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Valacyclovir is a medication used to manage outbreaks of cold sores and herpes. It is an antiviral, meaning it works to slow down the spread of a virus (in this case, the herpes simplex virus). It can also be used in the management of shingles.
Valacyclovir is sold under several brand names, the most common of which is Valtrex®.
Valacyclovir works through a complex chemical process that interferes with the way the herpes virus reproduces, preventing it from multiplying and reducing the rate at which the infection spreads.
In short, Valacyclovir limits the spread of the herpes virus to healthy cells, reducing the effects of the virus.
Valacyclovir is taken orally in pill form. It works best if taken within 48 hours after seeing the signs of symptoms.
Valacyclovir is available in 500mg and 1000mg doses.
Valacyclovir can cause headaches, agitation or confusion, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and fatigue.
If you develop side effects please discuss it with a doctor. If urgent, please see a doctor in person.
Valacyclovir should not be used if you have any kidney or liver disease without further assessment by a doctor.
Acyclovir and Valacyclovir belong to a class of medications called antiviral drugs and are both used to treat cold sores and herpes.
Both work to speed up recovery during an oral or genital herpes outbreak and reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to other people.
The main difference between the two treatment options is the higher bioavailability of Valacyclovir. This just means more of the drug makes it into your body to then take effect.
The other key difference between Valacyclovir and Acyclovir is that Valacyclovir requires you to take fewer doses per day.
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