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What is Valacyclovir?

What is Valacyclovir? Valacyclovir dose (Generic for Valtrex) is an antiviral drug that treats the symptoms of certain viral infections. In children, it is used to treat cold sores around the mouth (caused by herpes simplex) and chickenpox (caused by varicella-zoster). In adults, Valtrex Shingles is used to treat shingles (caused by herpes zoster) and cold sores around the mouth. It can also treat outbreaks of genital herpes. In people with frequent outbreaks, this medication can reduce future episodes. Valacyclovir long term side effects can be based on your medical condition

Valacyclovir limits the growth of certain viruses, but it is not a cure for these infections. Between outbreaks, they continue to live in the body, potentially without any symptoms. Valacyclovir decreases the severity and length of outbreaks, helps sores heal faster, keeps new sores from forming, and decreases pain and itching. This medication may also help reduce pain while sores are healing.

Valacyclovir Prescription

Valacyclovir is the generic for Valtrex and requires a prescription. All FDA-approved generics must have the same strength, dosage form, safety, and effectiveness as their brand-name counterparts.

How to use

Before you begin taking the Valacyclovir dose and each time you get a refill, read the Patient Information Leaflet. If you have any questions about what is Valacyclovir? ask your clinician or pharmacist.

  • Take Valtrex Shingles as directed by your licensed medical professional, by mouth, with or without food.
  • To lower your chance of Valacyclovir long term side effects it’s helpful to also drink plenty of fluids while taking this drug.
  • Your dosage and length of treatment are based on your type of infection, medical condition, and response to treatment.
  • The dosage is also based on weight when used to treat children for chickenpox.
  • In addition, the dose may need to be adjusted based on kidney function.

Valacyclovir (generic for Valtrex) will work best when you start taking it at the first sign of an outbreak, as directed by your licensed medical professional. If you delay treatment, it may not work as well. For shingles or chickenpox, start taking Valtrex Shingles at the first symptom or as soon as possible after the rash first begins to appear. For genital herpes or cold sores, start taking the Valacyclovir dose at the first sign of symptoms, like tingling, burning, or itching.

When the amount of Valtrex Shingles is kept at a constant level in your body, the drug will work best. That’s why you should take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. Taking it at the same time(s) each day can help you remember.

Continue to take valacyclovir (generic for Valtrex) until the full prescribed amount is finished. Do not skip, stop or change your dose without your licensed medical professional’s approval.

Tell your licensed medical professional if your condition persists or worsens.

Side effects

It’s important to be aware of possible Valacyclovir long term side effects before you start taking a medication. Here are the listed side effects of this drug:

  • Nausea
  • stomach pain
  • headache
  • dizziness

If any of these Valacyclovir long term side effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Some serious and rare side effects

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious Valacyclovir long term side effects, including mental/mood changes (such as agitation, confusion, hallucinations), trouble speaking, shaky/unsteady movements, signs of kidney problems (such as a change in the amount of urine).

Valacyclovir dose may rarely cause a life-threatening disorder that affects the blood cells, kidneys, and other parts of the body. This disorder is more likely to occur if you have conditions related to a weakened immune system (such as HIV disease, bone marrow transplant, kidney transplant). Get medical help right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • extreme tiredness
  • slow/fast/irregular heartbeat
  • easy bruising/bleeding
  • new fever
  • bloody/dark urine
  • severe stomach/abdominal pain
  • yellowing eyes/skin
  • sudden vision changes
  • loss of consciousness
  • seizures

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away.

Warnings & Precautions

It’s also important to be aware of precautions and warnings around taking this medication.

  1. Before taking the Valacyclovir dose, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it.
  2. Before using Valtrex Shingles, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history.
  3. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely.
  4. Limit alcoholic beverages.
  5. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use.
  6. Do not have certain immunizations/vaccinations.
  7. Avoid close physical contact with others.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially mental/mood changes (such as confusion, agitation) and kidney problems (such as a change in the amount of urine).

Generic for Valtrex does not prevent the spread of herpes. To lower the chance of giving genital herpes to your partner, do not have sexual contact during an outbreak or if you have symptoms. You can spread genital herpes even if you do not have symptoms. Therefore, always use an effective barrier method (latex or polyurethane condoms/dental dams) during all sexual activity. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

During pregnancy, Valacyclovir dose should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

This medication passes into breast milk but is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.


Store valacyclovir away from moisture and light, at room temperature. Do not store this drug in the bathroom. Keep this and all medications away from children and pets.

Unless instructed to do so, do not flush valacyclovir down the toilet or pour it into a drain. Once it is expired or you no longer need it, ask your pharmacist or local waste disposal company how to dispose of valacyclovir.

Drug interactions

Drug interactions can increase the risk for serious side effects and can also change how your medications work. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. It’s wise to keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription and nonprescription drugs, plus herbal products) and share it with your clinician and pharmacist. Do not start, change or stop the dosage of any medicines, including valacyclovir, without your licensed medical professional’s approval.

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1 gram, 500 mg



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