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Valtrex (generic name: valaciclovir/valacyclovir; brand names include: Valcivir / Zelitrex) is an antiviral medicine.
herpes zoster (shingles)
first-episode and recurrent genital herpes
herpes labialis (cold sores)
Valtrex disrupts the process by which the herpes virus reproduces itself and spreads to other cells in the body. This helps to keep the virus inactive.
Once-daily Valtrex, along with safer sex practices, has also been proven to reduce the risk of spreading genital herpes to a partner.
Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. Take Valtrex exactly as directed.
This medicine may be taken on an empty stomach or with food.
If you are taking Valtrex to reduce the risk of spreading genital herpes, always use safer sex practices. This includes using a latex condom and avoiding sexual contact when you have an outbreak or think you are about to get an outbreak.
If you are taking Valtrex for shingles, you should start using it as soon as possible after your doctor has made a diagnosis.
Continue to take Valtrex even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses. If you miss a dose of Valtrex, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
While taking Valtrex for cold sores, you should not exceed one day of treatment, two doses taken 12 hours apart.
Store this medicine at room temperature in a tightly-closed container, away from heat and light.
Before taking Valtrex, tell your doctor if:
you are allergic to Valtrex or other medicines;
you have kidney problems; or HIV infection;
you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Caution is advised when using this medicine in the elderly since they may be more sensitive to the effects of the medicine.
Active ingredient: valacyclovir hydrochloride.