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About Valtrex

If you use Valtrex, please help others by adding your feedback. What would you tell your best friend about this product? Please remember that we do not give medical advice. That is for your local health care provider, who is familiar with your medical history.

Subj: Valtrex affecting vocal cords?
Date: 8/25/2006
Hi, I just started taking Valtrex almost a week ago for genital herpes. I'm an opera singer and ever since starting the Valtrex my vocal cords seem a little swollen. I notice that one of the side effects of Valtrex is facial swelling... Could this be affecting also my vocal cords? I have noticed a little swelling of my eyelids as well. Aside from that my outbreak cleared up fast once I started the medicine. Thanks,

AskDocWeb: Yes, it is possible that the facial edema (swelling) due to Valtrex could affect your voice. Before your symptoms become any worse, make sure to tell your doctor about them.

Subj: Valtrex withdrawal?
Date: 8/28/2006
I found the Valtex (1-2 500mg tablets) seems to help with fibromyalgia-like muscle pain in my neck and upper back...only when I stop taking it, does the pain return (even more so-along with sinus pain, headaches, etc) there physical withdrawal with stopping Valtrex--should one wean themselves off gradually in that case? As well, I appear to now have developed a general 'itch' that I attributed to over consumption of a.m. coffee--but, this is usually when I take the single dose 500mg Valtrex I currently take just because of the improved muscle pain...could I be allergic? Is this common? I note in past, I had similar though much more intense 'biting itch' with Welbutin/anti-smoking medic. Please advise. Thanks,

AskDocWeb: Our nurse thinks that you must be talking about another medication because Valtrex is for herpes. However, to answer your question, there are no withdrawal symptoms after discontinuing Valtrex.

Subj: Valtrex for herpes
Date: 8/30/2006
I took Valtrex after my doctor said it looked like I contracted Herpes and it didn't speed up the process or really help at all. I took the Valtrex for one week and was also on an antibiotic for a very bad UTI. The antibiotic made me feel so much better than the Valtrex.

Subj: Valtrex weight gain?
Date: 9/3/2006
Does Valrex cause weight gain? I've gained 15lbs since going on Valtrex and despite diet and exercise I can't shake the weight.

AskDocWeb: Although weight gain is not a listed side effect of Valtrex several people have reported it.

Subj: Valtrex before laser treatment?
Date: 9/6/2006
I was prescribed Valtrex by a dermatologist for use before laser treatment. Does that make sense? I do get herpes simplex--cold sores. Thank you.

AskDocWeb: Yes this does make sense. He was making sure you didn't have any breakouts during and after the laser treatments. Any such breakouts would complicate and prolong the recovery time.

Subj: Abreva
Date: 9/16/2006
I used Abreva once, and discarded the box only keeping the tiny tube. I do not know the directions for usage. Can you help? Also, how long after the expiration date can Abreva be used? Thank you.

AskDocWeb: There seems to be some controversy about how long meds are good after the expiration date. It may be good for a month or six months but there is no way to tell other than putting your health at risk. It's safer to buy a new box and start over.

Subj: Mouth ulcers
Date: 9/20/2006
I am having lots and I mean lots of mouth ulcers, can you tell me if this is a good medicine for mouth ulcers? My doctor has told me to take this, or can you tell me what causes mouth ulcers? They hurt so bad? Thanks,

AskDocWeb: If your doctor told you to take Valtrex for your mouth ulcers then it is a good choice for you. It sounds like the herpes virus may cause them.

Subj: When to take Valtrex
Date: 9/26/2006
I took valtrex for 2 weeks and I quit, I got vaginal herpes, I was 2 months without it. I felt that I was going to have again, should I take valtrex right a way? For how many days now?

AskDocWeb: Valtrex is most effective when started within 48 hours of the onset of a breakout and the Physician's Desk Reference says to continue for 10 days.

Subj: How long does it take to work?
Date: 10/7/2006
I just started taking Valtrex yesterday along with Zovirax Ointment. The Ointment burns as it was stated in the information they gave me, but how long dose it take for the Valtrex to kick in. I know it will only surpress it but how long will there be pain? I'm tired of going to the bathroom and having PAIN!
Just Started

AskDocWeb: Within 24 hours you should see improvement, if not see your physician.

Subj: Pain in hip joints
Date: 10/9/2006
I only tried the samples my Dr gave to me. I thought I had not had an outbreak since, on my genitals anyway. However, I have noticed the same symptoms on my buttocks now. I also seem to get extreme pain in my hip joints on the same side as the outbreak, before and during an outbreak. Have you heard of this from anyone else?

AskDocWeb: Less than one percent of users report joint pain but it is a side effect of Valtrex.

Subj: Valtrex shortens the duration outbreaks
Date: 10/10/2006
My dermatologist prescribed Valtrex for me for future use when she saw I was suffering with a huge cold sore. I had explained to her I get them frequently and oddly on the same spot on my upper lip. She told me the next time I felt the tingling or burning of an oncoming cold sore attack to take 1 gram twice daily for two days. I followed her instructions when I next felt the tingling of an impending outbreak on my lip and a cold sore never developed. On another occasion, my cold sore popped out while I was away from home. Within 24 hours of its appearance I was able to get home and take my Valtrex even though my doctor told me it probably would not work if the blister had already formed. The cold sore did not grow into the usual huge water balloon and went away within a couple of days. Typically it takes 10 days or more from start to finish for it to clear.

