Brand Name: Valtrex
Generic Name: Valacyclovir
Uses and Indications
Valtrex is an antiviral drug. It slows the growth and spread of the herpes virus so that the body can fight off the infection. Valtrex will not cure herpes, but it can lessen the symptoms of the infection.
Valtrex is used to treat infections caused by herpes viruses in adults and children. Illnesses caused by herpes viruses include genital herpes, cold sores, shingles, and chickenpox.
Valtrex is used to treat cold sores in children who are at least 12 years old, and to treat chickenpox in children who are at least 2 years old.
Safe usage and general guidance
Take Valtrex exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Treatment with Valtrex should be started as soon as possible after the first appearance of symptoms (such as tingling, burning, blisters). This medication might not be as effective if you first start taking it 1 or 2 days after the start of your symptoms.
Take each dose with a full glass of water. Drink plenty of water while you are taking Valtrex to keep your kidneys working properly. Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Valtrex can be taken with or without food.
Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Valtrex will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.
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.
Precautions and risks
Before you take Valtrex, tell your doctor if you have HIV/AIDS, a weak immune system, kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis), or if you have had a kidney or bone marrow transplant.
Valtrex can be harmful to the kidneys, and these effects are increased when it is used together with other medicines that can harm the kidneys. Tell your doctor about all other medications you are using. You may need dose adjustments or special tests when taking certain medications together with Valtrex.
Treatment with Valtrex should be started as soon as possible after the first appearance of symptoms (such as tingling, burning, blisters).
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.
Valtrex will not prevent the spread of genital herpes. Herpes infections are contagious and you can infect other people even while you are taking with Valtrex.
Stop taking Valtrex and call your doctor right away if you have any signs of a serious side effect that can harm red blood cells, such as: fever, easy bruising or bleeding, red spots on the skin (not related to herpes or chickenpox), bloody diarrhea, vomiting, pale or yellowed skin, weakness, fainting, or urinating less than usual or not at all.