What is Valtrex?
Valtrex is an antiviral medication used to treat the current and future outbreaks of cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) in adults. Valtrex contains the active ingredient Valaciclovir and is effective at stopping the herpes simplex virus from reproducing. Valtrex helps to reduce the severity and the length of the outbreak, helping sores heal quicker and prevents new cold sores from forming.
It’s important to note that Valtrex is not a cure for herpes, but suppresses the virus to help control the symptoms and prevent further outbreaks.
How does Valtrex treat cold sores?
Valtrex works by interfering with the herpes virus whilst it reproduces, preventing it from multiplying and reducing the rate of the spread of infection. Valtrex is a prodrug, which means it converts to another substance in the body. Valtrex containing Valaciclovir, converts into Aciclovir when it enters the body.
How do I take Valtrex?
The usual dose to treat cold sores is 4 x 500mg (2000mg) tablets, taken twice a day with water. The second dose should be taken 12 hours (no sooner than 6 hours) after the first dose. You should take Valtrex for the treatment of cold sores for one day (two doses).
It is important to remain hydrated during the course of your treatment to minimise the risk of dehydration.
How effective is Valtrex at treating cold sores?
Valtrex starts working almost immediately after you start taking it and is effective in reducing the healing time and reducing the risk of transmission to other people. Valtrex is also proven to be effective in treating genital herpes and other HSV infections of the skin. Valtrex has also shown to have similar effects in treating cold sores as the comparable treatment, Aciclovir.
What is the difference between Valtrex and Generic Valaciclovir?
Valtrex and Generic Valaciclovir are medically equivalent in strength and efficacy; they both effectively treat cold sores. However, Valtrex is the branded version of Generic Valaciclovir and is consequently more expensive.
Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.
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Content last updated:
23 Feb 2023