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Valaciclovir

SmartMeds Valaciclovir
SmartMeds Valaciclovir II
A fast and effective antiviral treatment for genital herpes. Valaciclovir can also be taken to prevent future outbreaks.
Valaciclovir is an antiviral treatment for shingles and herpes including genital herpes. It is the precursor for aciclovir, which means that it converts into aciclovir in the body. Therefore, it stays in the body longer and does not need dosing as often.

Valaciclovir stops the infecting virus from reproducing. 
The herpes virus reproduces very early in the infection stages, so commencing treatment with valaciclovir tablets at the onset of symptoms will give you the most benefit.

Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 or 2 and usually spreads through sexual contact. Clinical manifestations present around the genitals and include:
  • Blisters
  • Burning or itching sensation
  • Pain
Valaciclovir promotes pain relief and reduces pain duration in patients who suffer from shingles. At twice daily dosing, valaciclovir has shown to have similar effects in treating genital herpes as aciclovir. Furthermore, valaciclovir has also proved to be an effective treatment for cold sores and other skin-borne HSV infections.

With regards to suppression therapy, valaciclovir reduces the transmission of genital herpes in combination with barrier methods for safe sexual intercourse. People who suffer from six or more outbreaks per year may benefit from suppression treatment. In this instance, treatment is administered on a daily basis and helps to prevent recurrent outbreaks by 70-80 %, sometimes preventing outbreaks altogether. Studies also show that outbreaks are milder and shorter than without suppression treatment.

You may have come across another treatment for genital herpes called Valtrex. This is the branded version of valaciclovir and in terms of effectiveness and strength, the two are identical. What differs between them is the price-generic valaciclovir is available at a lower price.

Take valaciclovir at a dose of 500mg twice daily. Swallow whole with water for five days, with the recommendation to extend the treatment for ten days for the first outbreak of genital herpes. For suppression treatment of genital herpes, take one 500mg tablet daily. The kidneys are sensitive to valaciclovir so ensure you keep hydrated during the treatment.
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Skin Rashes
Like most medicines, valaciclovir has some side effects, although not everyone will be affected. You can get in touch with the SmartMeds team for further support or visit your GP.
You can view or download the Patient Information Leaflet here:
Valaciclovir 500mg Tablets.
Some people may benefit from adopting a set of self-care measure:
  • Clean the affected area with plain or salt water to help prevent secondary infection and promote healing of lesions.
  • Apply Vaseline or a topical anesthetic (e.g. lidocaine 5%) to lesions to help with painful urination, if required.
  • Increase fluid intake to produce dilute urine (which is less painful to void). Urinate in a bath or with water flowing over the area to reduce stinging.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing, as this may irritate lesions and use adequate pain relief (e.g. oral paracetamol).
  • Avoid sharing towels and flannels with household members (although it is very unlikely that the virus would survive on an object long enough to be passed on, it is sensible to take steps to prevent this).
  • Try and avoid trigger factors such as ultraviolet light and excess alcohol.
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Superintendent Pharmacist GPhC Reg:
Sarah Khalil  2070782
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SmartMeds Clinic   9010905
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Copyright © 2018 Smartmeds Clinic. All rights reserved
This work is registered with the UK Copyright Service: Registration No: 284709387