Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Valtrex

(Valacyclovir)

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Treats viral infections.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Valtrex (Valacyclovir) is good for treating viral infections like herpes, chickenpox, and shingles. It won't cure the disease, but it'll shorten the length of a breakout.

  • Used as a first-choice treatment for herpes, chickenpox, and shingles infections and breakouts.
  • Most people (including pregnant women) usually take the oral medication without experiencing any side effects.
  • Available as a generic, so it's relatively cheap.
  • Most people generally don't develop a resistance to Valtrex (Valacyclovir).
  • Works well for most people to shorten the duration of outbreaks.
  • You don't have to take this as often as other antiviral medications.
  • Valtrex (Valacyclovir) is not a cure for herpes, chickenpox, or shingles. It will only shorten the time you have a breakout.
  • If you're taking Valtrex (Valacyclovir) for herpes, you should use barrier methods (condoms) when you're having sex since you can still pass it on to other people, even if you're taking the medication and you're not in a breakout.

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Side effects for Valtrex (Valacyclovir)

From clinical trials of Valtrex / Genital herpes, initial episode (1 g) ( 318)

  • HeadacheHeadache13% for Valtrex vs.0% for placebo
  • NauseaNausea6% for Valtrex vs.0% for placebo

What to expect when you take Valtrex (Valacyclovir)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Works the best when taken as early as possible during an outbreak.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated while on Valtrex (Valacyclovir).
  • If you're taking this for herpes, use condoms and avoid sex if you're having an outbreak so you don't infect others.
  • Start taking Valtrex (Valacyclovir) as soon as you know you're going to have a breakout.
  • Can cause diarrhea, nausea, or weakness.
  • This isn't a cure for viral infections, but it'll help control infection breakouts.

Risks and Warnings for Valtrex (Valacyclovir)

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  • There have been reports of people on Valtrex (Valacyclovir) who have had serious kidney damage. This is very rare. You'll want to drink plenty of fluids while you're on Valtrex (Valacyclovir).

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Valtrex (Valacyclovir)

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The FDA category for this medication is B. It is advised that you: Probably safe
Pregnancy
Food
  • taken with food but not necessary. I increase dosage to treat Herpes Zoster when I feel it coming on
    Taken for: Genital herpes
    Duration taken: Two years or more
Kidneys & liver
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • There have been reports of people on Valtrex (Valacyclovir) who have had serious kidney damage. This is very rare. You'll want to drink plenty of fluids while you're on Valtrex (Valacyclovir).
  • Stay away if you have kidney problems or tummy troubles
    Age: 19
    Gender: Woman
Sex
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • If you're taking Valtrex (Valacyclovir) for herpes, you should use barrier methods (condoms) when you're having sex since you can still pass it on to other people, even if you're taking the medication and you're not in a breakout.
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • If you're taking this for herpes, use condoms and avoid sex if you're having an outbreak so you don't infect others.