What is Valaciclovir and how does it work?
Valaciclovir is an antiviral treatment for herpes including genital herpes. It is the precursor for Aciclovir, that is, it converts into Aciclovir in the body. Therefore, it stays in the body longer and does not need dosing as often.
How do I take Valaciclovir?
You should swallow Valaciclovir at a dose of 500mg twice a day whole with water, for five days. It is recommended to extend the treatment for 10 days for the first outbreak of genital herpes. For suppressing genital herpes, one tablet of 500mg per day is the required dose. Make sure you keep hydrated during the treatment as the effects of Valaciclovir are quite harsh on the kidneys.
How effective is Valaciclovir?
Valaciclovir accelerates the resolution of pain and reduces duration of pain in patients. When taken twice daily, Valaciclovir has shown to have similar effects in treating genital herpes as Aciclovir. It has also proven to be effective in treating cold sores and other HSV infections of the skin. Furthermore, it reduces risk of transmission of genital herpes when taken as suppressive therapy in combination with using barrier methods for safe sexual intercourse.
What is the difference between Valaciclovir and Aciclovir?
Valaciclovir turns into Aciclovir in the body and is better absorbed. Therefore, it remains in the body for a longer time and so less frequent dosing is required.
What is Valtrex?
Valtrex is the branded name for Valaciclovir. Generic Valaciclovir and the branded version are medically equivalent in strength and efficacy. The only difference between the two is that the generic version is available at a lower 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.