Valacyclovir is an antiviral drug that stops the growth of certain infections. Valacyclovir is an oral tablet taken according to your prescription’s instructions and depending on what herpesvirus conditions are being treated. Doses may vary by strength and length, so it’s important to follow your Nurx™ medical provider’s instructions while taking valacyclovir.
This medication works to stop viral cells from multiplying and treats outbreaks of herpes viruses including cold sores (herpes simplex-1) and shingles (herpes zoster) in adults. Valacyclovir is used to treat genital herpes (herpes simplex-2) to reduce the length and severity of outbreaks. For those who suffer from frequent oral or genital herpes outbreaks, daily use of this medication can reduce the frequency of outbreaks. Valacyclovir is sometimes also used to treat chickenpox (varicella-zoster) in children over 2 years old.
- How Does Valacyclovir Work?
Valacyclovir is a medication taken by mouth with or without food. Dosage and length of treatment are based on the type of infection, medical conditions, and how you respond to treatment. Valacyclovir decreases the severity and length of outbreaks, while it helps sores heal faster and keeps new sores from forming. This medication can decrease the pain and itch that accompany outbreaks, even after sores have healed. For cold sores, Valacyclovir can reduce how long it takes for sores to heal.
This medication works best when it is started at the first sign of an outbreak and may not be as effective if treatment is delayed. When using Valacyclovir for genital herpes and cold sores, start dosing at the onset of telltale symptoms like tingling, itching or burning. Valacyclovir works optimally when the amount of medication in the body is kept at a constant level, so it's important to take your meds at the same time each day and for the entire length of treatment.
Typical dosing schedules for Valacyclovir:
- For the treatment of cold sores: Two grams twice daily for one day taken 12 hours apart.
- For an initial genital herpes outbreak: One gram twice daily for 10 days.
- For recurrent genital herpes: 500 milligrams twice daily for three days.
- For preventive treatment: One gram once a day for those with normal immune function. Preventive treatment for those with less than nine occurrences in a year is typically dosed at 500 milligrams once daily. For those living with HIV, the suppressive therapy dose increases to 500 milligrams twice daily.
- For shingles treatment: One gram three times daily for seven days.
Tell your Nurx medical provider if you suffer from renal impairment as the dosage may need to be adjusted for you. To avoid compromising your medication, store Valacyclovir at room temperature in a dry location and keep it in its original packaging.
- Is Valacyclovir Easy to Get?
Valacyclovir is a medication prescribed by a medical professional who has evaluated your conditions and history to make sure it's right for you. Valacyclovir retails for approximately $202 for 30 one-gram tablets and $138 for 30 500-milligram tablets. If you have already been diagnosed with herpes, you can also get Valacyclovir online from Nurx for as little as $0 for the medication with insurance or for $15-25 per month without insurance, with free shipping.
- What Precautions Should I Take Before Starting Valacyclovir?
It's important to remember that Valacyclovir is not a cure for herpes and the virus continues to live in your system between outbreaks. Valacyclovir cannot entirely stop the spread of herpes, so it's best to avoid kissing (cold sores) or sexual contact (genital herpes) during an outbreak. Continue to use protection such as condoms to avoid spreading the infection between occurrences.
For this medication to be the most effective, take it at the same time each day and for the entire prescription duration. Try not to miss doses and drink plenty of water to avoid any kidney problems. Be sure to let your Nurx medical provider know if you have immune system disorders such as HIV or if you have kidney disease or you're on dialysis. Organ transplants can increase the chance for infection or complications, so be sure to let us know if you have a history of kidney, heart, or pancreas transplant before you start taking Valacyclovir.
While allergic reactions to Valacyclovir are rare, they can happen. Get medical attention if you develop allergy symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.
- Are There Any Side Effects?
Like most medications, side effects sometimes occur but diminish as you use the medication. The most common side effects reported from Valacyclovir users are nausea, stomach pain, headache, or mild dizziness. Mild dizziness can be made worse by adding alcohol or cannabis, so it's best to avoid these substances while taking Valacyclovir. If dizziness occurs, avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you feel able.
Serious side effects are uncommon and typically appear as changes to mood, trouble speaking, or feeling shaky or unsteady, Serious effects may cause changes in the amount of urine the body produces so it's important to tell your Nurx provider about any history of kidney impairment or transplant. Older adults may be more sensitive to Valacyclovir and may experience serious effects, especially mood changes and kidney problems. Talk to your Nurx medical provider if side effects become a concern or if they don't go away.
- Will Valacyclovir Interfere With Medications?
Some medications can affect how you react to Valacyclovir and the effectiveness of your medication. If you are taking medication for the treatment of kidney problems, including medicines such as naproxen and over the counter ibuprofen, Valacyclovir may interfere with these medications. Since Valacyclovir contains similar ingredients to acyclovir (Zovirax) used to treat cold sores, it's best not to combine these medications.
It's also a good idea to avoid vaccinations while taking Valacyclovir since medicines can interact with each other. Tell your Nurx medical provider about vaccinations, current medications, and over-the-counter remedies you're taking to make sure Valacyclovir will work safely and effectively for you.
- How Do I Get a Prescription for Valacyclovir Through Nurx?
Contact our medical team here at Nurx to discuss your health history, outbreak occurrences, and your lifestyle so we can determine if Valacyclovir is the right medicine for you. In most cases, we can get you started on Valacyclovir for less than $30 per month.
- Can I Buy Valacyclovir Online Through Nurx?
Yes, you can conveniently schedule a regular shipment of your medication so you stay protected.
- How Long Would It Take to Deliver Valacyclovir if I Ordered It Online?
Here at Nurx, we understand the importance of beginning treatment at the first sign of an outbreak. We ship your medication free of charge within a week and deliver it in discreet, unbranded packaging to your mailbox. Or you can opt to pick up your medication from your local pharmacy at your convenience. With regular delivery, you can take your medication at the onset of symptoms or stay protected with suppressive treatment if you suffer frequent outbreaks.
- Who Makes Valacyclovir?
Valacyclovir is the generic equivalent of Valtrex and is manufactured in the United States by GlaxoSmithKline.
- Can I Use Valacyclovir While I'm Pregnant?
It's important to prevent outbreaks during pregnancy since the virus can be passed to your baby. It's also vital to prevent the presence of lesions when the baby is born. Studies show very little adverse effect on pregnant women taking Valacyclovir but they are cautioned to use this medication only if it's necessary.
If you're pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, talk to your Nurx medical provider to get tested for STIs and determine if the benefits of taking Valacyclovir during pregnancy outweigh the risks.
- What Happens If I Miss a Dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it's close to the time to take a second dose (you remember at 3 p.m., but your next dose is scheduled for 5 p.m.) just take the one dose. Doubling up on the medication can increase the chance of serious side effects.
- How Does Nurx Work?
Nurx is a free platform offering easy online access to doctors and seamless delivery of medications. No more time-consuming trips to the clinic and no more frantic pharmacy runs. We put you in control of your own health, empowering you to get the care you need, when you need it. From diagnosis to delivery of prescriptions, we make every part of getting healthy and staying healthy, better.