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Valtrex

Classification: Sexual Health
Generic Name: Valacyclovir
Typical Brand Names: Valtrex

Valtrex tablets contain the active ingredient valaciclovir. Valaciclovir is known as a pro-drug. Once inside the body it is broken down into the active ingredient aciclovir, which is an antiviral medicine used to treat infections with herpes viruses. These include the viruses that cause cold sores and genital herpes (herpes simplex 1 and 2) and the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles (varicella zoster or herpes varicellae). Aciclovir works by stopping these herpes viruses from reproducing and infecting more cells in the body.

Aciclovir is converted to a more active form inside cells of the body that are infected with herpes viruses. The activated aciclovir then works by blocking the action of a viral enzyme called DNA polymerase.

The herpes viruses need the DNA polymerase enzyme to copy their genetic material from RNA to DNA. This process is necessary for the viruses to multiply and continue to survive. By blocking the action of DNA polymerase, aciclovir prevents the herpes viruses from multiplying. This controls the infection and helps the immune system to deal with it.

Valaciclovir is taken by mouth to treat herpes infections that cause shingles (herpes zoster). It is also taken to treat herpes simplex infections of the skin and mucous membranes, including genital herpes. Valaciclovir can be used to treat recurrent flare-ups of herpes simplex infection. It is most effective at preventing the sores from developing if treatment is started as soon as the warning signs appear.

If you suffer from frequent herpes simplex flare-ups your doctor may prescribe valaciclovir for you to take regularly, to suppress the virus and prevent recurrences. Valaciclovir taken regularly can also reduce the risk of passing the genital herpes to a sexual partner, provided safe sex practices such as condoms are used as well. However, you should still avoid sexual contact when the sores are present to avoid passing on the virus.

Valaciclovir has a further use in preventing infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV) in people who have had a kidney transplant. CMV is another member of the herpes group of viruses. In healthy people this common virus normally produces symptoms milder than the common cold, but in people whose immune systems are compromised it can cause serious infection because the immune system cannot fight it.

Product Name Price
Valtrex 500 mg - 30 Tabs $246.64
Valtrex 1000 mg - 21 Tabs $305.89
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Valtrex Directions To Use

Valtrex comes as a tablet to take it orally. It is usually taken every 8 hours (three times a day) for 7 days to treat shingles. To treat genital herpes it is usually taken twice a day for 5 days. For cold sores, Valtrex is usually taken for one day only. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Use this medication as soon as possible after symptoms appear. Continue to take Valtrex even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Valtrex without talking to your doctor.

Valtrex Warnings and Side Effects

Do not take Valtrex without first talking to your doctor if you are allergic to acyclovir (Zovirax). Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease or immune system problems. You may need a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment with Valtrex. Valtrex is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether Valtrex passes into breast milk and how it may affect a nursing baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Nausea, vomiting, headache, loss of appetite, weakness, stomach pain or dizziness may occur the first several days as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects continue or become bothersome, inform your doctor. Notify your doctor if your condition does not appear to improve or you experience a worsening of symptoms while taking Valtrex.

Valtrex Missed Dose

Try to take each Valtrex dose at the scheduled time. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as remembered; do not take it if it is near the time for the next Valtrex dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the Valtrex dose to catch up.

Valtrex Storage

Store at 15° to 25°C (59° to 77°F).Keep Valtrex a tightly closed container. Do not keep medicine that is out of date or that you no longer need. Keep Valtrex and all medicines out of the reach of children.

Valtrex Overdose

Seek emergency medical treatment if an overdose is suspected. The symptoms of an overdose of Valtrex are not well known, but an overdose of acyclovir (Zovirax), which is a similar drug, may cause seizures, hallucinations, and kidney damage (decreased urine production).

Valtrex More Information

Herpes infections are contagious and you can infect other people, even during treatment. Avoid letting infected areas come into contact with other people. Wash your hands frequently to prevent transmission. Valtrex will not prevent the spread of genital herpes. Avoidance of sexual intercourse and use of latex condoms may prevent spreading the virus to others.

Valtrex Disclaimer

This drug information is for your information purposes only, it is not intended that this information covers all uses, directions, drug interactions, precautions, or adverse effects of your medication. This is only general information, and should not be relied on for any purpose. It should not be construed as containing specific instructions for any particular patient. We disclaim all responsibility for the accuracy and reliability of this information, and/or any consequences arising from the use of this information, including damage or adverse consequences to persons or property, however such damages or consequences arise. No warranty, either expressed or implied, is made in regards to this information.