The white, biconvex and elongated valtrex tablets are manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. They contain Valacyclovir hydrochloride 500mg as the active pharmaceutical ingredient. In the body, Valacyclovir hydrochloride is metabolized to its active form, Acyclovir. Valtrex is a prescription only medicine and should be administered with care.
Valtrex is commonly used to treat shingles( herpes zoster), cold sores (herpes simplex) ,genital herpes and herpes simplex infection of the eye. It has also been shown to effectively prevent recurrence of herpes simplex infections for those who suffer frequent episodes. It also reduces the risk of spreading genital herpes to your partner as long as safe sex practices, for example use of a condom are used as well.However, one should avoid sexual contact when the sores are present.
Valtrex can also be used to to prevent an infection caused by cytomegalovirus in predisposed individuals. It is particularly relevant in people who have undergone an organ transplant, for example, a kidney transplant
HOW IT WORKS
Valtrex is an antiviral drug. It works by blocking the action of viral enzymes hence inhibiting their replication. This will eventually control the infection and help the immune system deal effectively with it. It is important to note however, that valtrex does not completely eliminate the virus from the body, in fact no drug can.
HOW TO USE IT
Valtrex is taken orally with or without food. It is recommended that you take lots of water after ingesting the tablet in order to reduce the chances of side effects.
Under no circumstance are you allowed to share your medicine with other people because valtrex is not suitable for everyone. It is only prescribed after a detailed medical history has been taken.
The dosage and length of taking the medication highly depends on the type of infection, its severity and your response to treatment. Make sure that you complete the dose and never skip the medication.
Experts have shown that this medication best works if the concentration of the drug in the body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you take it same time daily.
People are different. Some people will experience severe side effects, others mild while others non at all. The common side effects include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and headache.
More severe but rare side effects include allergic reactions characterized by rash, itching, hives and heavy bleeding, agitation, aggressive behavior, confusion, depression,agitation, fatigue, joint pain, painful menstruation, speech problems and jaundice.These require immediate medical attention.
If you experience other side effects that are not listed above then you should consult your pharmacist or doctor.
People allergic to acyclovir and valaciclovir should avoid taking this drug. It may also make you feel dizzy so you should drive or operate any machinery .
It should be used in caution in
- The elderly
- people with decreased kidney function
- people with liver disease
There is little research done on whether valtrex is safe for use by pregnant women. For this reason, they should avoid taking the medication. Acyclovir, the active ingredient, usually passes into breast milk and therefore this medicine should not be taken by nursing mothers.
This drug should be stored between 15 -25 degrees Celsius.It should be kept away from light, heat and moisture. Never store it in the bathroom or damp places. Keep out of reach of children and label it well so that other people will not take the medication accidentally.
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
If you forget to take a dose, take it as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, then you should skip the missed dose and resume your dosing as usual. Avoid doubling the dose as this may cause an overdose.
Symptoms of an overdose include : change in the amount of urine, mood changes, extreme fatigue and loss of consciousness. You should consult your doctor immediately.