Valaciclovir is an anti-viral drug, and acts to slow the spread of the herpes virus to other parts of the body which helps supress herpes related symptoms such as cold sores.
Valaciclovir for Genital Herpes
Valaciclovir (also spelt Valacyclovir) is prescribed to combat the infection caused by the herpes virus, such as genital herpes, cold sores and shingles in adults. It can also be used to treat cold sores in children who are at 12 years and above. The medicine is an anti-viral drug, and acts to slow the spread of the herpes virus to other parts of the body which helps your body get rid of it. Although there is no cure for herpes, Valaciclovir prevents you from spreading the virus and it will treat the symptoms of the infection. You may also know this medicine by its brand name Valtrex.
Different Strengths of Valaciclovir:
We sell Valaciclovir in the 500mg strength. If you do not yet have a prescription, you can fill in and send our doctors an evaluation of your symptoms and they will decide whether your condition would be appropriately treated with Valaciclovir. If they think it will help you, you will be given a prescription, which will allow you to be able to buy the medicine with us.
The 500mg dose can be taken once or twice a day, depending on the instruction of your doctor. It will be taken for between 3-5 days.
How should Valaciclovir be taken?
Follow the instructions given to you by your doctor. Make sure you use the medicine for the full prescribed time and do not take more or less than you have been advised. You should begin using Valaciclovir as soon as symptoms of a Herpes infection begin. Signs of herpes are tingling, blistering or burning sensations.
You can take the tablet before or after eating, with a glass of water. If you have lesions as a result of herpes, try and keep them as dry as possible and avoid any irritation such as tight clothing.
If you realise that you have forgotten to take one of the doses, take it as soon as you remember. However, if you don’t remember until it is close to the next time you are due to take your medicine then skip your dose and continue as normal. You must not double dose.
Always tell your doctor your medical history and a list of any medication, herbal or not, that you are currently taking before being prescribed this medicine. This information will allow your doctor to ensure that the medication is safe for your consumption and be confident that it will not cause any negative drug interactions. In particular, it is of high importance if you have ever suffered any kidney related problems or are taking any medicine for your kidneys to tell your doctor.
Here is a list of the usual instructions given to patients on how they should take Valaciclovir:
- Cold Sores
Usually you will be told to take 2000mg two times a day. They should be spaced around 12 hours apart. It will only need to be taken for one day.
- Genital Herpes or HSV infection of the skin
500mg should be taken two times a day. It can be taken for between 5-10 days to properly treat this condition.
The usual dose given may be adjusted for you by your doctor if you fall under any of the following categories:
- Over 65 years of age
- Have a weak immune system
- Have kidney problems
This medicine is not appropriate for children under the age of 12.
Possible Side Effects of Valaciclovir
Although Valaciclovir can have many positive effects, it may also cause you some unwanted symptoms. You may not experience any side effects, however, if you do you should contact your doctor or seek medical attention if more severe symptoms arise.
Common Side Effects
- lack of appetite
- fatigue or sleepiness
- difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- feeling empty or irritable
- Bodily aches or pains
- Symptoms usually associated with a cold such as congested sinuses and ears, sore throat, sneezing, loss of voice
Uncommon Side Effects
- Change in bowel movement, may develop diarrhoea or constipation
- Skin rashes or hives
- Sun burn
- Pain in your chest
- Change in urination habit
- Flu-like symptoms
- Pain in the lower back or side
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Feeling agitated, anxious, dizzy, tired or nervous
- Unintentional weight change
- Nausea or vomiting
- Swelling of the fingers, face or legs
In rare cases patients taking Valaciclovir can suffer from a severe allergic reaction to the medicine. If you experience any of the warning symptoms you MUST contact an emergency service such as 111 or 999 immediately. The signs of a severe allergic reaction are:
- Developing a skin rash which is itchy, red, swollen, blistered or peeling
- Your chest or throat feeling tight. This can also be displayed through wheezing.
- Experiencing difficulty in breathing or talking
- Your facial extremities become swollen i.e. you mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat.
Store Valaciclovir tablets in dry conditions below 30oc. Ensure they remain out of reach of children and pets. Do not use them past their expiry date. Ask your pharmacist for advice on how to dispose on any medication not used. You cannot dispose of medicine via wastewater or the house hold waste.
How can I buy Valaciclovir online in the UK?
If you are a valid UK citizen and have a prescription from a doctor, you will be able to purchase Valaciclovir online in the UK with us, Medicine Direct. If you do not yet have a prescription for valacyclovir, you can fill in one of our health questionnaires which will be reviewed by one of our doctors. After assessing your answers, the doctors will then prescribe you the medicine if they deem it appropriate to do so.
What can Valaciclovir treat?
Valaciclovir can be used to treat shingles, cold sores, HSV infections, genital herpes, to prevent a recurrence of an HSV infection to stop a CMV infection.
How does Valaciclovir work in the body?
Valaciclovir belongs to a group of medicine called antivirals. It inhibits and DNA of the virus and prevents it from multiplying or synthesizing.
How quickly does Valaciclovir take to start working?
Your symptoms may be reduced by 3 days. Do not stop taking the medicine if you think your symptoms have fully gone as the virus may still be present in your body, which means you may spread it to others. Valaciclovir reaches its peak concentration in your blood within one-three hours of taking it.
How can I help stop Herpes from spreading?
Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your sores and your eyes. Avoid sexual intercourse as this will spread the virus, or use a latex condom. Try and prevent any contact of other people with the herpes so that it does not spread to them. Herpes is highly contagious and has no cure, even though you may be taking medication to treat the infection it will still be easily passed on to someone else until the infection has been treated.
What is the difference between Valaciclovir and Acyclovir?
Valaciclovir only needs to be taken twice a day instead of the 5 times a day dose Aciclovir needs. It is also said to be better absorbed by the body than Acyclovir.
Can you take Valaciclovir if you are pregnant or breastfeeding?
It is not usually recommended to use this medicine whilst pregnant or breastfeeding. Check with your doctor if you are worried. They will be able to assess if it will be safe for you to take whilst pregnant or breastfeeding.
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