What is this medication?
Valacyclovir/Valtrex is officially indicated for use in herpes simplex virus, or herpes zoster (shingles). It may also be prescribed off-label for Bell Palsy, cytomegalovirus, or varicella zoster virus. (may be used for other conditions not listed)
How does this medication work?
Valacyclovir/Valtrex is an inactive prodrug that is rapidly and extensively converted to acyclovir by the intestine and liver. Acyclovir is converted through a series of steps to acyclovir triphosphate which inhibits DNA synthesis thereby preventing viral replication by competing with deoxyguanosine triphosphate and taking its place during viral DNA transcription.
How should I take this medication?
Oral: 500-2000mg one to three times per day depending on condition it is used for
How to Take: Follow instructions provided by physician/pharmacy label, take consistently at same times each day unless otherwise directed, store at room temperature and take with food if it upsets your stomach
You Need to Avoid: Careful with use in the elderly as it can cause CNS (central nervous system) effects such as agitation, hallucinations, delirium, seizure, or encephalopathy
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Before starting Valacyclovir/Valtrex make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you have kidney disease, are pregnant or breastfeeding
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
How should I store this medication?
Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.
What are the possible side effects of using this medication?
Headache, nausea, abdominal pain, increased AST/ALT (liver enzymes), nasopharyngitis, fatigue, rash
Note this is not a complete list of side effects, only common ones
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