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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: Second outbreak
Date: 12/2/2006
I have recently been having trouble with HSV. Most of my sores occur on the thighs and lower abdomen. I have recently had a long outbreak lasting several weeks. Some sores disappear with treatment and others just pop right up. It is my second outbreak. Is this normal? Do sores in this region tend to react differently to sores on the genitals. My outbreaks seem to last longer than they should.
Jamie

AskDocWeb: No, the area where they appear should not matter on how they occur or how long they last. These will vary with your stress level, diet and general health condition.


Subj: Getting frustrated
Date: 12/3/2006
I was on Valtrex for 2 years for suppression. My new doctor said it was recommended not to be on Valtrex for over a year. I've been off Valtrex for about a year. I now have outbreaks almost twice a month. My first doctor did not seem to be concerned that I was on Valtrex for two years. What is the recommendation for length of use? I am getting very frustrated with my current frequency of episodes.
Mary

AskDocWeb: According to the Physicians' Desk Reference, "The safety and efficacy of therapy with Valtrex beyond 1 year have not been established." To some people, that's the same thing as putting a one-year limit on usage but others disagree. There may be something you can do. Several people have reported that taking Lysine helps reduce outbreaks. Lysine is an amino acid that your body uses to maintain the health of your skin. If taking Lysine helps, lets us know.

Please note that there are a few health concerns with using lysine.


Subj: Cold sores
Date: 12/7/2006
What causes cold sores or blisters, is it a virus or bacterial?
Concerene

AskDocWeb: Cold sores are usually caused by a contagious virus called herpes simplex Type I. Be sure to contact your doctor if an outbreak is accompanied by a fever, if you get four or more outbreaks a year, or if the pain interferes with eating.


Subj: Vision problem with Valtrex
Date: 12/7/2006
I contracted HSV from a friend just over two years ago. Initially I had sores around my lips and flu symptoms. After that initial outbreak I didn't have another outbreak for 14 months. After a weekend in the sun I had an outbreak and just dealt with it. Then one month later I had another outbreak and my doc put me on valtrex. He didn't really seem to have a recommendation as to whether I should use valtrex for long-term suppressive therapy or to treat episodes so I took valtrex for the rest of the episode and stopped, hoping that the next incident would be in the distant future, if ever. It turned out being three weeks later so I took valtrex again and have been on since, at first taking one 500-mg pill/ day. I had a few more outbreaks, even while taking 500mg per day so I upped it to two 500-mg doses each day, once in the morning and once in the evening. I haven't had any outbreaks but something odd has happened. Vision in one of my eyes is really, really bad now. I don't know what to do. My doctor really doesn't seem to know much about valtrex or oral herpes and I'd like some real answers. What type of specialist doctors should I speak with about my oral herpes and degrading vision in one of my eyes? I'm also wondering why the period between my first and second outbreaks was relatively long and recently outbreaks are frequent. Finally, when will there be a cure already?!
Rynne

AskDocWeb: Adjusting your dosage is something best left to your doctor, that could be the cause of your Visual abnormalities. We suggest you see a Dermatologist. They are the experts when it comes to oral herpes. And yes, it will be great to finally have a cure, people are working on that. One thing they have found is that taking 500 mg of Lysine daily seems to reduce the severity of outbreaks.


Subj: Long-term use of Valtrex
Date: 12/11/2006
I was diagnosed a couple of years ago with erythema multiforme or Stevens Johnson syndrome. This syndrome is brought on by an allergic reaction to sulfite drugs or the herpes virus. I have been on valtrex daily 500mg since then. The medication is very expensive and due to a change in my health insurance along with the fact that I don't want to be on it forever, I have stopped taking it. I have had minor occurrences of cold sores. My question is, are there side effects to prolonged use and does the suppression of the virus ever become permanent?
Terri

AskDocWeb: No, the suppression does not become permanent. Valtrex is a treatment, not a cure. It would be less expensive to use it only when you have breakouts rather than on a daily basis. It's difficult to find information on the long-term use of many drugs. That's one of the reasons for AskDocWeb.com, so that you have a place to report them without censorship by drug companies.


