Zovirax vs. Valcyte

Are Zovirax and Valcyte the Same Thing?

Zovirax (acyclovir) and Valcyte (valganciclovir hydrochloride) are antiviral drugs used to treat different types of viral infections.

Zovirax is a nucleoside analogue type antiviral that interferes with the replication of herpes viruses used to treat shingles, chickenpox, and genital herpes.

Valcyte treats cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection of the eye in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Valcyte also prevents CMV infection in patients who have received an organ transplant (kidney, heart, or kidney-pancreas).

What Are Possible Side Effects of Zovirax?

Common side effects of Zovirax include:

What Are Possible Side Effects of Valcyte?

Common side effects of Valcyte include:

Tell your doctor if you have unlikely but serious side effects of Valcyte including:

  • mental/mood changes (such as confusion, hallucinations),
  • changes in the amount of urine, or
  • seizures.

What Is Zovirax?

Zovirax (acyclovir) is a synthetic nucleoside analogue that interferes with the replication of herpes viruses used to treat:

  • shingles,
  • chickenpox,
  • and genital herpes.

What Is Valcyte?

Valcyte (valganciclovir hydrochloride) is an antiviral drug that treats cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection of the eye in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Valcyte also prevents CMV infection in patients who have received an organ transplant (kidney, heart, or kidney-pancreas).

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What Drugs Interact With Zovirax?

Zovirax may interact with probenecid. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

What Drugs Interact With Valcyte?

Valcyte and ganciclovir (Cytovene) must never be taken together. Valcyte may interact with zidovudine, didanosine, mycophenolate, drugs that weaken your immune system (such as cancer medicine or steroids), or probenecid. Tell your doctor all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication.

How Should Zovirax Be Taken?

Zovirax tablets are available in 200, 400 and 800 mg strengths and as a liquid suspension with 200 mg strength per 5 ml. Usual doses are 800 mg every 4 hours, 5 times a day for 10 days for shingles; doses for genital herpes infection are the same interval but start with 200 mg. Doses for chickenpox is the same as shingles except it goes for only 5 days for adults; for children ages 2 and up are weight based (20 mg per Kg) up to 40 Kg, 5 times a day for 5 days. Over 40 Kg, the person gets the adult dose for 5 days.

How Should Valcyte Be Taken?

Dose of Valcyte varies depending on the infection being treated, the patient's medical condition, and other factors.

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References

GSK. Zovirax Drug Information.
https://www.gsk.com/en-gb/products/our-consumer-healthcare-products/skin-health/zovirax/
FDA. Valcyte Drug Information.
http://www.valcyte.com/patient

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