Valtrex contains valacyclovir (or valaciclovir). It’s an antiviral drug, used to treat infections or reduce the symptoms of diseases caused by certain viruses. Valacyclovir works by stopping the growth of certain viruses. Note that it doesn’t kill the already existing viruses and the viruses causing the infections remain living inside the body during the treatment. However, the drug helps in reducing the length and severity of the viral infection outbreaks and helps sore heal faster while preventing new sores from developing. It also reduces other symptoms like pain and itching.
In children, Valtrex is used to treat viral infections including:
In adults, it’s used to treat:
Valtrex is also used for the treatment of:
It can help in the reduction of the number of future episodes of the infection too in patients who suffer frequent outbreaks. Although it doesn’t kill the already existing viruses, it prevents them from growing and helps in reducing the symptoms of the infection while speeding up the healing process. It also helps in reduction of pain and other symptoms of the infection and prevents new sores from being formed. Not all possible uses of Valtrex are listed here and it might be advised by the physician for any other disease too if considered appropriate in your condition.
Don’t use Valtrex if it isn’t advised by your doctor. Discuss in detail regarding how to use it with your doctor. Don’t forget to read the instructional manual coming along the medicine before using it. General usage instructions for valacyclovir include:
Discuss in detail with your doctor if you have any questions related to the medicine and how to use it.
Side effects are possible with almost every medicine. Valtrex has some common side effects too and sometimes result in life threatening complications. Common side effects of valacyclovir include:
These side effects should pass, however, if they’re intense and persist, or worsen with time instead of getting better, consult your doctor immediately. More serious side effects of Valtrex include:
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these more serious side effects as they can be due to any serious complication being caused by the medicine in your body. Rarely, the life threatening complications can occur with the usage of this medicine. People at more risk of these type of complications are:
Symptoms of the severe reaction or complications in such patients include:
These symptoms are alarming and need immediate medical attention. Consult your doctor if you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms to prevent any irreversible or serious damage. Anybody can have a reaction to any otherwise safe drug, resulting in a serious allergic reaction. Symptoms of that reaction include:
This condition can be life threatening and the patient should be rushed to the hospital emergency to prevent any fatal condition. This is not the complete list of side effects and complications of Valtrex. Discuss with your doctor in detail to understand the risks, especially in your specific condition.
Tell your doctor if you’re allergic to Valtrex or any other associated drug like acyclovir, before using the drug. Also tell your doctor if you have any other allergies to any other drug or any food item too. Tell your past and current medical and drug history to your doctor and pharmacist in detail, especially if you have any organ transplants or issues. Precautions to take while using Valtrex include:
Valacyclovir is a FDA pregnancy category B drug. Which means that studies in animals have shown it to be safe however human studies aren’t sufficient to conclude safety in humans. The drug should be used only after discussing with the doctor during pregnancy or breast-feeding, only in the dosage and quantity prescribed by the doctor to avoid any complication.
Valtrex may interact with several drugs and thus discuss in detail with your doctor before using it. Tell him all the drugs and products you’re using to avoid any serious complications. Interactions are common with other drugs that cause kidney issues too, like:
Valacyclovir and acyclovir are very similar drugs, as valacyclovir changes to acyclovir in the body. Don’t use acyclovir or any product containing it while using Valtrex.