Valtrex is an antiviral medicine that is used to treat infections caused by specific types of viruses. Valtrex comes as an oral tablet which is to be consumed by mouth.
Valtrex Uses and Benefits
Valtrex is used to treat viral infections caused by a group of viruses known as herpes simplex viruses. It is also used to treat cold sores (oral herpes), shingles, and chickenpox. In addition, it prevents or treats the flare-ups of genital herpes.
Oral Herpes causes cold sores. Cold sores are small yet painful sores usually in and around the mouth. Kissing and other kinds of physical contact can infect the contacted area of the skin, spreading cold sores. The main reason to buy Valtrex, it is Mainly used for the treatment of oral herpes. The typical dosage of Valtrex to treat oral herpes in adults is 2 g, twice per day for seven days, taken 12 hours apart. The treatment must begin at the first sign of cold sore symptoms.
Genital Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease i.e., it can spread through sexual contact. The symptoms of genital herpes are tiny yet painful blisters on the genital area. It is possible to spread genital herpes to sexual partners without actually having any symptoms.
In addition, Valtrex also helps in the prevention and treatment of flare-ups of genital herpes in patients with low immunity as well as those suffering from HIV. On the occurrence of the first episode, 1 g of Valtrex must be taken twice a day for a 10-day period and it is essential that the treatment starts within 48 hours of the first sign of symptoms. For recurring episodes, 500 mg must be taken, twice a day for a 3-day period. In order to prevent flare-ups in people with HIV, 500 mg must be consumed twice a day. In addition, 500 mg, once a day reduces the risk of transmission to a sexual partner.
Shingles are caused due to varicella zoster, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Small and painful blisters that appear on the skin indicate symptoms of shingles. Shingles can spread through contact with the infected skin. Valtrex helps treat shingles and its symptoms. In order to treat shingles, 1 g of Valtrex must be taken three times a day for a period of seven days. It will work best if the treatment begins 48 hours within the first sign of a skin rash.
Chicken Pox leads to itchy rashes and further develops into small/big red bumps that appear as pimples or insect bites and can spread almost anywhere on the body. In addition, chickenpox causes flu-like symptoms such as fever and tiredness. For children who have a normal immune system and are suffering from chickenpox, Valtrex can be used to treat symptoms. In adults, 1 g of Valtrex must be taken three times a day for a 7-day period in order to treat chickenpox symptoms. The drug works best if treatment begins 48 hours within the first indication of a rash on the skin. For children, the treatment is slightly different. The amount of Valtrex to be taken is 20 mg per kilogram of the child’s body weight. This must be taken three times a day for a five-day period. Treatment must begin at the earliest indication of symptoms.
Valtrex Side Effects
Common side effects of Valtrex include:
- Stomach pain
- Joint pain
- Menstrual pain
- Skin rash
- Stuffy nose
- Sore throat
In the case of more serious symptoms, it is important to get medical attention. Serious symptoms include:
- Confusion, agitation, feeling shaky or unsteady
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real)
- Problems with speech
- Kidney problems – little or no urination, swelling in your feet and ankles, feeling tired or shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
- Loss of consciousness
In addition, there are extremely serious side effects that usually occur in adults over the age of 65. In the case of the following side effects, it is important to stop taking Valtrex and seek medical help immediately.
- Fever, pale skin
- Unusual bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums)
- Red or pink urine, little or no urination
- Purple or red spots on the skin (unrelated to chickenpox or herpes)
- Weakness and tiredness
- Chronic stomach ache, bloody diarrhea, vomiting
- Swelling in the face, feet or hands
Warnings for people with specific health conditions
- Kidney problems
It is the kidneys that clear Valtrex from the body. For patients suffering from kidney problems or that have a history of kidney diseases, the kidneys may not be able to clear Valtrex from the body.
This, in turn, will increase the amount of Valtrex present in the body and cause an additional series of side effects. In addition, Valtrex could worsen kidney functionality.
In order to prevent these problems, it is likely that if prescribed at all, a much lower dosage of the drug should be prescribed. This problem is especially observed in senior citizens because their kidneys function at a slower pace and therefore are at a high risk of side effects.
- Advanced HIV or a history of transplant
Patients that have advanced HIV or a history of bone marrow or kidney transplant, are at a higher risk of certain blood disorders. Such conditions are called thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and they can result in extremely low red blood cells and platelets and even amount to death.
- Pregnant women
While research on animals shows no risk, not enough human studies have been conducted to know if Valtrex poses a risk to the fetus if consumed by a pregnant woman. Animal studies do not always accurately predict the way humans will respond.
This drug must be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. In case a patient becomes pregnant while consuming Valtrex, it is important to inform the doctor immediately.
Valtrex can pass into the breast milk and can even cause side effects in the child if breastfed. A decision will have to be made for such patients, on whether to stop breastfeeding or to stop taking the medication.
Keep in mind that Valtrex is mainly prescribed for healing cold sores quicker than the immune system of the human body can. You can also opt to use Zovirax (acyclovir) or Denavir (penciclovir).
If you face any serious side effects such as kidney failure, low blood cell counts or issues with unusual mood swings then the odds are that they have occurred due to drug interactions or misusing Valtrex because of incorrect dosage amounts.