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Valacyclovir

Brand Name: Valtrex

Generic Name: Valacyclovir

Drug Class: Antivirals

What Is Valacyclovir and How Does It Work?

Valacyclovir is used to treat infections caused by certain types of viruses. In children, it is used to treat cold sores around the mouth (caused by herpes simplex) and chickenpox (caused by varicella zoster). In adults, it is used to treat shingles (caused by herpes zoster) and cold sores around the mouth.

Valacyclovir is also used to treat outbreaks of genital herpes. In people with frequent outbreaks, this medication is used to reduce the number of future episodes.

Valacyclovir is an antiviral drug. It stops the growth of certain viruses. However, it is not a cure for these infections. The viruses that cause these infections continue to live in the body even between outbreaks. Valacyclovir decreases the severity and length of these outbreaks. It helps the sores heal faster, keeps new sores from forming, and decreases pain/itching. This medication may also help reduce how long pain remains after the sores heal.

Valacyclovir may also be used to prevent another type of viral infection (cytomegalovirus) in some people.

Valacyclovir is available under the following different brand names: Valtrex.

Dosages of Valacyclovir :

Adult and Pediatric Dose Forms and Strengths

Capsule

  • 10 mg
  • 20 mg

Herpes Labialis

  • Adult: 2 g orally every 12 hours for 1 day
  • Children under 12 years: Safety and efficacy not established
  • Children over 12 years: 2 g orally every 12 hours for 1 day

Herpes Zoster

  • 1 g orally every 8 hours for 7 days (no data on efficacy if started 72 hours after rash)

Genital Herpes

  • Initial episode: 1 g orally every 12 hours for 10 days
  • Recurrent episodes: 500 mg orally every 12 hours for 3 days (no data on efficacy if started more than 24 hours after lesion onset)
  • Suppressive therapy (immunocompetent patients): 1 g/day orally
  • Suppressive therapy (immunocompetent patients with up to 9 recurrences annually): 500 mg/day orally; transmission reduction for source partner, 500 mg/day orally
  • Suppressive therapy (HIV-infected patients): 500 mg orally every 12 hours

Chickenpox, Pediatric

  • Children under 2 years: Safety and efficacy not established
  • Children over 2 years: 20 mg/kg orally every 8 hours for 5 days; not to exceed 1 g orally every 8 hours

Dosing Modifications

  • Geriatric: Monitor renal function; dosage may have to be adjusted, depending on renal status

Herpes labialis

  • CrCl 30-49 mL/min: 1 g orally every 12 hours for 1 day
  • CrCl 10-29 mL/min: 500 mg orally every 12 hours for 1 day
  • CrCl less than 10 mL/min: 500 mg orally once

Herpes zoster

  • CrCl 30-49 mL/min: 1 g orally every 12 hours
  • CrCl 10-29 mL/min: 1 g/day orally
  • CrCl less than 10 mL/min: 500 mg/day orally

Genital herpes (initial episode)

  • CrCl 10-29 mL/min: 1 g/day orally
  • CrCl less than 10 mL/min: 500 mg/day orally once/day

Genital herpes (recurrent episodes)

  • CrCl up to 29 mL/min: 500 mg/day orally

Genital herpes (suppressive therapy, immunocompetent patients)

  • CrCl up to 29 mL/min: 500 mg/day orally

Genital herpes (suppressive therapy, immunocompetent patients with up to 9 recurrences annually)

  • CrCl up to 29 mL/min: 500 mg orally every 48 hours

Genital herpes (suppressive therapy, HIV-infected patients)

  • CrCl up to 29 mL/min: 500 mg/day orally
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/18/2017



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