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Things You Should Know about Using Valtrex

You should be familiar with Valtrex because this medication is often used by patients who want to treat such common infections as chickenpox, shingles, genital herpes, cold sores and others. Before you start using it, make sure that you know everything about its possible side effects, results, doses and so on.

Basic Information about Valtrex

Basically, it belongs to oral antifungal meds that are effective against herpes viruses. Valtrex is one of nucleoside analogs that work by mimicking one of the important building blocks of DNA, thus, stopping the spreading of these viruses by preventing their replication and multiplication. You’ll be surprised to learn that Valtrex is the so-called pro-drug, and this means that it’s not active itself because it functions by being converted into acyclovirin in the body, a chemical that is active against herpes viruses. Why do patients and doctors prefer this medicine over Acyclovir? The main reason is that it has a longer period of action, so that it can be used fewer times per day. This medication was approved almost 20 years ago, and it’s available to take it in the form of standard pills that come in such strengths as 500 mg and 1,000 mg.

Possible Unwanted Symptoms

It’s obvious that the side effects of Valtrex are quite similar to the ones developed after the intake of Acyclovir, and they include the following:

  • Headaches;
  • Vomiting and nausea;
  • Flu-like symptoms;
  • Reduced white blood cells;   
  • Stomach pain;
  • Increased liver enzymes.

In rare cases some patients may develop more serious symptoms, such as the following:

  • Dizziness and diarrhea;
  • Joint pain and agitation;
  • Delirium and confusion;
  • Seizures and hallucinations.

Drug Interactions and Warnings

It’s not advisable to take Valtrex with such medications as Tagamet and Benemid because they may decrease its kidney clearance. For pregnant and nursing female patients, you shouldn’t start this treatment without consulting your doctors because of possible risks. Make sure that you have a list of other pills and herbal supplements that you’re taking and inform your physician about your medical history.

Necessary Doses

It’s possible to take Valtrex with and without food, and if you have any kidney complications, your doses must be reduced accordingly. For those patients who need to treat shingles. Your standard dose is minimal, and it should be taken a few times a day during one week. A common dose to treat chickenpox is 1,000 mg taking a few times during 5 days, and your treatment must start once you notice the earliest signs of these diseases. When it comes to genital herpes, a dose is the same, but you need to take it for 10 days. Finally, when treating cold sores, patients need to take 2,000 mg of Valtrex every 12 hours. It’s necessary to understand that these doses are basic, so that they can be adjusted based on a set of important criteria, such as your personal response, weight, age, health complications and others discussed with doctors.