Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Valtrex Alternatives

(Valacyclovir)

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Compare Valtrex (Valacyclovir) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Valtrex (Valacyclovir) or used for similar purposes.

Valtrex
(Valacyclovir)

Zovirax
(Acyclovir)

Famvir
(Famciclovir)

Treats viral infections. 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.Treats viral infections. Zovirax (Acyclovir) 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.Coming soon.
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Reviews & ratings
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Side effects
ValtrexZoviraxFamvir
  • Common cold 18%
  • Nausea 12%
  • Rash 7%
  • Fatigue 3%
  • Vomiting 3%
  • Abnormal alt 1%
More Valtrex side effects »
  • Nausea 3%
  • Nausea and/or vomiting 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Feeling unwell 1%
More Zovirax side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Famvir side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Famvir »
How it works
ValtrexZoviraxFamvir
Valtrex (Valacyclovir) is an antiviral medication that stops viruses from growing. It shortens the amount of time infections like shingles, chickenpox, and herpes will last.Zovirax (Acyclovir) is an antiviral medication that stops viruses from growing. It shortens the amount of time infections like shingles, chickenpox, and herpes will last.Coming soon.
Type of medication
ValtrexZoviraxFamvir
AntiviralPrescription only
AntiviralPrescription only
Coming soon.
Available as
ValtrexZoviraxFamvir
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Oral suspension
  • Dissolving tablet extended release
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
ValtrexZoviraxFamvir
  • Herpes zoster
Risk factors for serious side effects
ValtrexZoviraxFamvir
    • Weakened immune system
    • Elderly
    Detailed Valtrex (Valacyclovir) risks & warnings »
    Coming soon.Coming soon.
    Pregnancy category
    ValtrexZoviraxFamvir
    BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

    Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

    See the FDA package insert
    BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

    Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

    See the FDA package insert
    BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

    Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

    See the FDA package insert
    Alcohol
    No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
    Food
    No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    • 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).
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    Sex
    • 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.
    • If you're taking this for herpes, use condoms and avoid sex if you're having an outbreak so you don't infect others.
    • If you're taking Zovirax (Acyclovir) 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.
    • If you're taking this for herpes, use condoms and avoid sex if you're having an outbreak so you don't infect others.
    No specific sex-related info.
    Sleep
    No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    ValtrexZoviraxFamvir
    • Most people generally don't develop a resistance to Valtrex (Valacyclovir).
    • You don't have to take this as often as other antiviral medications.
    • 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.
    • Works well for most people to shorten the duration of outbreaks.
    • Most people generally don't develop a resistance to Zovirax (Acyclovir).
    • 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.
    • Works well for most people to shorten the duration of outbreaks.
    Coming soon.
    Downsides and risks
    ValtrexZoviraxFamvir
    • 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.
    • Zovirax (Acyclovir) is not a cure for herpes, chickenpox, or shingles. It will only shorten the time you have a breakout.
    • If you're taking Zovirax (Acyclovir) 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.
    • You need to take this up to five times a day, so it can be inconvenient.
    Coming soon.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    ValtrexZoviraxFamvir
    • Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated while on Valtrex (Valacyclovir).
    • Start taking Valtrex (Valacyclovir) as soon as you know you're going to have a breakout.
    • Works the best when taken as early as possible during an outbreak.
    • If you're taking this for herpes, use condoms and avoid sex if you're having an outbreak so you don't infect others.
    • Can cause diarrhea, nausea, or weakness.
    • This isn't a cure for viral infections, but it'll help control infection breakouts.
    • Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated while on Zovirax (Acyclovir).
    • Start taking Zovirax (Acyclovir) as soon as you know you're going to have a breakout.
    • Works the best when taken as early as possible during an outbreak.
    • If you're taking this for herpes, use condoms and avoid sex if you're having an outbreak so you don't infect others.
    • Can cause diarrhea, nausea, or weakness.
    • This isn't a cure for viral infections, but it'll help control infection breakouts.
    Coming soon.
    Learn more
    More about ValtrexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about ZoviraxSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    More about FamvirSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert