Valaciclovir

Valaciclovir is the generic version of Valtrex tablets. It is an antiviral medicine used for genital herpes. Valaciclovir tablets contain the active ingredient ‘valaciclovir hydrochloride monohydrate’, which can be used to treat herpes outbreaks. Dr Felix can prescribe this antiviral treatment for acute herpes outbreaks or prevent recurring ones.

Use our confidential and discreet service to order your herpes treatment online. Simply fill in the genital herpes consultation form and place your order. One of our doctors will review your answers and issue a prescription if appropriate. All our medicine is dispensed from our NHS registered pharmacy in discreet packaging.

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Our prices

Strength Quantity Price
500mg10 tablets23.99
500mg20 tablets33.99
500mg30 tablets43.99
500mg84 tablets94.99
Prices exclude a prescription fee. Find out more

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About

What is Valaciclovir?

Valaciclvor is an antiviral treatment for the herpes virus. It is used to treat genital herpes, cold sores and shingles. It doesn't cure the virus but it works to reduce outbreaks of herpes, easing the pain or discomfort and helping the sores to heal faster. 

How long does it take for Valaciclovir to work?

Valaciclovir will start to work as soon as it is in your system but it will take a few days to make a visible difference. The first time you are being treated for herpes, the sores can take up to ten days to disappear. For consecutive treatments, Valaciclovir will usually work in 3-5 days. 

Am I still contagious when taking Valaciclovir ?

If you have herpes, you will be contagious during an outbreak of sores. Even if you are taking Valaciclovir, you should not have sex until your blisters have healed. If you have cold sores around your mouth then you should avoid kissing until they have disappeared again. 

Valaciclovir for prevention

Valaciclovir can also be used to prevent outbreaks of herpes if you experience frequent outbreaks of sores. Always take it as your doctor has prescribed it.

Other uses of Valaciclovir

Valaciclovir can also be prescribed to treat cold sores, shingles and chickenpox in children.  

Ingredients

Active ingredients

Valaciclovir is the active ingredient contained in the medicine. 

Inactive ingredients

The inactive ingredients are microcrystalline cellulose, crospovidone, povidone, magnesium stearate and silica colloidal anhydrous.

Please Note: Different manufacturers of generic Valaciclovir might use different inactive ingredients in their drugs that those listed here.

Dosage

How to use Valaciclovir tablets

Always take Valaciclovir as your doctor has prescribed it. The tablet should be swallowed whole with a glass of water and you should try and take it at the same time each day. 

Valaciclovir dosage

The dosage of Valaciclovir you should take will depend on what you are being treated for. For genital herpes, the usual dosage is 500mg taken twice a day.  To treat cold sores the dose is 2000mg twice a day and for shingles it's 1000mg taken three times a day.

Side Effects

Valaciclovir side effects

Common side effects include: 

  • Headaches
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Dizziness 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Photosensitivity 
  • Itching 
  • Rash 

Less common side effects include: 

  • Drowsiness 
  • Confusion 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Agitation 
  • Tremors
  • Stomach discomfort 
  • Short of breath
  • Rash
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Bloody urine 

Rare side effects may include:

  • Unsteadiness when walking 
  • Convulsions 
  • Slurred speech
  • Altered brain function

Contraindications

Do not take Valaciclovir if you are allergic to any of the ingredients. 

Consult your doctor if you have:

  • Kidney problems 
  • Liver problems 
  • A weakened immune system 

Or if you are over the age of 65.

Drug interactions

Let your doctor know if you are taking any other medications, in particular ones that affect the kidneys. 

How to deal with side effects of Valaciclovir

Drinking plenty of water during the day will help to prevent side effects from occurring. Make sure you get enough rest if you get an upset stomach, sipping water slowly to stay hydrated. If you get headaches you can take painkillers such as paracetamol to ease the discomfort. 

Valaciclovir and pregnancy

Valaciclovir is not recommended during pregnancy. Inform your doctor so that they can prescribe you with a suitable treatment. 

Treatment Options

Non-prescription alternatives

If you have an outbreak of herpes there are several things you can do to make yourself more comfortable and promote healing. Holding a cold compress against the affected area can help to soothe discomfort. Avoid itching and ensure the area is kept clean. You can take painkillers like ibuprofen to ease pain and inflammation. Over the counter creams are available which are applied directly to the skin to speed up the healing of the blisters. 

Q&A

Can Valaciclovir cause thrush?

Valaciclovir does not cause thrush. If you experience thrush while you are using Valaciclovir then ask your GP for advice as you will need a separate treatment for it. The symptoms of vaginal thrush commonly include itching, discomfort, redness and a white discharge.   

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