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Famcimac (famciclovir) is an antiviral medication predominantly used to minimize the symptoms of a herpes outbreak, as well as reduce the frequency of outbreaks. Note that this medication is not a cure for herpes and will not prevent spread of the virus to other people.

The medication works by interfering with the virus's ability to reproduce, spread, and thrive. If taken at the earliest symptoms of an outbreak---such as itching, tingling, or burning sensations---symptoms will likely be brief and very mild.

Famcimac is often used to help treat:

  • Chicken pox
  • Shingles
  • Cold sores/fever blisters
  • Genital herpes
  • Herpes zoster
  • Sores in the mucous membranes of immunocompromised patients

Sores resulting from herpes are often irritating and painful, not to mention embarrassing. Famcimac helps patients quickly get over the symptoms of an outbreak---often within just one or two days of starting treatment.

Dosage & Administration

Famcimac comes in tablets, usually in doses of 500 mg each. Tablets can be taken with or without food according to personal preference. Taking with food may help alleviate gastrointestinal side effects, if experienced. A glass of fluid is recommended with each dose.

Ideally a doctor will determine dosage strength and duration of treatment, which does vary according to the exact condition being treated and may vary depending on personal variables such as age, weight, other medical conditions present, other medications being taken, and so forth. Individual response to treatment may also be an important factor in determining the optimal dosage and duration of treatment.

Basic treatment guidelines are as follows:

  • Chicken pox: In patients age 1 to 11, administer 150 to 500 mg (depending on weight) three times per day for one week.
  • Shingles: Take 500 mg three times per day for one week.
  • Cold sores or fever blisters: Take 1500 mg once as soon as symptoms are noticed.
  • Genital herpes outbreaks: Take 1000 mg in the morning and 1000 mg in the evening for one day.
  • Preventing genital herpes outbreaks: Take 250 mg twice per day for up to 12 months.
  • Herpes zoster: Take 500 mg every 8 hours for one week.
  • Sores in the mucous membranes of immunocompromised individuals: Take 500 mg twice per day for one week.

While Famcimac will still provide some benefit if taken at later stages of an outbreak, effects will be more significant when it's taken at the first symptoms, or, in the interest of preventing frequently-recurring outbreaks, before symptoms are present at all. It's a good idea to keep some Famcimac on-hand so symptoms can be treated as soon as they're noticed.

The majority of patients find Famcimac quite beneficial:

  • Symptoms associated with outbreaks, including itching, tingling, pain, burning, and so forth are minimized or eliminated.
  • Reduces the duration of sores and inhibits new sores from forming.
  • As a preventive treatment, significantly reduces the frequency of outbreaks.
  • Begins working after the first dose; many patients experience significant improvements on the first day of treatment.

Remember, while Famcimac maybe reduce the chances of passing the infection to another individual, it does not eliminate it entirely. Skin-to-skin contact---even if no sores are present---is always risky.

Potential Side Effects

Famcimac is generally a very safe medication. The majority of side effects are mild, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Mild confusion

The above are not cause for concern unless severe or persistant. Patients should avoid operating vehicles, machinery, or other dangerous tasks until effects are known.

Pregnant or nursing mothers should discuss potential risks with a doctor prior to taking Famcimac.

Famcimac is known to interact with some other medications, including over-the-counter varieties, which can render one or more of the medications less effective. In the interest of safe and effective treatment, always double-check with a doctor or pharmacist before mixing medications.

A more comprehensive list of side effects can be found on the insert included with each package of Famcimac.


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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.

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FAMCIMAC / famciclovir
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