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 0.5g and 1g tablets for oral administration only.
How I works
Valtrex does not cure herpes, but it helps to fight it by slowing down the growth and spread of the virus. Valacyclovir 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.
Valacyclovir 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.
Valacyclovir 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
Valacyclovir 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 this medication to lower the chance of side effects.
Dosages for herpes simplex virus
Take 500 mg of Valtrex 2 times a day. This treatment lasts 3 or 5 days. In more severe cases, the initial treatment should be started as early as possible, and its duration should be increased from 5 to 10 days. In recurrent HSV is an ideal destination of Valtrex in the prodromal period or immediately after the first symptoms of the disease. As an alternative for the treatment of herpes labialis effective dose is 2g twice daily. The second dose should be taken approximately 12 hours (but not earlier than 6 hours) after the first dose. Using this dosing regime, treatment duration should not exceed 1 day as it has been shown not to give additional clinical benefits. Therapy should be initiated with the appearance of the earliest symptoms of fever lip (ie, tingling, itching, burning).
It is known that the genital herpes is caused by herpes virus type II and is transmitted through sexual contact of various types (vaginal, oral, anal). The disease is very common, but some men have no symptoms at all. The symptoms of genital herpes are easy to recognize: pop the bubbles of clear liquid isolated or in groups in the genital area. After 2-4 days the bubbles shrivel in the crust, but there may be repeated eruptions of new bubbles.
Women rash bubbles appear on the big and small labia, the clitoris to the vagina, sometimes around the anus, and men are more often localized at the head of the penis, on the scrotum, in the crotch. The disease is accompanied by pain, not only in the source of bubbles, but also in the abdomen, lower back, urinary bladder. Inflammation develops around the hearth. At times, there is itching, especially in women.
Recurrences of genital herpes in women, usually present in the form of cervicitis and men – urethritis and prostatitis. It is proved that this form of herpes promotes occurrence of cancer of the cervix in pregnant and dangerous to the fetus and newborn child.
Symptoms of genital herpes are sometimes manifested in the form of a worn and may resemble symptoms of primary syphilis chancre, so it is important to differentiate them in time, and then to apply the correct treatment.
Is herpes transmitted when the bubble eruption is absent? Officially, no. However, in recent years, there is an increasing number of publications about the cases of virus transmission to the partners with weakened immune systems who have chronic skin disease. There is also research evidence indicating a possible virus infection when it is recurrent, but its activity is high. Outside the human body the virus dies quickly, but not immediately, it is necessary to bear in mind when using a towel or something else after the sick patient.
The incubation period of herpes is up to 14 days, and it is also contagious. Before the beginning of rash is usually felt pain, itching or discomfort at the future site of the hearth, it is desirable at this point to start treatment, then the bubbles can be bypassed, and the course of treatment will be no more than 5 – 7 days.
In any case, at any stage of relapse antiviral medications must be taken as an external genital herpes treatment is ineffective.