What is Valaciclovir?
Valaciclovir belongs to a group of medicines called antivirals. It works by killing or stopping the growth of viruses called herpes simplex (HSV), varicella zoster (VZV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV).
Valaciclovir can be used to treat HSV infections of the skin and genital herpes (in adults and adolescents over 12 years old). It is also used to help prevent these infections from returning.
For more information about Genital herpes, click here.
How do you take Valaciclovir?
Treatment of HSV infections of the skin and genitalherpes The usual dose is 500mg twice a day. For the first infection you should take Valaciclovir tablets for five days or for up to ten days if your doctor tells you to. For recurrent infection the duration of treatment is normally 3-5 days.
Helping to prevent HSV infections from returning after you have had them The usual dose is 250mg twice a day. Taking one 250mg tablet twice a day may give benefit to some people with frequent recurrences (instead of one 500mg tablet once a day). You should take Valaciclovir tablets until your doctor tells you to stop. If you suffer from six or more outbreaks a year suppression treatment may be suitable for you. Suppression treatment is taken everyday and helps to reduce recurrent outbreaks by 70-80% and that outbreaks are milder and shorter than without suppression treatment.
Prevent passing genital herpes on to others
The sooner you start taking Valaciclovir after the herpes symptoms start, the better it will work. You can pass on the herpes simplex virus to other people, even if the herpes is no longer visible. you should still practice safe sex, including the use of condoms. This is important to prevent you passing the infection on to others. If you have sores or blisters, you should not have sex at all until they have cleared up completely.
See our other genital herpes treatments here.