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Famciclovir is an antiviral medication used to treat a variety of
conditions caused by the herpes zoster virus.
Famciclovir provides a number of benefits for patients experiencing
- Reduces symptoms associated with outbreaks, such as pain,
itching, tingling and burning.
- Shortens the duration of sores, promotes healing, and prevents
new sores from forming.
- Reduces the frequency of recurrent outbreaks or episodes.
- Prevents outbreaks of genital herpes from happening altogether
for up to 1 year.
- Many patients notice an improvement in just one day.
Famciclovir is also known by the brand name Famvir.
Famciclovir is not a cure for herpes and will not prevent the
spread of the virus to other persons.
Who Uses Famciclovir?
Famciclovir is commonly prescribed to treat symptoms associated
with the herpes zoster virus:
- Cold sores or fever blisters
- Chicken pox
- Genital herpes
- Sores in the mouth or mucus membranes of HIV positive
Sores resulting from herpes zoster are often painful, irritating
and embarrassing. While there is no cure for herpes zoster,
Famciclovir provides relief from all symptoms -- in as little as
How Does it Work?
Essentially Famciclovir interferes with the ability of the herpes
zoster virus to thrive, reproduce or spread.
In healthy patients it aids the immune system in combating the
virus by inhibiting spread of the virus while promoting healing. In
patients with compromised immune systems, such as from HIV
infection, Famciclovir contributes greatly to preventing the spread
of the virus to other parts of the body.
If taken early enough in an outbreak symptoms may be nearly
non-existent. If used persistently Famciclovir prevents outbreaks
of genital herpes altogether in some patients, though the virus can
still be spread to others.
How is it Taken?
Famciclovir is a tablet which can be taken with or without
Dosage strength and duration of treatment will vary according to
the condition being treated, the patient's medical condition, and
the patient's response to treatment. It is important to follow
doctor instructions carefully to maximize the medication's
- For chicken pox or shingles Famciclovir is usually given three
times a day for one week.
- For cold sores or fever blisters most patients will take just
one dose as soon as symptoms appear.
- For recurrent episodes of genital herpes it is taken twice for
just 1 day, as soon as symptoms are noticed.
- For preventing recurrent genital herpes outbreaks it may be
taken twice a day for up to 12 months.
- For HIV positive patients it is frequently given twice a day
for one week.
Most people who use Famciclovir keep some on hand so it can be
taken quickly when symptoms are first noticed. It may not be as
effective if symptoms are allowed to develop for some time before
Active ingredient: famciclovir
Inactive ingredients: sodium starch glycolate, lactose,
hydroxypropyl cellulose, titanium dioxide, hydroxypropyl
methylcellulose, polyethylene glycols, magnesium stearate
Patients with known hypersensitivity to any of the ingredients
in Famciclovir should not take this product. This product
Used properly, Famciclovir is a very safe medication with the most
common side effects of mild headache, diarrhea, and nausea.
A few patients will become dizzy, sleepy or mildly confused while
taking Famciclovir and should not operate vehicles or
Pregnant or nursing mothers should consult a physician before using
Patients should read the information provided with the
medication for a complete list of possible adverse effects and
interactions prior to taking Famciclovir or any other
Contraindications and Interactions:
Famciclovir may interact with other prescription and
These interactions are not
always serious but may interfere with effectiveness. The
prescribing physician should be made aware of all medications being
taken, including non-prescription medications, for the duration of