Subj: Larger dose?
Date: 12/12/2006
I have been on Valtrex 1,000 mg daily for suppressive therapy for over a year. When I wasn't on suppressive therapy, I would take a large dose (over 2 grams) when I felt a cold sore outbreak and it would almost stop it in its tracks. Can I take a larger dose while on suppressive therapy if/when I feel an outbreak? For the first time while on the meds, I am feeling the familiar tingling on my lip.
Al

AskDocWeb: Some people are able to do that but you need to consult with your doctor first to make sure that it would be safe for you.


Subj: Hair loss from Valtrex
Date: 12/13/2006
Hi, I have experienced hair loss from valtrex. If I switch to famvir should I experience the same thing? Also the hair loss seamed to start after a year daily on 500mg Valtrex. How come the hair loss started after a year on the drug or has it always been there and have not noticed it? Thanks,
Ann

AskDocWeb: You could experience the same with Famvir (famciclovir) but it is not likely. Hair loss is not listed as a side effect of Famvir.


Subj: 35 weeks pregnant
Date: 12/14/2006
Hello I have a question and was hoping someone could answer it for me, I am 35 weeks pregnant and was just informed by my doctor that I have antibodies for HSV . He prescribed me valtrex 500. I really do not understand what he meant by antibodies and why he is just now prescribing me something for it? Can taking this medicine cause me to have my first outbreak or can it harm my baby?
Brandy

AskDocWeb: No, taking Valtrex will not cause an outbreak. Doctors have been known to prescribe Valtrex in an attempt to prevent you from passing the HSV to your baby.


Subj: Outbreaks
Date: 12/16/2006
I started suppression therapy for herpes and my outbreaks became MUCH more frequent and more severe. Why?
Karen

AskDocWeb: There is no mention of this in the literature we have on Valtrex but every year someone brings up this possibility. We suspect that it may be a coincidence. Please talk to your doctor about this because it may be a sign that your dosage is too low and your medication may need to be adjusted.


Subj: Valtrex effectiveness
Date: 12/18/2006
I've been on a preventative dose (500mg/day) of Valtrex for quite a while. I've had more outbreaks in the past 3 months than I've experienced in years. I don't know what version of the virus I have. 25 years ago I had one genital outbreak but since then they've all been around my mouth or on my chin. Is it possible to for a build up of Valtrex in one's system to cause it to lose its effectiveness? Overall - I've had really good luck with the drug, especially combined with L-lysine.
LK

AskDocWeb: Yes, it can lose effectiveness over time. Consult with your doctor about increasing the dose for awhile or ask a dermatologist for his recommendations. We've heard of this happening to other people but never heard back from them on what they did for it. Please let share your results.


Subj: Valtrex dosage
Date: 12/19/2006
I started with a shingles outbreak on my back waist area and saw the doctor the next day after reading the it was key to start an antiviral med within 48 hours. I am taking 1 gram of Valtrex 3 times a day for 7 days. After just one pill I was dizzy and extremely fatigued and after the second developed a headache. I was almost afraid to take the third dose so called the doctor. I told him I didn't think I could feel like this for 7 days and he said I should try and tough it out as it will help with the outbreak and any nerve aftermath and he knew of nothing else that I could take for less than 7 days and call him again in two days and see him in five. I might add that I have no known health problems and rarely take medication except for a back problem and then only tolerate half the dose of any pain meds or muscle relaxers in order to function. Is it the dosage and can that be reduced? I cringe when I read that people actually take this stuff daily.
Theresa

AskDocWeb: Sorry to hear that Theresa. For shingles, 1 gram orally 3 times daily for 7 days is the recommended dosage (Source: Physician's Desk Reference 2006).

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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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