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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: Is this amount safe?
Date: 9/27/2007
Hi, I have been taking (2) 500 mg of valtrex a day for about 6 months and it has helped me tremendously. Is it safe to take this amount daily? I tried to cut down to 1 a day 2 times and I started to feel some symptoms. Will my doctor allow me to do the same during my pregnancy?

AskDocWeb: Yes, it is safe. Taking two 500 mg of Valtrex daily is the recommended dosage for chronic suppressive therapy of recurrent genital herpes in patients with a normally a functioning immune system. (Source: Physician's Desk Reference)

Subj: Minor side effects
Date: 9/30/2007
I started taking 1000mg a day as suppressive therapy. I get sores on my nose. I also have genital herpes but I hardly ever have an outbreak there. I am going through a very stressful time in my life with my father being terminally ill. So maybe later on I will go off the drug and use it for outbreaks only. I also take 1000 mg of Lysine a day. I've been taking that for years and it does seem to help. I have noticed a few side effects and my doctor said they were unrelated. I disagree. I broke out in acne on my face and shoulders. I haven't had acne on my shoulders in 15 years. As reported by other people, I have pretty bad stomach pain a few hours after taking the pill. I am hoping my body adjusts to these minor side effects soon.

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

Subj: Frequent Urination
Date: 10/5/2007
I've been prescribed Valtrex to treat Herpes and I am currently taking it on a daily basis as directed by my physician for at least 3 months to suppers the virus. Recently I've developed symptoms of frequent urination. My physician says he has not heard any such symptoms before but I am quite sure I've not changed my diet or taken any other medication that could suggest so. I've seen a urologist and he has cleared me after some examination. Desperately need help.

AskDocWeb: It sounds like you may need a second urologist's opinion with a full examination and blood work.

Subj: Valtrex and Famvir
Date: 10/17/2007
I have had bad side affects from Valtrex including Hair loss. Will Famvir do the same if I take it? Also it is really a Poison for your body, the content of the pill is not found in the body naturally. Valtrex and Famvir are they the same thing? Thanks,

AskDocWeb: No, they are in the same class but are not the same thing. Famvir contains fimciclovir a prodrug of the antiviral agent penciclovir. Hair loss is not listed as a side effect of Famvir.

Subj: Dystonia, Meige syndrome
Date: 10/18/2007
I was given a Valtrex for cold sores and I keep it ready so when I start feeling like I going to have a core sore I take it and it stops the outbreak. Great! I also have facial spasm, I've been told I have Dystonia, Meige syndrome but when I take the treatment for my cold sores my dystonia is better! For about 4 days I feel almost normal and then it gets worst. I have notice this every time I've taken the Valtrex for cold sores. I'm wondering if there is something in it that suppress the spasm or could my condition be viral related?

AskDocWeb: There doesn't seem to be any information connecting Valtrex with Meige's syndrome but as you know, your condition could be viral related.

Meige's syndrome is a type of dystonia, also known as oral facial dystonia or hemifacial spasm. The main symptoms involve involuntary blinking and chin thrusting. Although there is no cure palliative treatments are available, such as Botox injections.

Subj: 500mg once a day
Date: 10/19/2007
I been on valtrex for 9years and recently I went to see an accupture he said he was taken the redness out of my herpes I been having recurring break outs. I been taken 500mg once a day for 2 months now.

Subj: I have a question about Valtrex
Date: 10/22/2007
I had shingles 18 months ago, treated promptly with Valtrex and oral prednisone. Despite this the infection spread to the eye eventually causing uveitis and involving the cornea. I have been on and off maintenance doses of Valtrex since then and on almost continual Pred Forte eye drops. The inflammation flared up recently and my ophthalmologist, a uveitis specialist, has prescribed Valtrex 1 Gm three times a day for 6 months. What are the long term effects of such a high dose? I am a 63 year old woman in apparent good health except for this bout of shingles and its after effects.

AskDocWeb: The affect of Valtrex varies with the function of your kidneys and your dosage may need to be changed if your renal status changes. Older patients are more likely to suffer agitation, confusion, hallucination, delirium and encephalophathy (a break down or death of brain cells). Specific statistics on long-term effects do not seem to be available.

