When You Must Not Take Them
- Do not take Valtrex tablets if you have ever had an allergic reaction to valaciclovir, aciclovir or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
- Symptoms of an allergic reaction may be mild or severe. They usually include some or all of the following: wheezing, swelling of the lips/mouth, difficulty in breathing, hay fever, lumpy rash or fainting.
- Do not take Valtrex tablets if you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breast-feeding, unless your doctor says you should.
- Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using Valtrex tablets when pregnant and during breast-feeding.
- Do not take Valtrex tablets after the expiry date printed on the pack.
- If you take it after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well.
- Do not take Valtrex tablets if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
- If you are not sure whether you should be taking Valtrex, talk to your doctor.
Antiviral Drug Reduces Genital Herpes Transmission Between Sexual Partners By 50 Percent
SEATTLE â Dec. 31, 2003 â An international team of researchers finds that taking a single daily dose of an approved antiviral drug known as valacyclovir can reduce the transmission of genital herpes to uninfected partners by 50 percent. The results are published in the Jan. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The team of researchers led by Dr. Larry Corey, a member of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research, conducted a study of nearly 1,500 heterosexual monogamous couples in which one partner had genital herpes and the other did not. Infected partners who received a standard daily oral dose each day of valacyclovir were half as likely to transmit herpes simplex type 2 than infected partners given a placebo.
University of Washington collaborators included Dr. Anna Wald, associate professor of medicine and laboratory medicine, and Dr. R. Ashley Morrow, professor of laboratory medicine.
The strategy potentially could be applied to combat the spread of other sexually transmitted diseases that are caused by viruses.
“This is the first demonstration that an antiviral drug can prevent a viral sexually transmitted disease,” said Corey, also a professor of laboratory medicine at UW and head of Fred Hutchinson’s infectious diseases program. “The study provides the conceptual framework to extend other viral sexually transmitted diseases, such has HIV infection.”
How Do I Know If I Have Genital Herpes
Most people who have genital herpes have no symptoms, or have very mild symptoms. You may not notice mild symptoms or you may mistake them for another skin condition, such as a pimple or ingrown hair. Because of this, most people who have herpes do not know it.
Herpes sores usually appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals, rectum or mouth. The blisters break and leave painful sores that may take a week or more to heal. These symptoms are sometimes called having an outbreak. The first time someone has an outbreak they may also have flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches, or swollen glands.
People who experience an initial outbreak of herpes can have repeated outbreaks, especially if they are infected with HSV-2. Repeat outbreaks are usually shorter and less severe than the first outbreak. Although the infection stays in the body for the rest of your life, the number of outbreaks may decrease over time.
You should be examined by your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms or if your partner has an STD or symptoms of an STD. STD symptoms can include an unusual sore, a smelly genital discharge, burning when urinating, or bleeding between periods.
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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 Can I Do To Prevent Frequent Herpes Recurrences
There is no need to change your lifestyle or take steps to prevent recurrences until you know whether or not you are going to get any. You will see plenty of internet sites offering dubious treatments that are unnecessary and probably have no effect for treating herpes.
These suggestions to help control outbreaks come from people with genital herpes, based on their own experiences. The HVA cannot confirm that any of them will work for you, but we believe they are worth considering:
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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.
About Herpes Suppressive Therapy
If you opt for suppressive therapy, one of the most common antiviral medications is Valtrex, or valacyclovir. Another commonly prescribed medication goes by the name of Zovirax, or acyclovir. Valacyclovir and acyclovir can be considered close cousins as they are chemically similar.
Read on for the details about how effective suppressive therapy is and how it can affect transmission rates. Well also go over dosing and side effects of this medication. Note: This isnt a substitute for medical advice. You should always consult your doctor to determine whats right for your health.
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How Should I Take Valtrex
Take Valtrex exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Start taking Valtrex as soon as possible after the first appearance of symptoms . This medicine might not be as effective if you first start taking it 1 or 2 days after the start of your symptoms.
Some herpes infections need to be treated for longer than others. Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may increase the risk of your virus becoming resistant to antiviral medicine.
You may take Valtrex with or without food.
Tell your doctor if a child taking this medicine cannot swallow the tablet.
Drink plenty of water while you are taking Valtrex to keep your kidneys working properly.
Lesions caused by herpes viruses should be kept as clean and dry as possible. Wearing loose clothing may help to prevent irritation of the lesions.
Store Valtrex tablets at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Treatment Of Common Cutaneous Herpes Simplex Virus Infections
DAVID H. EMMERT, M.D., Lancaster General Hospital, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Am Fam Physician. 2000 Mar 15 61:1697-1704.
Herpes simplex virus infection is increasingly common in the United States. New antiviral medications have expanded treatment options for the two most common cutaneous manifestations, orolabial and genital herpes. Acyclovir therapy remains an effective and often less expensive option. Famciclovir and valacyclovir offer improved oral bioavailability and convenient oral dosing schedules but are more expensive than acyclovir. Patients who have six or more recurrences of genital herpes per year can be treated with one of the following regimens: acyclovir, 400 mg twice daily valacyclovir, 1 g daily or famciclovir, 250 mg twice daily. These regimens are effective in suppressing 70 to 80 percent of symptomatic recurrences. Episodic treatment of recurrent genital herpes is of questionable benefit, but it may be helpful in appropriately selected patients. There is little evidence indicating benefit from treatment of recurrent orolabial herpes, which tends to be mild and infrequent.
