pregnant, and babies until your infection has fully resolved.
Treatment Of Primary Infection
Antiviral therapy is recommended for an initial genital herpes outbreak, especially if the patient has systemic symptoms or is immunocompromised.2 Oral acyclovir is effective in reducing symptoms1. Intravenous administration may be required in immunocompromised patients and those with severe disseminated infection.1 Topical acyclovir reduces the duration of viral shedding and the length of time before all lesions become crusted, but this treatment is much less effective than oral or intravenous acyclovir.1
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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.
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Table 2 Oral Antiviral Therapy Dosing4
Dendritic Epithelial Keratitis Antiviral *Antiviral treatment is prophylactic since patients are also treated with a therapeutic dose of topical steroid. **Limited dose of topical steroid plus therapeutic dose of antiviral.***Therapeutic dose of topical steroid and therapeutic dose of antiviral. Oral antiviral agent is reduced to prophylactic dose after seven to 10 days and maintained as long as steroid is in use.
HSV stromal keratitis without epithelial ulceration is the more common of the two HSV stromal infections. As its name implies, stromal keratitis without ulceration is thought to occur due to viral proteins that remain in the cornea even after the infection has resolved.17 In response to these remaining proteins, the body produces an inflammatory response, which results in a stromal keratitis without necrosis. Patients will generally present with symptoms of blurry vision, photophobia and halos around lights brought on by edema of the stroma.15
Clinical signs include stromal edema, anterior chamber reaction, stromal opacity and neovascularization.13 This significant inflammatory response, in combination with recurrent disease, often makes stromal keratitis the instigator of irreversible damage and significant scarring. Stromal keratitis without ulceration requires the use of a topical corticosteroid along with an oral antiviral.
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Before Taking This Medicine
You should not use Valtrex if you are allergic to valacyclovir or acyclovir .
To make sure Valtrex is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
HIV/AIDS, or other conditions that can weaken the immune system or
a history of kidney transplant or bone marrow transplant.
While Valtrex use in pregnant women is limited, there is no evidence of major risk to the human fetus from valacyclovir. However, herpes virus can be passed from an infected mother to her baby during childbirth. If you have genital herpes, it is very important to prevent herpes lesions during your pregnancy, so that you do not have a genital lesion when your baby is born.
Valacyclovir can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give this Valtrex to a child without medical advice.
What Valtrex Tablets Are Used For
Valtrex tablets belong to a group of medicines called antivirals. Valtrex tablets are used for the treatment of genital herpes infection.
Valtrex tablets work by stopping the multiplication of the virus which causes herpes. They can reduce the length and severity of an outbreak of herpes, the duration of pain and shorten the time to healing of crusts associated with herpes. They do not eliminate the herpes virus from the body. The herpes virus is also known as the Herpes Simplex Virus, or HSV.
Valtrex tablets help the blisters to heal more quickly. If you start taking them as soon as you feel an outbreak starting, you may actually prevent the blisters from developing.
Valtrex tablets can also be taken long term to help prevent the HSV infection coming back.
Valtrex is more effective in patients 50 years of age and older.
Valtrex tablets can also reduce the risk of transmitting the virus that causes genital herpes in patients who are taking it continuously to prevent or reduce recurrent outbreaks. It does not cure genital herpes or completely eliminate the risk of transmission. Therefore, in addition to therapy with Valtrex, it is recommended that patients avoid contact when symptoms are present and always use condoms.
Valtrex is not a cure for genital herpes. Because genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease, you should minimise having intercourse when you have an outbreak of herpes or show any symptoms. This will avoid the risk of spreading herpes to your partner.
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If You Forget To Take Them
For prevention of CMV infection and disease, the treatment of shingles or the treatment of herpes simplex If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to.
Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, then go back to taking it as you would normally.
For the treatment of cold soresTake the second dose as soon as possible once 12 hours have passed.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed.
If you miss more than one dose, or you are not sure what to do ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
Extemporaneous Preparation Of Oral Suspension
Ingredients and Preparation per USPNF
VALTREX tablets 500 mg, cherry flavor, and Suspension Structured Vehicle USP-NF . Valacyclovir oral suspension should be prepared in lots of 100 mL.
Instructions for Preparing Suspension at Time of Dispensing
- Transfer the suspension to an amber glass medicine bottle with a child-resistant closure.
- The prepared suspension should be labeled with the following information Shake well before using. Store suspension between 2°C to 8°C in a refrigerator. Discard after 28 days.
*The amount of cherry flavor added is as instructed by the suppliers of the cherry flavor.
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Why Is This Medication Prescribed
Acyclovir is used to decrease pain and speed the healing of sores or blisters in people who have varicella , herpes zoster , and first-time or repeat outbreaks of genital herpes . Acyclovir is also sometimes used to prevent outbreaks of genital herpes in people who are infected with the virus. Acyclovir is in a class of antiviral medications called synthetic nucleoside analogues. It works by stopping the spread of the herpes virus in the body. Acyclovir will not cure genital herpes and may not stop the spread of genital herpes to other people.
Dosage For Genital Herpes
- First episode: 1 g, taken twice per day for 10 days. This drug works best if its started within 48 hours of when the first symptom appears.
- Repeating episodes: 500 mg, taken twice per day for 3 days. Treatment should be started when the first symptom appears.
- For preventing flare-ups in people with a normal immune system: 500 mg to 1 g, taken once per day.
- For preventing flare-ups in people with HIV: 500 mg, taken twice per day.
- For reducing the risk of transmission to a sexual partner: 500 mg, taken once per day.
This drug has not been studied for the treatment of genital herpes in children younger than 18 years.
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.
Your doctor may start you on a lowered dosage or a different treatment schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.
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