Valaciclovir is a medication you can take to help stop the symptoms of cold sores and genital herpes. The virus that causes these skin conditions is known as herpes simplex, and one of its main effects is that it causes blisters on the skin. These can make you feel self-conscious, but there are treatments available to help you.
Taking Valaciclovir when you first get symptoms means that you can tackle the virus and ensure that any discomfort is minimised.
How does Valaciclovir work?
Valaciclovir is the generic name for a branded medication called Valtrex, and it’s also the name of the main active ingredient in the medication. Both tablets do exactly the same job. Because it’s a generic treatment, Valaciclovir is usually cheaper than Valtrex.
Valaciclovir stops the enzymes that the herpes simplex virus creates from multiplying, and reduces the severity of your outbreak. It stops the infection from spreading too. It works best if you take it as soon as you notice any symptoms surfacing.
What doses of Valaciclovir are there?
There’s only one standard dose of Valaciclovir and that’s 500mg. You may take different amounts of tablets depending on whether you’re being treated for cold sores or genital herpes.
If you’ve got any questions about the dose, or find it’s not working for you, we’ll be happy to talk to you about alternative treatments.
How to take Valaciclovir
Always take Valaciclovir as directed by our clinician.
If you’re taking it for symptoms of cold sores, take four tablets at the onset of symptoms and then another four tablets 12 hours later. This is usually a one day treatment.
If you’re taking it for the symptoms of genital herpes, take one tablet twice a day for ten days after your initial diagnosis and outbreak. If you’re treating a recurrence then take one tablet twice a day for five days.
Some people with HSV also take Valaciclovir to prevent an outbreak. Tell us about your health and our experts will give you the advice you need.
Take your tablets with a drink of water. They can be taken with or without food. If you miss a dose, it’s really important that you don’t take an extra one to make up for it. Simply take your next dose at the right time and then carry on as normal.
How long does it take Valaciclovir to work?
Treatment time for the symptoms of cold sores and genital herpes can vary from person to person, and depends on how severe your infection is. Catching the outbreak at the first stages and starting treatment as soon as possible helps to get it under control quicker.
Once you start treatment, it should become effective within five days. If you think the treatment isn’t working as well as it should then you should send our clinician a message, and they can give you advice on the next steps.
What should I do if I make a mistake when using Valaciclovir?
If you miss a dose then take it as soon as you remember, and then carry on as normal. Don’t take two doses at once to make up for a missed tablet.
Don’t take more than the prescribed dose. If you’ve taken too much Valaciclovir by accident then you should go to hospital and take the medication packet with you.
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How is Valaciclovir different to other treatments for herpes?
Whilst Valaciclovir and a treatment called Aciclovir are primarily used to treat herpes simplex, a medication called Famciclovir is used to treat the herpes zoster virus (you might know this by its more common name of shingles).
Valaciclovir is very effective at targeting the signs and symptoms of herpes simplex when it’s taken as soon as an outbreak happens. It works in pretty much the same way as Aciclovir, but the main benefit it has over Aciclovir is that it’s got a longer action (half life) in the body once it’s been taken, so you can take fewer doses of it.
Is Valaciclovir similar to any other treatments?
Valaciclovir is also known by its brand name, Valtrex. Both of these tablets contain the same active ingredient, and they work in the same way in the body. But because Valtrex is branded it’s often a little more expensive. The packaging may also differ between the two, and the appearance of the tablet as well.
Which dose of Valaciclovir should I use?
There’s only one dose. It’s a 500mg tablet, and our clinician will advise you how often to take it, depending on the symptoms you’re being treated for.
If you’ve got any questions about the medication, or you’d like to talk to us about your treatment plan, just log in to your account and send our clinician a message.
How effective is Valaciclovir?
It’s an effective treatment for the herpes simplex virus when taken at the first signs of an outbreak. You’ll often find it’s effective within five days of starting treatment.
The herpes simplex virus is one that can often lay dormant in your body for long periods of time. It’s possible to have the virus and not show any symptoms for years. In other people, repeated outbreaks can occur with symptoms showing up between two to ten days after exposure to the virus.
A first outbreak might last up to anywhere between two and four weeks. Further repeat outbreaks often last for a lesser amount of time and usually clear up after one week. It’s worth knowing that outbreaks of herpes simplex can decrease or stop with age.
Once the virus has been activated and you start to have outbreaks of cold sores or genital herpes, there isn’t a cure. But you can take medication like Valaciclovir to lessen the outbreaks and make them more tolerable. This medication has been proven to reduce the signs and symptoms of the Herpes Simplex virus, as well as cut the risk of transmission. In a study of 1,484 adults who were taking the medication for the virus, it was found that they were 75% less likely to transmit the virus than in people who took the placebo medication.
Do I need a prescription for Valaciclovir?
Yes. Valaciclovir is a prescription only treatment. So a clinician will need to check your health background and decide if it’s a safe and suitable medication for you.
You should also tell us about any other long term health conditions you have and any other medications you might be taking too. This is so we can assess whether Valaciclovir is the right medication for you or not.
Why should I buy Valaciclovir online with Treated?
Talk to us about your health, and we’ll recommend treatments that are safe and suitable for you. You can choose your medication from there, and how much of it you want each time.
We’ll check in with you regularly to make sure your treatment is working the way that it should. Our clinicians are always on hand to discuss any queries you might have, too. Just sign in to your account and send us a message.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a doctor.
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