Valtrex is used for treating shingles (herpes zoster), cold sores (fever blisters or herpes labialis), and treating or suppressing genital herpes in patients with normal immune systems. It is also used to suppress genital herpes in patients with HIV infection.
How to use
Use Valtrex as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
Take Valtrex by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
Drinking extra fluids while you are taking Valtrex is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
To treat cold sores, shingles, or genital herpes, start treatment as soon as possible after your symptoms start.
If treating an acute outbreak, continue using Valtrex for the full course of treatment, even if you feel better in a few days.
For suppressive therapy, Valtrex works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Valtrex is an antiviral. It works by stopping viral replication. However, Valtrex does not eliminate the virus, it is not a cure. When used as a suppressive therapy in patients with normal immune systems with genital herpes using safer sex practices, the risk of spreading the infections to others is reduced.
If you miss a dose of Valtrex , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Store Valtrex at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Valtrex out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Possible Side Effects
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
diarrhea; dizziness; headache; nausea; stomach pain; vomiting.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); aggressive behavior; bloody or dark urine; confusion; fever; hallucinations; pale skin; pinpoint bruises; seizures; shaky movements; speech problems; unsteady movement; weakness; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
If you have any questions about Valtrex, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
Valtrex is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.