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What Does Valacyclovir Do

what does valacyclovir do

Why is this medication prescribed?

Valacyclovir is used to treat herpes zoster (shingles) and genital herpes. It does not cure herpes infections but decreases pain and itching, helps sores to heal, and prevents new ones from forming.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should I take valacyclovir?

Take valacyclovir exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Start taking valacyclovir as soon as possible after the first appearance of symptoms (such as tingling, burning, blisters). This medicine might not be as effective if you first start taking it 1 or 2 days after the start of your symptoms.

Valtrex Dosage

Valtrex is available in oral tablet form, in 500 mg and 1gram.

This medication works best if you take it at the very first sign on an outbreak. Delaying treatment can lessen the effectiveness of Valtrex.

For shingles or chickenpox, take the drug as soon as a rash appears. For cold sores or genital herpes, take the medication at the first sign of an outbreak or when you feel burning, tingling, or itching.

Valtrex works best when the mediation is at constant levels in your system, so take it at evenly spaced intervals as prescribed by your doctor.

The frequency and intervals of your dose depend on what you're taking it for.

  • For shingles: every eight hours (three times a day), for seven days
  • For genital herpes: twice a day for five to 10 days


Valacyclovir is used to treat infections caused by certain types of viruses. In children, it is used to treat cold sores around the mouth (caused by herpes simplex) and chickenpox (caused by varicella zoster). In adults, it is used to treat shingles (caused by herpes zoster) and cold sores around the mouth.

Valacyclovir is also used to treat outbreaks of genital herpes. In people with frequent outbreaks, this medication is used to reduce the number of future episodes.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

  • foscarnet
  • mycophenolate
  • tenofovir
  • varicella virus vaccine
  • zidovudine
  • zoster vaccine

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