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Antiviral Uses In Preventing Flu
Here, your doctor may be able to prescribe an antiviral and that is if you come in close contact with other people or family members who may have the flu and you may further want to avoid getting the flu infection, the centers for disease control and prevention also abbreviated as CDC however discourages this kind of practice, this is simply because it can lead to drug resistance strains of this virus. People at risk of severe flu are recommended by CDC to take the antibiotics. These people are such as the pregnant mothers or people who have asthma related diseases, heart disease or heart attack do gain the antiviral treatment soon as the symptoms of the flu start to show. The most effective way to prevent flu is vaccination.
When And How Are Later Outbreaks Treated
Later outbreaks with only mild symptoms dont necessarily need to be treated. The blisters can then simply heal on their own.
But antiviral medication can also shorten the duration of later outbreaks by an average of about two days. If you decide to have treatment, its important to start it within the first 24 hours of the outbreak ideally, as soon as you notice the first symptoms. So its a good idea to always have a few tablets at home or to take them with you when you travel so they are ready to use. You can get a prescription from your doctor.
In later outbreaks you can take them for a shorter time. The WHO recommends the following:
- aciclovir: 400 mg three times per day or 800 mg two times per day for five days, or 800 mg three times per day for two days,
- famciclovir: 250 mg two times per day for five days, or
- valaciclovir: 500 mg two times per day for three days.
A different dose and treatment duration may be a good idea for people who have immune system disorders, such as an HIV infection.
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Valtrex And Liver Damage
The dosage for the therapy is one gram daily. Two grams can only be taken only if there is an outbreak. However, using it on a daily basis is too much for the people that are concerned about the drug’s effects of heavy doses on the liver, because it is where the valtrex is produced. But they can only be taken wherever an outbreak occurs.
How Can I Prevent Herpes Outbreaks
If you have lots of herpes outbreaks, your doctor may tell you to take medicine every day this is called suppressive therapy. It can help prevent future herpes outbreaks, and lower your chances of giving herpes to your partners.
Whether or not you take medicine to treat herpes, taking care of yourself by eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and avoiding stress might help keep future outbreaks from popping up.
No one knows for sure what triggers genital herpes outbreaks. Other infections, surgery, sex, your period, skin irritations, and stress may cause outbreaks. Sunburns, injuries to your lips, or other infections can cause oral herpes flare-ups. Try to avoid getting sunburned if you have oral herpes.
Genital herpes outbreaks usually happen less often and become shorter and weaker after a few years whether or not you get treated.
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Is There An Antiviral Treatment For Covid
Currently, antiviral therapy is available only for a limited number of infections, including those caused by HIV, herpes, hepatitis B and C, and influenza A and B. Drug companies and researchers are investigating new and existing antivirals for potential use in treating COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Several countries have approved the use of the drug remdesivir for certain patients.
The development of antivirals can be challenging. Because viruses are parasites that hijack host cell machinery, care must be taken to select drug targets that interfere with viral replication while causing as little harm to healthy host cells as possible. Like vaccines, antivirals must go through a multistep approval process by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration .
Zovirax Side Effects List For Healthcare Professionals
Adverse Drug Reaction Overview
Neurological side effects have also been reported in rare instances. Elderly patients and patients with a history of renal impairment are at increased risk of developing these effects. In the reported cases, these reactions were generally reversible on discontinuation of treatment.
Clinical Trial Adverse Drug Reactions
Because clinical trials are conducted under very specific conditions the adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials may not reflect the rates observed in practice and should not be compared to the rates in the clinical trials of another drug. Adverse drug reaction information from clinical trials is useful for identifying drug-related adverse events and for approximating rates.
Treatment of Herpes Simplex
Short-term administration : The most frequent adverse reactions reported during clinical trials of treatment of genital herpes with oral Zovirax in 298 patients are listed in Table 1.
Table 1 : Adverse Reactions Reported in Clinical Trials of Treatment of Genital Herpes with Acyclovir
Less Common Clinical Trial Adverse Drug Reactions
Abnormal Hematologic And Clinical Chemistry Findings
No clinically significant changes in laboratory values have been observed in clinical trials for the treatment of chickenpox and zoster, and for the treatment and suppression of genital herpes with Zovirax.
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What You Need To Know
- Fifty percent to 80 percent of U.S. adults have oral herpes.
- Oral herpes can be spread through intimate contact with someone who is infected.
- Oral herpes can be difficult to diagnose. Often confused with many other infections, it can only be confirmed with a virus culture called PCR, blood test or biopsy. PCR is the preferred test for diagnosing herpes infections.
- The best treatment for oral herpes is antiviral oral medication. Symptomatic treatment may include antiviral ointment, over-the-counter topical anesthetics or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents.
Whether you call it a cold sore or a fever blister, oral herpes is a common infection of the mouth area that is caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 . Fifty percent to 80 percent of U.S. adults have oral herpes. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 90 percent of adults have been exposed to the virus by age 50.
Once infected, a person will have herpes simplex virus for the rest of his or her life. When inactive, the virus lies dormant in a group of nerve cells. While some people never develop any symptoms from the virus, others will have periodic outbreaks of infections.
Cream For Genital Herpes
Wash your hands before and after using the cream.
Put a thin layer of cream on the affected area 5 times a day. Do this every 4 hours for example, at 7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm and 11pm.
Use the cream for at least 5 days. If the genital herpes sore has not healed by then, you can carry on using the cream for another 5 days.
If the affected area has still not healed after a total of 10 days, stop using the cream and tell your doctor.
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Who Can And Cannot Take Aciclovir
Aciclovir can be taken by most adults and children.
Aciclovir is not suitable for some people.
To make sure aciclovir is safe for you, tell your doctor if you:
- have had an allergic reaction to aciclovir or any other medicine in the past
- have kidney problems
- are over 65 years old
- are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding
If your immune system is weakened , talk to your doctor about the best type of aciclovir for you.
They may recommend tablets rather than the cream.