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March 29, 2021

Valacyclovir is an FDA-approved antiviral drug that slows the growth and spread of the herpes virus. This helps the body fight infection. This comes as a tablet for oral use.


What condition does Valacyclovir treat?

Valacyclovir is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of a certain type of infections that are caused by viruses:

  • In children, this is used for the treatment of chickenpox that is caused by varicella-zoster and herpes simplex.
  • In adults, this is used for the treatment of cold sores and shingles caused by herpes zoster.
  • This medication can also be used for the treatment of outbreaks of genital herpes.
  • In individuals with recurrent outbreaks, Valacyclovir is used to lessen the total of future episodes.

Even between outbreaks, these infections remain in the body. This medicine lessens the severity and extent of the outbreaks. Valacyclovir can also help decrease how long pain stays after the healing of the sores. 

How does Valacyclovir work?

Valacyclovir works by going over a complex chemical course that inhibits the mechanism the herpes virus uses to replicate. It prevents them from growing and decreasing the rate at which the infection spreads. The medicine stops the infection from spreading to a healthy cell. As a result, it lessens the effects of the virus.

It is important to know that this medication will make the effect of the infection less severe which means that the sores developed from the virus heal faster. Also, the other signs and symptoms of the infection can become less severe. The amount of time needed for this medication to control the outbreak is based on the severity and how soon you take Valacyclovir after noticing the symptoms.

For most early herpes outbreaks and cases of frequent herpes, this medicine takes effect very fast. It offers some level of relief in as little as two to three days. Usually, the earlier you take the medication after observing symptoms, the quicker it will be to provide relief.


What is the dosage of Valacyclovir?

The recommended dosage of Valacyclovir will depend based on the type of condition being treated and your age. Usually, the most common dosages are as follows:

  • For adults with shingles, you may take 1,000 mg to be taken three times a day, for seven days. It’s recommended to start the treatment within 72 hours of noticing the symptoms.
  • For adults with cold sores, 2,000 mg is typically used and within 12 hours you will have a second dose of 2,000 mg.
  • For the treatment of the first outbreak of genital herpes in adults, 1,000 mg two times a day is taken for 10 days. It’s recommended to start taking it within 48 hours of the symptoms becoming noticeable.
  • For adults with recurring genital herpes, 500 mg is taken, two times a day for three days. It’s suggested to begin the treatment as soon as a recurrent herpes symptom becomes noticeable.

It is important to note that these are usual dosages and may not be suitable for you based on your body weight symptoms, general health, and age. It is also important to talk to your doctor if you have kidney disease or a weakened immune system. These health conditions may affect the safety of this treatment.


What are the precautions in using Valacyclovir?

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women should talk about the risks of this treatment with a doctor before taking a dose of this medication.
  • This drug is known to potentially interact with other immunosuppressant and antiviral drugs, mainly those used in HIV/AIDS management. Medications that can interact with Valacyclovir include Tenofovir, Foscarnet, Zidovudine, Mycophenolate, and the zoster virus and varicella virus vaccines. If you use any of these medications, you need to discuss potential interactions with your doctor before taking Valacyclovir.
  • It is important to remember that this medication will not keep you from spreading herpes to others.
  • Don’t take this medication again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.
  • For older adults, their kidneys may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process medicines more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of medicine stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects. Valacyclovir should be taken carefully and as advised by a doctor.

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