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Can You Take Valacyclovir While Pregnant

Can You Take Valacyclovir While Pregnant

Herpes in Pregnancy

The primary goal of genital herpes management during pregnancy is to prevent infection in the baby. Women with herpes lesions during delivery are at the highest risk of transmitting the infection to their baby. If you tend to have recurrent herpes lesions, your doctor will most likely discuss the risks and benefits of using suppressive treatment toward the end of your pregnancy. Suppressive treatment can help decrease your risk of recurrent lesions and other symptoms. This can reduce your risk of transmitting genital herpes to your baby during delivery.

Transmission prevention during sex

Genital herpes suppressive treatment can also help reduce your risk of transmitting the infection to new sexual partners. Other steps can help ensure that you don’t infect a sexual partner, as well. For example, genital herpes infection can be transmitted through mouth-to-genital contact in addition to genital-to-genital contact, so you should use a condom or dental dam. This is true even when you have no symptoms.

When you have an outbreak of symptoms, you should avoid sexual contact altogether. This includes the period before an outbreak when you may be more sensitive to touch in your genital area. The sensitivity is a warning that an outbreak of herpes lesions is about to occur.

General Precautions

Women taking valacyclovir for the first outbreak of genital herpes should NOT stop taking the medication after testing positive for pregnancy. The first infection can be life-threatening, so taking the full course of treatment is necessary for fetal/maternal health. If you’re taking valacyclovir when you find out you’re pregnant, contact your physician as soon as possible.

Effects on Pregnancy

Clinical studies completed on valacyclovir have shown no birth defects associated with drug treatment during pregnancy. Valacyclovir converts to acyclovir once ingested. At least three major studies have been completed on acyclovir and/or valacyclovir with participant pools ranging from 200 births to more than 1,500 births with no birth defects reported.

Safe During Breastfeeding

Valacyclovir is approved for use during pregnancy. The drug is available in topical cream/ointment. If cream or ointment is used on the skin on or around the breast, areola or nipple, wash the area with gentle soap and water before allowing baby to breastfeed. A small amount of oral valacyclovir will pass to baby during breastfeeding, but the American Academy of Pediatrics supports use of the drug while breastfeeding as no side effects have been reported.

Valacyclovir Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of valacyclovir there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving valacyclovir.

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