What is Valtrex?
Valtrex is an antiviral drug and its main use is to treat herpes viruses and a variety of other conditions and skin problems. It is not considered to be a medicine that effectively cures herpes, but rather a means to decrease the intensity of herpes manifestations and its spread across the tissues. This drug was also designed to give a boost to the body’s immune system to fight against viruses and minimize their impact. The likelihood of new sores appearing is minimized. Pain and itching, which are usually bothering the patients are also reduced.
Valacyclovir is the active component in Valtrex. It is possible to obtain a generic of this medicine, and it usually comes at a lower price than its branded counterpart. Generics are available at most online services as well as local drug stores. Its efficiency and mode of administration are exactly the same.
Valtrex is known for its multiple uses and mainly for its preventive action. It is prescribed solely or in combination with other drugs to deal with:
- Herpes zoster caused by the virus Varicella zoster and genital herpes (accelerates the healing process, reduces pain, minimizes its duration. The percentage of patients who are experiencing pain while taking this medicine is also considerably minimized. It is also capable of minimizing acute and postherpetic neuralgia);
- Infections of the skin and mucous membranes provoked by Herpes simplex type 1 and 2 (including newly diagnosed and recurrent genital herpes);
As a preventive means it serves for:
- prevention (suppression) of recurrences of skin and mucous membrane diseases caused by the Herpes simplex type 1 and 2 viruses, including genital herpes;
- prevention of cytomegalovirus infection that occurs during organ transplantation (reduces the severity of the reaction of acute graft rejection in patients with kidney transplants, the development of sudden and unexpected infections and other viral infections provoked by Herpes simplex and Varicella zoster viruses).
Valtrex for cold sores
Cold sores are not only extremely bothersome because they show up usually in the mouth area, but they can be painful and very distracting. Their appearance is linked with an undermined immune system caused by bacteria or infection. A deficiency of vitamins and minerals in the cold season are also capable of provoking such outbreaks. Valtrex is applied as a rule as a preventive measure or treatment of these outbursts and is considered to be highly effective in accelerating the recovery process.
Valtrex for shingles
Shingles represent another dermatologic problem that comes with a weakened immune system and is provoked by reactivation of Varicella zoster virus. Outbursts may be observed on either the left or right side of the body. It is typically causing pain and discomfort for the patient, although it takes from two weeks to a month for the rash to heal. Valtrex, in this case, is able to reduce the manifestations of pain and accelerate the healing process. Prevention of this viral disease consists in keeping your immune system in a good shape by working out and eating healthy.
Valtrex side effects
No medicine is perfect and Valtrex also has a list of adverse effects. These may include issues with kidneys, mood changes, anxiety. Those who are using Valtrex have to be aware of the fact that it does not stop herpes from transmitting to other people. However, others may not have any symptoms related to herpes even if it was contracted.
Other common adverse effects are vomiting, lightheadedness, stomach ache, cephalalgia, diarrhea, and nausea. The list of less commonly encountered adverse effects includes changes in mood, touched on above, shakiness, and problems with speaking.
If you observe any severe side effects while using Valtrex, you need to stop immediately the administration of this drug and call an ambulance.
As a rule, the proper dosage has to be prescribed by a doctor or GP and it varies from one case to the other.
Adults with herpes zoster are usually prescribed 1000 mg 3 times a day for 7 days. When it comes to herpes simplex, the prescribed amount consists of 500 mg 2 times a day; with relapses – for 5 days.
In the first case, if the sings of herpes zoster are too intense, then the duration of therapy can be extended to 10 days.
Valtrex can’t be attributed to very expensive medicine. A pack of 30 tablets 500 mg can be found for a price that ranges between $18 and $25. You can also order it online and compare the prices at different pharmaceutics services.
The cost of any medicine is impacted by your location and particular service. A delivery service may also add up to the cost, but at the same time, you won’t even have to leave your house in order to get the needed medicine.
Valtrex and alcohol
A big number of patients are wondering if it is a problem to drink beverages containing alcohol while they are receiving treatment with Valtrex.
Unlike is the case with other types of medicine, it is not completely restricted to drink alcohol with Valtrex as long as you do it somewhat reasonably.
Even though the combination of Valtrex and alcohol doesn’t pose any danger, you still need to consult with your doctor or a specialist on this matter. The most frequent adverse effects for this medicine are sickness and vomiting. This means that alcohol may make matter worse. Even if the symptoms are not occurring, the chance of their manifestation grows together with alcohol intake.
Also, it is important to remember that alcohol doesn’t interact well with your immune function and it leads to a decrease in its efficiency. This is especially relevant when you are trying to get rid of shingles. Alcohol may create difficulties for the process of treatment and make it less tolerable.
Alcohol may not be the only precaution you need to take care of in advance. Consult with your general practitioner on any other possible restricted combinations with your medicine.