What is Valaciclovir?
Valaciclovir is an antiviral medication that can be used in the treatment of infections caused by a herpes virus (HSV) such as genital herpes, cold sores and shingles or herpes zoster in men and women. The active ingredient valaciclovir hydrochloride suppresses the herpes simplex virus. Valacilovir cannot cure genital herpes (there is no cure for the condition) but it can reduce the severity and duration of outbreaks. Valaciclovir is usually supplied as 500mg tablets. One tablet is swallowed twice daily for as long as your online GP prescribes it. Valaciclovir can be used to treat recurring outbreaks of genital herpes and is sometimes prescribed as a prophylactic to prevent new outbreaks.
What is the active ingredient of Valaciclovir?
The active ingredient of Valaciclovir is valaciclovir hydrochloride, an antiviral medication that suppresses the herpes simplex virus in your body. Although valaciclovir hydrochloride cannot cure genital herpes, it is effective in helping to manage outbreaks of the disease. Used correctly, Valaciclovir may shorten herpes outbreaks and reduce the severity of any symptoms that occur.
How does Valaciclovir work?
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection that is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). When Valaciclovir is taken orally in tablet form, the active ingredient valaciclovir hydrochloride suppresses the virus. Although genital herpes cannot be permanently cured, a weakened virus will cause shorter outbreaks and less acute symptoms. The sooner Valaciclovir is taken after the onset of genital herpes, the more effective it is likely to be in treating the condition. Valaciclovir may be prescribed to treat both initial and recurring outbreaks of herpes, as well as sometimes being taken on a preventative basis by people who suffer from regular and severe recurring outbreaks.
Who can take Valaciclovir?
Our online GPs are usually able to prescribe Valaciclovir to adult patients suffering from genital herpes. If you are allergic to valaciclovir hydrochloride or aciclovir, you cannot use this medication. If you suffer from the following medical conditions, you should mention them when you complete the short online health questionnaire. Our duty GP will consider your individual situation and ensure that it is safe for you to take Valaciclovir.
- Kidney problems
- Liver problems
- You are over 65 years of age
- Your immune system is weak
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding
If you expect to operate machinery or vehicles while you are taking Valaciclovir, you should be aware of the risk of side effects that may reduce your ability to do so safely.
What doses of Valaciclovir are available?
Valaciclovir is available in 500mg tablets (to be taken orally). Your online GP will give you precise instructions for your individual treatment, but the standard treatment for genital herpes is a single 500mg tablet taken twice daily (usually one in the morning and another at night). This treatment typically continues for between five to ten days. It is important to remember that there is no permanent cure for genital herpes. Valaciclovir suppresses the HSV virus that causes the condition, reducing the duration and intensity of an outbreak.
Our duty GP will consider your personal health situation and circumstances carefully. If your Valaciclovir prescription is approved, you will receive enough daily tablets to effectively treat your outbreak of genital herpes. An increased dosage of Valaciclovir will not improve the efficacy of the medication. Even if your symptoms are painful or distressing, you should not exceed the prescribed dosage. Our GP may be able to offer advice about using topical pain relieving creams like Emla, or other treatments alongside Valaciclovir.
How do I take Valaciclovir?
Your online GP will tell you exactly how to take your Valaciclovir tablets for optimal therapeutic results and minimal unwelcome side effects. Generally, one 500mg tablet is swallowed whole with a glass of water in the morning and another at night. This process is repeated for between five to ten days, depending on your individual prescription. You should take your tablets at the same time every day. It is important to take all the tablets prescribed by your doctor.
Can I take Valaciclovir and drink alcohol?
Our online GPs generally do not recommend drinking alcohol while taking any prescription medicine. Although there are no specific warnings against drinking while using Valaciclovir, there is a possibility that doing so may exacerbate any potential side effects from the medication. Drinking alcohol to excess may also exacerbate the symptoms of genital herpes and could interfere with the body’s natural immune responses to the HSV virus.
What are the side effects of Valaciclovir?
Your Valaciclovir tablets will come with a patient leaflet giving detailed information about the medication, its ingredients, possible side effects, and contraindications. Please read this leaflet carefully before you take any tablets. Keep the leaflet with the medication for future reference.
If you take Valaciclovir exactly as directed by our online GP, you are unlikely to experience any significant unwelcome side effects. A small minority of patients may experience some minor side effects.
Very Common (affects more than 1 user in 10
Common (affects 1 to 10 users in 100)
- Feeling sick or vomiting
- Skin reaction after exposure to sunlight (photosensitivity).
- Skin rash
Uncommon (affects 1 to 10 users in 1,000)
- Feeling confused
- Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations)
- Feeling very drowsy
- Feeling agitated
If you experience serious discomfort we recommend that you go straight to your nearest casualty department. In an emergency dial 999.
When should I not take Valaciclovir?
Do not take Valaciclovir if you are allergic to valaciclovir hydrochloride monohydrate. Some other patients may also be unable to take Valaciclovir, or may have to take special precautions when using it. If any of the following applies to you, be sure to mention it when you complete the quick online health questionnaire.
- You have kidney problems
- You have liver problems
- You are over 65
- Your immune system is weak
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding
Our duty GP will carefully consider your individual medical situation and will not issue a prescription for Valaciclovir if there is any risk to your health. If your prescription is approved, your medication will be sent for next day delivery. You will be given precise instructions about how to take the tablets.
- Genital herpes
- Genital HSV Infections
- Herpes treatment
The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from the PDF-version from this website because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged or the medicine is from another brand.