Valtrex, also known as Valacyclovir Hcl, was approved to market by GlaxoSmithKline in December 1995. For nearly 20 years, this antiviral has been a top prescribed medication for the treatment of viral illnesses such as herpes, cold sores, shingles, and chicken pox. Valtrex slows the growth and spread of the herpes virus, thus giving the body a chance to fight off infection.
Valtrex against chickenpox
Valtrex is considered safe to be prescribed to children as young as 2 years old and is given as a treatment to children and adults with chicken pox to slow the spread of the virus in an attempt to limit the severity of the illness. A person who is treated with Valtrex immediately or shortly after the chickenpox virus is detected, within 24 hours, will have a much less severe case of chickenpox and one that is much shorter in duration. As chickenpox is especially hard on adults, sometimes even fatal, the use of Valtrex to limit the severity of the illness has been a real boon to the healthcare industry.
Valtrex is also the primary drug prescribed to inhibit the spread and growth of herpes. Herpes may appear as genital herpes, which causes painful and intermittent blister like sores to form in the genital or anal region. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease for which there is no cure available, but episodes of outbreaks of herpes sores can be lessened in their occurrence and severity with the use of Valtrex. Valtrex also helps to lessen symptoms when an outbreak occurs. Valtrex should be taken as soon as the presence of a herpes sore is detected, within 24 hours. Many doctors prescribe Valtrex for their patients with herpes to take as needed – as soon as symptoms of an outbreak are detected. The same virus that causes herpes also causes cold sores to erupt, which are typically seen in or on the mouth area. Valtrex is also a very effective treatment for cold sores and should be taken at the first sign of symptoms.
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Dosages of Valtrex can vary in strength dependent upon the type of viral illness being treated. For chicken pox, a 20mg dose is typically given 3 times a day for 5 days. For cold sores around the mouth, a dose of 1 gram is given even 12 hours for just one day. For outbreaks of genital herpes, upon the initial course of Valtrex given, 1 gram will typically be prescribed, taken twice daily for 10 days. For recurrent episodes of genital herpes outbreaks, one 500mg dose is given twice daily for 3 days. Ongoing treatment with Valtrex, known as “suppressive therapy” is available to those with genital herpes and is intended to prevent or greatly reduce the number of outbreaks experienced. Suppressive therapy is typically 1 gram taken on a daily ongoing basis. It should be noted that Valtrex will not halt the spread of the herpes virus.
Valtrex Common Side effects
Valtrex users tend to report few side effects, but the most common side effect reported is headache, nausea, and abdominal pain.
Generic Valtrex has been a top go-to treatment for certain viral conditions for nearly 20 years and has helped to relieve much pain and suffering.