On yet another occasion I had no lip tingling or burning but I had some irritating abrasions or little cuts or holes on the inside of my cheek, on my tongue and on my gums. I debated if these were cold sores but decided not to take the Valtrex since my lip was fine. I woke up the next morning with a cold sore on my lip the size of Rhode Island! I wasn't going to waste the Valtrex but I had the sensation the blister was still growing and I still felt tingling with pain. I took the medication at once. Two doses in a span of 14-16 hours the pain was gone as well as the tingling; the blister was less inflamed but still fluid-filled but it was obviously smaller than it had been earlier. It was still growing after the first dose but close to the next dose time I thought it felt smaller, so I took the second dose. Based on my experience thus far with Valtrex and cold sores, I'd recommend still taking the medication even if the cold sore snuck up on you like it did on me. It seems like this shortens the duration of the outbreak.

Subj: Valtrex to Acyclovir?
Date: 10/11/2006
Is valtrex the same as Acyclovir. By my understanding valtrex is broken down to Acyclovir. How many years can you be on it daily.

AskDocWeb: Yes, once taken internally, Valtrex (valacyclovir hydrochloride) is rapidly converted to Acyclovir. There doesn't seem to be any long-term studies on Valtrex but many people have been on it for years.

Subj: How long till relief?
Date: 10/11/2006
I've just started taking valtrex, 2 500 gram pills a day for suppressive therapy. I get cold sores and now even worse burning in the genital area. I was wondering how soon before this medication kicks in and takes all my pain away. Although this is not life threatening, this is stressing me out and taking time and enjoyment out of my life. If I can control the symptoms maybe I can feel better about myself. Please anyone feel free to comment.

AskDocWeb: It should kick in within 24 hours with some relief. All pain should cease within 3 to 5 days. There is a cream you can use that will reduce the burning sensation, ask your doctor about it.

Subj: Long-term effects of Valtrex
Date: 10/12/2006
What about long term effects of the Valtrex? Kidney problems? or what other problems can be developed due to extensive usage of the medication?

AskDocWeb: There doesn't seem to be any long-term studies on Valtrex. If readers have used Valtrex for more than a year you are encouraged to share your experience with this drug.

Subj: Stopping suppression medication
Date: 10/13/2006
I was on suppression medication for 9 months for herpes simplex (type 1) and I decided to stop and try some homeopathic remedies. Is there anything I should know about stopping the suppression medication before the recommended year?

AskDocWeb: There are no warning notes on discontinuing Valtrex. We would however, keep it close by in case it's needed.

Subj: Use of Valtrex while pregnant?
Date: 10/17/2006
Can I take Valtrex if I might be pregnant, took the test came up negative but still have not started my cycle, go to the Dr tomorrow. But the symptoms have come up today.

AskDocWeb: It is sometimes used by women who are pregnant but only your doctor can determine if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Subj: Darryl doesn't buy it
Date: 10/18/2006
Just started Valtrex and I am awaiting results from the blood test. Was concerned when the Doctor told me "Valtrex is as safe as asprin". Being skepticle of the Pharamceutical companies and this doctors real intentions I reluctantly agreed to start the prescribed dose . Whithin 5 days I felt totally tired and basically confused. Speaking was even a chore. I stopped taking it and will await my fate from the blood tests( which I fully expect to be positive). The first thing that crosses my mind is why is there no cure for this. "They" know where the virus lives and it is a constant or replicated virus and causes severe emotional distress at the same time. When I picked up the Valtrex from the Pharmacy I almost passed out just looking at what my insurance company had to pay. Five hundred and fifteen dollars for 45 pills of this magic suppression only drug. Things really started to clear up for me at this point why there was not a cure for this condition( It's been around for ever and affects millions and millions of people). What really rings in my mind is the doctor also told me "They don't have to cure it , just supress it". Think about that comment for a second. From reading the posts on this forum I think I have a picture of why they don't have to cure it and only supress it. I feel better after getting off it after 7 days. I would rather live with the burning I get than give another cent to this machine. Just my Opinion. Doc please prove me wrong and give people hope on cures just on the horizon as you put, in the next 5 to 10 years. Thanks for letting me vent,

AskDocWeb: The amount of money spent on researching viral cures is in the process of skyrocketing. You have probably heard about that new bird flu disease, H5N1. It started out with a mortality rate of about 50% and is scaring many people into stocking up on food, water, etc. so that they can stay home during the coming pandemic. As the mortality rate for this disease continues to rise (currently at 67%) more and more money is being put into research. This may be the silver lining in the cloudy problem of bird flu. Some of that research has to do with developing vaccines that work on multiple viruses. As our understanding increases, it looks like we are on a path that may lead to finding the cures for many viral diseases. Hopefully herpes will be one of them.

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2002-2007 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on Valtrex and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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