Stocked by Sep 30 or later
Stocked by Apr 30 or later
Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional. Brands and generics both contain the same active ingredient(s) and are medically equivalent. Some brands are marketed under different names by the same manufacturing country depending on the country of origin.
Valaciclovir is the non-proprietary name for an antiviral medication predominantly used to treat herpes outbreaks. The medication helps prevent outbreaks and reduces the severity of outbreaks that do happen.
Though somewhat less common, the medication has other applications as well. Valaciclovir may be used to help treat:
The medication works by attacking an enzyme needed by the viruses to replicate and spread. Unable to thrive, the virus is more easily defeated by the immune system. This provides several benefits to patients, depending on the condition being treated:
Treatment with Valaciclovir may not prevent all outbreaks all of the time, but will significantly reduce the frequency with which they happen. Outbreaks that do occur will be shorter and symptoms will not be as apparent or troublesome.
While Valaciclovir is effective at treating symptoms of viral outbreaks, it is not a cure. It may inhibit spread of viruses to others, but does not eliminate the possibility. Herpes in particular is highly contagious and practicing safe sex is highly advisable even if Valaciclovir is being taken.
As an antiviral medication, Valaciclovir will have little effect on bacterial or fungal infections and should not be used to treat them.
Dosage & Administration
Valaciclovir comes in tablets, which should be swallowed whole. Taking with food is optional, but food may help ease gastrointestinal side effects. Plenty of fluids should be consumed for the duration of treatment.
Treatment depends largely on what is being treated.
To treat herpes:
To reduce or prevent recurrent herpes outbreaks:
To treat shingles:
To treat Epstein-Barr virus:
To prevent cytomegalovirus:
Taking smaller-dose Valaciclovir tablets together constitutes one large dose; for example, two 500 mg tablets taken together is the same as taking one 1000 mg tablet.
Valaciclovir is rarely given to children except in cases of organ transplants.
It's important to complete treatment even if symptoms improve or disappear. Discontinuing treatment too soon contributes to virus resistance.
Side effects from Valaciclovir are fairly rare when the medication is used properly. Most are mild and do not warrant medical attention unless they are severe or persistent:
Other precautions to ensure treatment goes well:
Some other drugs are known to interact with Valaciclovir, making treatment less effective. A pharmacist or doctor can point out potentially conflicting medications.