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Difference Between Acyclovir And Valacyclovir

difference between acyclovir and valacyclovir

Comparing Acyclovir vs Valacyclovir

Acyclovir is an antiviral drug that helps treat chickenpox, genital herpes, and shingles infections. It is most effective when started within 48 hours of symptom onset.

Valacyclovir is an antiviral drug that helps treat herpes and varicella-zoster infections. It should be started as soon as possible after symptom onset and only needs to be taken twice a day.

Important Facts About Acyclovir vs Valacyclovir

Valtrex was approved for medical use more than 20 years ago, and is used as both a treatment for herpes simplex and as a long-term medication to prevent outbreaks in people who experience repeated episodes of herpes outbreaks. In people who have undergone organ transplantation, it can be used for the prevention of infection by the cytomegalovirus. It can also be used as a protective drug in people whose immune system is compromised, such as people with HIV, or who are undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.

Like Valtrex, acyclovir does not cure herpes, but makes outbreaks less debilitating by preventing the viruses from multiplying and spreading. In people who have lower immune function, such as people with transplanted organs, people with HIV, or people taking chemotherapy for cancer, acyclovir may be given as a preventative medicine to protect against herpes outbreaks.

Acyclovir versus Valacyclovir – Which is Better?

While Acyclovir is more commonly prescribed, Valacyclovir does have a faster effect and also lasts longer than Acyclovir. However, the effectiveness of both drugs is dependent upon how quickly you take them and how severe the outbreak is. Both drugs have similar side effects and work in the same way. However, Valcyclovir does have a higher rate of drug interactions, so see your doctor and determine which treatment is best for you.

Side effects

Side effects of Valtrex include:

  • headache,
  • dizziness,
  • tired feeling,
  • depression,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • stomach pain,
  • joint pain,
  • menstrual pain,
  • skin rash,
  • stuffy nose,
  • or sore throat.

Treats viral infections

Valtrex (Valacyclovir) is a first choice treatment for herpes, chickenpox, and shingles. It won't cure the disease, but it'll control the signs and symptoms of an outbreak.

Zovirax (Acyclovir) is good for treating viral infections like herpes, chickenpox, and shingles. It won't cure the disease, but it'll shorten the length of a breakout.

Valacyclovir vs Acyclovir Upsides

  • Available as a generic, so it's relatively cheap.
  • Valtrex (Valacyclovir) has very few interactions with other medications.
  • Works well for most people to shorten the duration of outbreaks.
  • You don't have to take this medicine as often as other antiviral alternatives.
  • Used as a first-choice treatment for herpes, chickenpox, and shingles infections and breakouts.
  • Most people (including pregnant women) usually take the oral medication without experiencing any side effects.
  • Available as a generic, so it's relatively cheap.
  • Most people generally don't develop a resistance to Zovirax (Acyclovir).
  • Works well for most people to shorten the duration of outbreaks.

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