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.
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.
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 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.
Valaciclovir can also be prescribed to treat cold sores, shingles and chickenpox in children.
Valaciclovir is the active ingredient contained in the medicine.
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.
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.
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.
Common side effects include:
Less common side effects include:
Rare side effects may include:
Do not take Valaciclovir if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.
Consult your doctor if you have:
Or if you are over the age of 65.
Let your doctor know if you are taking any other medications, in particular ones that affect the kidneys.
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 is not recommended during pregnancy. Inform your doctor so that they can prescribe you with a suitable treatment.
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.
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.