Valtrex is a drug that is prescribed to manage the symptoms of cold sores. The following article provides information on this drug.
Valtrex (Valacyclovir) is a drug that is prescribed for treating cold sores or fever blisters that result from a viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1. More often than not, these blisters appear on the lips. If you have had an outbreak before, it is most likely that you would get a tingling feeling on the area, one or two days prior to the appearance of the blisters. The symptoms usually stay for 10 days to a couple of weeks.
Unfortunately, if the virus enters the body, it stays there for life. It can reactivate from time to time, thereby causing blisters or fluid-filled lesions. Though these lesions generally disappear within two weeks, taking oral or topical medications may help in relieving the unpleasant symptoms. Valacyclovir is also prescribed for conditions such as shingles, chickenpox, genital herpes, and for lessening the probability of spread of herpes infection among sexual partners.
How Does it Work
After entering the body, the herpes virus may remain dormant for several years. However, it may get reactivated due to stress or other triggers, thereby causing the symptoms. Valtrex inhibits the multiplication of this virus in the body. In this way, it helps in lessening the outbreaks and the severity of the symptoms.
Dosage depends upon the age of the person, and if he is already on some other kinds of medications. Also, weight and other underlying medical conditions are also taken into consideration. With cold sores, the recommended dosage is about 2000 mg. This has to be administered twice a day, with a gap of 12 hours. It is administered for one day. This dosage applies for adults and children above 12 years of age. The drug also comes in strength of 500 mg and 1000 mg.
As with all other medication, Valacyclovir too has its own share of adverse effects. However, the good news is that most people tolerate the side effects well. The possible side effects may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Depression (in rare cases)
- About 8% of women using this drug might experience painful menstrual periods.
- Other less common symptoms are joint pain, dizzy spells, and increased liver enzymes.
Before going for this drug, you must consult your health care provider, or a doctor, if you are suffering from or had:
- Any kind of kidney disease
- Kidney transplant
- Autoimmune disorder
- Allergic reactions
The effectiveness of Valtrex in the treatment of fever blisters is well-known. However, it may vary depending upon the severity of the outbreak and the correct dosage. Also its use must be supervised by a doctor, especially for expecting and nursing mothers.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.