What is Valcivir (Valtrex)?
Valcivir-500 is an antiviral drug used for the treatment of infections stemming from herpes simplex virus types 1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2), and varicella zoster virus (VZV). It contains 500mg of valacyclovir, a potent nucleoside analogue DNA polymerase inhibitor. Valacyclovir functions by inhibiting the actions of the DNA polymerase enzyme that is responsible for replicating the herpes simplex virus.
- Shingles (herpes zoster) in patients with a normal immune system
- Initial and recurrent episodes of genital herpes in patients with a normal immune system
- Suppression of recurrent episodes of genital herpes in immunocompetent and HIV-1 infected patients
- Reduction of transmission of genital herpes in patients with a normal immune system
Your dosage is based on your condition to be treated, as well as your age group.
- Initial episode of genital herpes: Take 2 tablets twice daily for 10 days. These tablets should be taken within 48 hours of the emergence of symptoms.
- Recurrent episode of genital herpes: Take 1 tablet twice daily for 3 days, starting when your symptoms first emerge.
- Suppressive therapy of genital herpes: If you have a normal immune system, take 2 tablets once daily. However, if you experience 9 or fewer infections per year, take 1 tablet once daily. If you have a compromised immune system, take 1 tablet twice daily.
- Reduction of genital herpes transmission: If you experience 9 or less infections per year, take 1 tablet once daily.
- Shingles: Take 2 tablets 3 times daily for 7 days, starting treatment within 48 hours after the onset of infection.
Swallow the tablets whole, with or without food. If you miss a dose and it is already time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. You should not take a double dose.
Do not use Valcivir if you are allergic to valacyclovir or drugs with a similar chemical makeup.
Valcivir Side Effects
Common side effects inlude:
- Abdominal pain;
- And dizziness.
Rarer side effects include:
- Liver problems, such as hepatitis;
- Renal insufficiency;
- Visual impairments;
- Neurological disorders;
- And hypersensitive reactions.
If your symptoms become prolonged or worsen, speak to your doctor.
If you have renal insufficiency, hepatic disorders, advanced HIV-1 infections, or have undergone an allogeneic bone marrow transplant, you may be at a greater risk for adverse events.
Renal impairments can occur due to interactions between valacyclovir and other potentially nephrotoxic drugs. Interactions include cimetidine, aprotinin, and emtricitabine, to name a few.
Pregnancy & Lactation
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should only use this antiviral drug if the potential benefits justify any potential risks to the child. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
In case of an overdose, you may experience acute renal failure and neurological reactions. If overdose occurs, seek immediate medical attention. Do not increase your prescription without instruction from a doctor.
Alternative Brand Names
An alternate brand name for Valcivir is Valtrex, which is marketed in the US and Canada.
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