Valtrex (Valacyclovir) is a prescription antiviral medicine used for the treatment of infections caused by the herpes virus. This medicine is not going to cure the problem, rather than help the patient control it better and relieve the symptoms. It can be used in both adults and children. Some of the conditions it can be used for include chickenpox, cold sores, shingles and genital herpes. Children younger than 12 are supposed to be examined by the doctor before using the drug, because it is usually recommended for patients older than that. There may also be some other uses for this medicine, and you are supposed to keep your doctor aware of your intention to use it for anything else besides herpes. Valtrex is unlikely to work for any other types of infections (fungal or bacterial) because it works for a specific kind of a viral infection.

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Talking about the treatment

Your doctor will always need to know if you have any medical issues that may prevent you from taking the original dose you have been prescribed. You will need to let your doctor know if you have any medical issues that may affect this aspect of your treatment. It will be important to mention such conditions as human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, any kidney problems or a history of bone marrow or kidney transplant. The importance of mentioning any kidney problems has to do with the fact the effects of Valacyclovir can be enhanced when it's used with other medications and it can cause serious kidney problems then. You will require special tests before you can take the medicine to make sure your kidneys are safe.

Taking the drug

It's important to start the treatment as soon as you notice tingling and burning under the skin, since those are the most likely symptoms of the infection about the break out. It's particularly important to treat genital herpes to lessen the symptoms and decrease the possibility of passing it to your partner. However, keep in mind that when you are using Valtrex for genital herpes, you are still likely to infect your partner. Therefore, no matter if you are taking the drug or not, and no matter if you have an outbreak or not, you will always have to use a condom when having sex. If a condom is not used, the risk of passing the infection to your sexual partner is very high. You are supposed to drink a lot of water when using Valtrex, and you will have to be examined regularly after you are done with the treatment. If you are taking the liquid form of the medicine, make sure to measure each dose with a special spoon for it to be accurate. You can also take every dose with some food or without.

Valtrex and pregnancy

If you are pregnant and going to deliver soon, it's very important that you take this medicine to treat lesions (in case of genital herpes). If you have an outbreak in progress and deliver a baby around the same time, your baby can be infected. This can lead to a number of very serious health issues in the child. Valacyclovir has been classified as FDA pregnancy category B: you can take it when you are regnant, but you do need to talk to your doctor before that. Your health care provider will be able to help you with advice on how you should handle your treatment to make sure you always benefit from it.

How your medicine can interact with other ones
There are a few medications that Valtrex is not supposed to be combined with. This has to do with the fact this medicine can seriously harm the person's kidney if combined with such drugs as indomethacin, capreomycin, kanamycin, lithium, cancer medicine, drugs to prevent organ transplant rejection, gentamicin, etodolac, diclofenac, methotrexate, amikacin, vancomycin, aspirin, ulcerative colitis medicine, naproxen, acetaminophen, antiviral medicines, streptomycin, ibuprofen or bacitracin. You need to let your doctor know if you are planning to use any of those soon.

Side effects you can expect

There are a few side effects you need to be aware of about before you can start the treatment. You will have to stop your treatment and avoid taking any more of Valacyclovir if you get any of the following health effects: pale skin, fainting, easy bruising, easy bleeding, yellowed skin, red spots on the skin, urinating less than usual, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, weakness or fever because they are likely to mean the medicine is affecting your read blood cells in an unexpected way. Other serious side effects you will have to report to your doctor immediately include hallucinations, seizure, increased thirst, pain in your lower back, drowsiness, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, trouble concentrating, feeling short of breath, speech or vision problems, weight gain, aggression, mood changes, confusion and agitation. However, in most cases, this drug can cause just a few mild side effects that you do not need to worry about. If you ever develop such mild side effects of this medicine as mild skin rash, joint pain, menstrual pain, nausea, dizziness, stuffy nose, tired feeling, sore throat, headache or stomach pain, you do not need to worry about them,.