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?
There is currently no cure for herpes so Valtrex won’t cure the virus but does help to make outbreaks less painful and more manageable. Even if taken during an outbreak though, it won’t completely stop you from passing the virus on to other people.
The virus that causes herpes remains in your body after you have been infected, and lays dormant or asleep between outbreaks. Taking Valtrex may make your symptoms of pain and itching more manageable and may reduce the duration of the outbreak, helping blisters to resolve faster and preventing new blisters from forming. Antiviral treatment does not completely reduce the risk of transmission of the virus to other sexual partners, and so it is recommended that you have no sexual contact while you are having an outbreak.
Because you can also pass on the virus when you are symptom free, experts advise condoms should be used at all times if possible, to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to your sexual partners.
If you suffer from regular flare-ups of any type of herpes simplex virus 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, itching and/or blisters appearing. Valtrex might not be as effective at treating your symptoms if you ignore them or delay the start of your treatment, so it’s best to start it as soon as you start to get symptoms.
How should I take Valtrex?
The common dosage for the first outbreak of genital herpes and cold sore is one 500mg tablet taken two times a day for 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.
Please note, product packaging may differ from the image above.
You can take Valtrex tablets with or without food, but you should drink plenty of water while you’re taking the medication, especially if you have kidney problems or are over the age of 65.
The tablets should be taken at regular intervals and complete the course as your doctor has advised. Complete 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. If this 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 breastfeeding.
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