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. DrFelix 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.
Complete a short consultation before selecting your medication. All our consultations are approved by a UK Medical Doctor.
Summary of available medications
|Valaciclovir 500mg||10 to 30 tablets (1-3 outbreaks)||From £23.99|
|Valaciclovir 500mg||10 tablets (1 outbreak)||£23.99|
|Valaciclovir 500mg||20 tablets (2 outbreaks)||£33.99|
|Valaciclovir 500mg||30 tablets (3 outbreaks)||£43.99|
|Valaciclovir 500mg||Suppression (3 months/84 tablets)||£94.99|
What is valaciclovir?Valaciclovir 500mg tablets are often used to treat genital herpes, although it is also sometimes used to treat chicken pox, shingles, and severe outbreaks of cold sores. All of these conditions are caused by the same virus – the herpes simplex virus (HSV).
What is genital herpes?Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), although it is unique in that you do not necessarily have to have had intercourse to contract the virus. Skin to skin contact alone is enough to transmit the virus from an infected person to an uninfected person. It is important to understand that there is no cure for genital herpes. While this sounds scary, the condition is a manageable one.
What happens after I contract the herpes virus?After you become infected, HSV stays in your body, going in and out of a dormant phase. Occasionally, you may have symptoms that may flare-up from time to time. When treated early, it is possible to effectively treat these symptoms with anti-viral medication. However, it is important to be up-front about your diagnosis with any partner, so that they may themselves get tested and/or treated.
How do I know if I have genital herpes?Symptoms of genital herpes include a diffuse, cold sore-like blistering of the genitals, which can be quite painful, especially if it is a first infection. Just like with cold sores and chicken pox, these blisters are highly contagious, and the virus is very easily spread from partner to partner via skin to skin contact. Even when there are no blisters present, there is still a 10% chance of contracting HSV through something called viral shedding. If you have been diagnosed with genital herpes, it is often more severe at the onset; some people can have up to 4 or 5 outbreaks in the first year. If you think that you may have become infected with genital herpes, it is important to get tested and consult a doctor for treatment.
How do I take Valaciclovir?Valciclovir stops HSV from rapidly multiplying in your body, effectively slowing down the virus enough to keep your symptoms under control. However, it is important to understand that valaciclovir is not a cure for herpes; there is no cure for genital herpes. Valaciclovir cannot clear your body of HSV. The standard treatment with valaciclovir for an initial outbreak of HSV is one 500 mg tablet twice a day for five to ten days. In many cases, patients may stay on an anti-viral drug for a longer period of time, taking it as suppressive therapy to prevent future breakouts.
How effective is Valaciclovir at treating genital herpes?Valaciclovir is used widely for the control of the herpes virus, therefore it is quite effectiveSo long as you take Valaciclovir as instructed, it should control the spread and extent of your genital herpes. Make sure you take it within the first five days after symptoms appear to maximise treatment effectiveness. Genital herpes cannot be completely cured as the virus cannot be totally eliminated; only the spread of the virus can be controlled.
Things to know before you start taking Valaciclovir
- Certain immunizations interact with Valaciclovir. Any plans for vaccinations must be mentioned in your consultation.
- Valaciclovir can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight than normal. It is important to use a good high-SPF sun cream while taking Valaciclovir.
- You must declare in your consultation if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or actively trying to have a baby.
- Valaciclovir can cause dehydration, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids.
- You should avoid alcohol while taking Valaciclovir.
- Tell the doctor during your consultation about all other medications, herbal, or over-the-counter remedies you are taking; some of these may interact with Valaciclovir.
What does each Valaciclovir tablet contain?
Each tablet contains 500mg of valaciclovir hydrochloride monohydrate. For a complete list of further ingredients, please refer to the patient information leaflet.
Valaciclovir is also sold under the brand name Valtrex. Both are clinically identical and effective in containing the herpes virus.
What are some of the side effects of valaciclovir?
Side effects of valaciclovir include stomach cramps, diarrhoea, and itchiness. These side effects are generally thought of as minor and should subside in time. However, if your side effects persist, you should see a doctor.
If you have a history of kidney problems then consult your GP; people with kidney problems should not take valaciclovir.
If you experience any of the side effects below, you should contact your doctor or local A&E at once.
- Severe dizziness or drowsiness
- Back Pain
- Drastic change in amount of urine you produce
- Lack of coordination
- Seizures (fits)
- Rash, flushing of the skin, or swelling of the face
- Difficulty breathing or wheezing
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