Subj: Allergic reaction
Date: 10/24/2007
10 days after a condom broke. This morning I was awakened by a sharp pain and tingling sensation in one spot on my upper lip and one area of my outer labia. I went to my gynecologist who told me to take 2 grams of valtrex twice today for the cold sore and then the normally prescribed treatment of valtrex for the genital herpes for the next 6 days. I fell asleep after taking the med and woke up 5 hours later with a swollen face and upper lip and a red itchy rash on the back of my neck, my ears and torso...a little redness on my legs too. I took Benadryl immediately and the dark red color has subsided and the itchiness is gone, but my right ear still burns and I still have a swollen face and upper lip. I have no plans to take a second dose of valtrex. My doctor recommended I try famvir. I am waiting until tomorrow to start it. My question is, since it's in the same medication family, will I get the same allergic reaction? Or not necessarily because it's processed by the body differently? Btw, I am a 35 year old female in good health, under extreme stress these days. As ridiculous as this might sound: my last allegice reaction was from tuna fish salad that I ate when I was 10.

AskDocWeb: You may or may not, you have to try the famvir because it's the only other product available for your type of herpes.

Subj: Long term affects to kidneys and liver
Date: 10/25/2007
I have been on Valtrex for almost 5 years. I have chronic herpes, so this drug has been a true miracle for me. I started out on 2 500 mg a day as suppression (daily suppression). That was the amount that would suppress it. I have taken as high as 4 500 mg a day (for daily suppression) but have now weaned myself down to 3 500 mg a day which keeps me almost outbreak free. I am now trying to wean myself back down to 2 500 mg a day again. I tried before, but I had breakthroughs after 1 week of the lower dose. :( I am not giving up. I am worried that the docs will finally remove me from it because of the length of time on it. I have to go to an infectious disease specialist to get the med (due to the dosage) since my OB said she wouldn't do it anymore, too scared of the malpractice I guess. I want to know what are the long term affects to kidneys and liver with Valtrex. I have to go get my blood taken tomorrow since the specialist wants to make sure the drug isn't harming them. Side note, I am 42 years and have had it for 21 years.

AskDocWeb: Sorry D, there doesn't seem to be any long-term studies available.

Subj: Helped save my sanity
Date: 10/26/2007
I have HSV2 and I've been taking 1g tablets for over 2 years now and it has successfully prevented outbreaks from occurring and helped save my sanity. I really don't like taking any medication I don't absolutely have to but the 2 times I tried to go off the Valtrex the outbreaks came back. Mine last longer than the 2 weeks they say they are supposed to. When I wasn't on Valtrex I felt like my outbreaks were ongoing. So far I haven't noticed any side effects from taking it this long other than it making my sex life a little more complicated. However, I'm unconvinced that it's completely safe to take any drug this much for this long. What some readers have said here about kidney damage has amplified my concern and I am definitely going to get some lab work done.

Subj: Rash dried up in 3 days
Date: 11/1/2007
I have had an outbreak of the shingles about three years ago. Saturday I got a neck massage, from a friend, for a sore jaw, twitching nerve, and migraines. I applied ice for 20 minutes afterwards. After removing the ice I immediately broke out again on my neck. The rash was not bad. It was raised, red, it burned and itched, no blisters either time I had it. Accompanied with extreme jaw pain. I saw a Dr. within 3 days and was prescribed Valtrex. After taking 3 (1 a day) pills the rash has dried up. Is this possible it worked that fast?

AskDocWeb: Typically, the entire cycle lasts about two weeks, although the rash may have had another cause.

Subj: Tingling and burning sensation
Date: 11/4/2007
Hi, I have been taking valtrex since Feb 2007 for suppression purposes and yes, it does help prevent my out breaks...but I have notice an extreme amount of hair loss and numbness and tingling sensations, generalize sensitive and burning sensation thought out my body from my face down to my feet... I do not take any other medications besides the valtrex. I have never felt this before; could this be side effect from the medication???

AskDocWeb: Yes it could, but it could also be something else. See your physician and have some blood work done.

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2007-2008 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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