Valtrex (valacyclovir hydrochloride) is an antiviral drug which helps treat genital herpes, shingles, and cold sores. It slows the growth and spread of the herpes virus so that the body can fight off the infection. It reduces the symptoms of these infections and shortens the length of time you are sick.
Valtrex does not cure herpes infections but decreases pain and itching, helps heals sores, and prevents new ones from forming. Do not use this medication if you are allergic to any ingredient in Valtrex or acyclovir. You should consult with your doctor before taking Valtrex if you:
- are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement;
- have kidney disease;
- are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breast feeding
- have HIV or AIDS
- have had a bone marrow or kidney transplant.
This medication may cause Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura in immuno-suppressed patients such as those infected with HIV. It should not be used for the treatment of viral infections in immuno-suppressed patients. It is meant for adults with healthy immune systems.
How to take Valtrex
To treat cold sores, shingles, or genital herpes, start treatment as soon as possible after symptoms start. Valtrex is taken orally. You can take it with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids.
Take all of the Valtrex that has been prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may start to improve before the infection is completely treated.
Lesions caused by herpes viruses should be kept as clean and dry as possible.
Side effects of Valtrex
- nausea; headache; vomiting; dizziness; stomach pain; painful menstruation; joint pain; depression
- bone pain, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting.
What should I avoid while taking Valtrex?
- Herpes infections are communicable and 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.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on with your regular schedule. Do not double your dose. In case of overdose, seek emergency medical treatment ASAP.
Valtrex is to be stored at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep it out of reach of children.
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