Who can use Valtrex?
Valtrex is suitable for adults and children over the age of 12 for the treatment of cold sores.
Children over the age of two can take it to treat chickenpox (varicella zoster).
Adults can also use Valtrex to treat shingles (herpes zoster) and genital herpes (herpes simplex).
Will Valtrex cure herpes?
Valtrex doesn’t cure herpes and it won’t completely stop you from passing the virus on to other people.
The viruses that cause herpes infections live in your body even between outbreaks. Taking Valtrex may reduce the length and severity of flare-ups. It also treats your symptoms during a flare-up, helping to heal sores faster, stopping more sores from forming, and reducing the itching and pain.
If you suffer from regular flare-ups of any type of herpes simplex infection your doctor might prescribe Valtrex to help suppress the virus and reduce the number of flare ups you experience.
When should I start to take Valtrex?
It’s best to start taking Valtrex as soon as you notice the first signs of a herpes flare-up. The symptoms to be aware of include tingling, burning and/or blisters. Don’t ignore the symptoms, because Valtrex might not be as effective at treating your symptoms if you leave it a day or more before you start taking it.
How should I take Valtrex?
The common dosage for genital herpes and cold sore is one 500mg tablet taken two times a day for a duration of five days. Always follow your doctor’s instructions when taking Valtrex and if you’re not sure about anything, ask a health professional for advice.
You can take Valtrex tablets with or without food, and you should drink plenty of water while you’re taking the medicine, especially if you have kidney problems or are over the age of 65.
Make sure that you take the tablets at regular intervals and that you complete the course as your doctor has told you to. Carry on with the full course even if the infection seems to have cleared up.
If you forget to take a tablet, you should take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose, or you don’t realise until your next dose is due. If that happens, you can skip the missed pill and carry on as usual. Don’t take a double dose to make up for the one you’ve missed.
Who shouldn’t use Valtrex?
You shouldn’t use it if you are allergic to drugs containing valaciclovir or aciclovir (like Zovirax).
You’ll also need to ask your doctor or pharmacist’s advice before using Valtrex if
- you have kidney disease
- you’re on dialysis
- you have HIV/AIDS, or any other conditions that might weaken your immune system
- You’ve had a kidney or bone marrow transplant
Valaciclovir should be used with caution during breast feeding and only when clinically indicated.
If you’re pregnant, medical advice is that you should prevent/treat any genital herpes sores straight away as they can be transferred to your baby during birth. However, Valaciclovir should only be used in pregnancy if the potential benefits of treatment outweigh the potential risk.
Always ask your doctor’s advice before using Valtrex in pregnancy or while breast feeding.