Cold Sore Treatment
What is Valaciclovir?
Valaciclovir is an antiviral, prescription only medication used to treat herpes including cold sores. Valaciclovir helps to reduce the severity and the length of the outbreak, helping sores heal quicker and prevents new cold sores from forming.
It’s important to note that Valaciclovir is not a cure for herpes, but supresses the virus to help control the symptoms, and prevent further outbreaks.
How does Valaciclovir work?
Valaciclovir works by interfering with the herpes virus used to reproduce by preventing the multiplication of it and reducing the rate the infection spreads. Valaciclovir is a prodrug, which means it converts to another substance in the body. Valaciclovir converts into Aciclovir when it enters the body.
How do I take Valaciclovir?
- Four tablets, twice a day with water
- Take for 1 day
It is important to remain hydrated during the course of your treatment to minimise the risk of dehydration.
How effective is Valaciclovir?
When taken twice daily, Valaciclovir has shown to have similar effects in treating cold sores as Aciclovir. It has also proven to be effective in treating cold sores and other HSV infections of the skin. Valaciclovir starts working almost immediately after you start taking it and is effective in reducing the healing time and reducing the risk transmitted to other people.
What is the difference between Valaciclovir and Aciclovir?
Both Aciclovir and Valaciclovir are closely related. Valaciclovir is a prodrug of Aciclovir, meaning that after it is injested, Valaciclovir turns into Aciclovir. Both medicines are equally effective at treating cold sores but the advantage of taking Valaciclovir is that it doesn’t need to be taken as frequently, which may be easier to comply with the treatment.
What is Valtrex?
The active ingredient in Valtrex is ‘Valaciclovir’ and is the branded version of the medication Valaciclovir. They are medically equivalent, treating cold sores exactly the same way but Valtrex is available at a higher price.
Like most medications, Valaciclovir has some side effects, although they might not affect everyone. The most common ones are:
- Skin rashes
Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.
Important: We advise you to always read the patient information leaflet inside the medication box, as the generic medication may not always entirely match the patient information leaflet listed. Please contact us if you have any questions.
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Content last updated: 23 Feb 2023