What is Valtrex?
Valtrex is highly effective drug used to treat infections caused by certain types of viruses (herpes zoster, herpes simplex, varicella zoster, Epstein-Barr virus), replacing acyclovir and its analogues. If you have shingles, chickenpox, cold sores around the mouth or genital herpes caused by these viruses you may try this antiviral drug or its generic equivalent Valacyclovir. It is also used in transplantation to prevent cytomegalovirus infection.
The medicine is available as 0.5 g (500 mg) and 1g (1000 mg) tablets for oral administration only.
How does Valtrex work
Valtrex does not cure herpes, but it helps to fight it by slowing down the growth and spread of the virus. Valacyclovir, the active substance of Valtrex, is completely converted to acyclovir in human body. Acyclovir has a specific in vitro inhibitory activity against herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella zoster virus (VZV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human herpes virus 6 – type. Acyclovir inhibits viral DNA synthesis after phosphorylation and conversion to the active triphosphate form of acyclovir. This causes the virus to stop grow and helps your immune system to fight infections easily and effectively. This medication is used in both adults and children after 2 years.
Benefits of Valtrex
- reduces the risk of transmitting genital herpes to the healthy partner when taken as suppressive therapy
- Valtrex accelerates the disappearance of pain, reduces its duration and the percentage of patients with pain caused by shingles, including acute and post-herpetic neuralgia
- prevents the formation of lesions, when taken at the first symptoms of recurrent herpes simplex
- has no effect in men or women on fertility
- Valtrex is well tolerated by patients. It does not interact with other drugs and alcohol. It very rarely (in 1-3%) causes nausea, upset stomach or mild headache
- Valtrex is safe for patients unlike antibiotics having detrimental affect on the liver. It is compatible with most other drugs. It has no effect on memory, attention and speed of reaction. Safe when co-administered with alcohol. In contrast with acyclovir has no side effects were reversible hair loss is observed
How to take Valtrex
Valtrex is taken by mouth regardless on food. The dose and frequency should be directed by your doctor and is based on your type of infection, medical condition, and response to treatment. For treating chickenpox in children, the dosage is also based on weight. Drink plenty of fluids while taking Valtrex to lower the chance of side effects.