Famciclovir belongs to the class of drugs called nucleoside analogs. This was already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is available in the strengths of 250 mg and 500 mg tablets for oral use.
What condition does Famciclovir treat?
Famciclovir is used for the treatment of infections caused by viruses. It gives treatment to shingles that are caused by herpes zoster and outbreaks of herpes simplex. This medication may use to help lessen the number of future episodes especially for those with recurrent outbreaks of genital herpes.
Even between outbreaks, the viruses that cause infections continue to live in the body. This medication lessens the severity and extent of these outbreaks. This helps to lessen itching, cure the sores faster, and keeps different sores from developing.
How does Famciclovir work?
Famciclovir stops these herpes viruses from duplicating and infecting more cells in the body. When inside the body, this medicine is changed into another antiviral medicine called Penciclovir. It is changed to an additional active system inside the body’s cells that are infected with herpes viruses. By being extra activated, it works by stopping the action of the DNA polymerase.
The herpes viruses need the DNA polymerase enzyme to duplicate their genetic material from RNA to DNA. This method is needed for the viruses to grow and stay alive. By stopping the act of DNA polymerase, it avoids the herpes viruses from increasing. As a result, it helps the immune system to deal with it and it controls the infection.
What is the dosage of Famciclovir?
Before taking a dose of this medication, tell your doctor if you are over 50 years of age or if you have:
- A problem with your kidneys or body’s immune system
- High blood pressure, diabetes, liver problems, heart problems, or other medical conditions
- Signs of an infection other than your cold sore
Your dosage and how often you take the medicine will depend on:
- Your age and how you react to the first dose
- The condition being treated and how severe it is
- Other medical conditions you are taking
For genital herpes outbreaks
- In ages 18 years and older: The typical dosage for treatment is 1,000 mg to be taken twice each day. For the long-term, the typical dosage is 250 mg to be taken twice each day.
For shingles outbreaks
- In ages 18 years and older: The typical dosage is 500 mg every 8 hours, should be taken for 7 days.
If you stop taking the medication suddenly or don’t take it at all, your condition may not get better or might get worse. If you weren’t able to take the medicine on schedule, it may not work as well. For this medicine to work properly, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times. If you miss too many doses over time, Famciclovir may not work as well against the herpes viruses in your body. Also, if you take too much, you could have dangerous levels of medicine in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of Famciclovir can include:
If you miss taking a dosage, take it as soon as you remember. However, if you remember it before your next arranged dose, you need to only take one dose. Do not try to catch up by taking two doses. This might result in risky side effects.
What are the precautions in using Famciclovir?
- Check with your doctor if your symptoms become worse or do not improve within a few days.
- The parts affected by herpes must be kept as clean and dry as possible. Similarly, wear loose-fitting clothing to prevent irritating the sores.
- This medication may cause some people to become drowsy, dizzy, or less alert than they are usually. If any of these side effects happen, do not use machines, drive, or do anything else that can be unsafe if you are dizzy or are not alert while you are taking this medicine.
- Famciclovir does not prevent the sexual transmission of genital herpes. You must avoid having sex when lesions are present to avoid infecting your partner.
- If you are having any other medical treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking Famciclovir.
- Tell your pharmacist or doctor if you have experienced an allergy to this medicine before. If you have any other allergies, inform your doctor also.