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About ValtrexIf 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 and stiff neck
I have been taking Valtrex 500 mg daily for little over a year and for the first month I seemed to have a stiff neck but that went away. I am again having the stiff neck and it seems to come a few hours after I take my meds and lasts most of the day. Have you ever heard of this?
AskDocWeb: Yes, about 5% of Valtrex users experience Arthralgia, which is pain in your joints and that includes your neck.
Subj: Valtrex rash
I have just begun a taking Valtrex for Herpes 2. I have a rash plus peteciae on my arms legs and now my face. I stopped taking the Valtrex after 4 days, but continue having these little red spots.
AskDocWeb: That sounds like it is time for a visit to your doctor. And please, share your results when you get this resolved. Good luck.
Subj: Valtrex for cold sores
How often is it safe to take Valtrex for cold sores? I usually only get one a year, but this month, two weeks after the last one, I got a second one. Is it safe to take another dose (2000mg then 12 hours later another 2 grams)?
AskDocWeb: That is the recommended dosage for cold sores but the warning that comes with it says not to exceed 1 day of treatment so you'll need to check with your doctor before proceeding.
Subj: Late period
I was put on Valtrex for shingles and have been taking it for about 10 days. I have seen an improvement in my shingles, but I was suppose to get my period on the 26th and it is now the 30th. I know for sure that I am not pregnant, and I usually am not this late.
AskDocWeb: Although it is not listed as a side effect, several women have reported late periods when taking Valtrex.
I have oral herpes and am wondering if Valtex can be taken before I go on a trip/have a special occasion? I don't normally do the suppression therapy, but want to take them before "big deals" just to avoid the possibility. If that is okay in the Valtrex world, how many days would I have to take it. Can one develop a "tolerance" like when you don't take antibiotics like you're supposed to?
AskDocWeb: No, people don't seem to build up a tolerance to antiviral drugs. You might talk with your doctor about how to handle those special "big deal" situations.
Subj: Hair is becoming thin
I have been taking Valtrex for four months. I stopped taking it two days ago because I noticed that my hair is becoming quite thin. I have always had very thick and healthy hair. Has anyone experienced this, and can you tell me if it will grow back. Thank you and God Bless.
AskDocWeb: Less than one percent of Valtrex users report hair loss but it is a possible side effect. There is no way to know if your hair will grow back or not.
Subj: I never knew I had it
I just recently got diagnosed with hsv-2. I never knew I had it. Never had an outbreak. I am now married and trying to have kids. My partner is hsv-2 negative. Will valtrex 1 a day help my partner stay negative and have a healthy baby.
AskDocWeb: Taking Valtrex reduces (but does not eliminate) the chances of passing the virus to your partner. It is common for doctors to prescribe valtrex during the last 4weeks of pregnancy for those with HSV-2 so that you can deliver vaginally. If there is an outbreak or you feel any symptoms at all when labor begins a C-section is recommended so that the virus is NOT transmitted to your baby. Good luck.
Subj: The second day
Okay I have taken 4 1g valtrex pills for a cold sore! I took 2 and then 2 more 12 hours later. It is now the second day and I still have the little blister on my lip. It seems like the medicine isnt working! My lip continues to get more and more swollen, although the blisters havent broke skin yet. I have also been putting abreva on it. I just dont know what else to do and my first day of school is tomorrow! PLEASE HELP!!
AskDocWeb: Without the Valtrex the entire blister cycle lasts about two weeks. With Valtrex, the median time to cessation of pain is 5 days and there have been reports of the blisters drying up within three days.
Subj: Taking Valtrex
I was just recently diagnosed with hsv2 from someone that I was dealing with and breaking up with for over 6 yrs. I was told by my dr. to only take the valtrex when I feel like I'm having an outbreak. But as I'm reading I see people are taking it regardless if they have a break out or not. What should I do?
AskDocWeb: When people take it regardless of if they have a break out or not, that's called suppressive therapy. People who only have an occasional outbreak may not need to take it every day.
Subj: Won't go on it again
I have had HSV 2 for 10 yrs. I only had one outbreak when I first got the virus. Then this Valtrex comes out saying you can protect others even better than without meds. (remember I never had an outbreak but once). Well I take it for about a year and then decided to go off it. I got my first outbreak in a decade. So I got scared and went back on Valtrex. Then after a few months decided to do off. Well ever since then I now get an outbreak every month. I called them about it, but they don't have much to say. I know it changed something in my body...either my immune system or the virus. I would not recommend to anyone to take it. I am not miserable with frequent outbreak but won't go on it again. I just hope that over time it will go back to normal. I have been off it a year now and nothing has changed.
Subj: Getting yeast infections
Every since I've been taking Valtrex I have been getting yeast infection at least once a month. The only time that I've ever had them before is when I took Med's for a UTI.
Subj: Flashing pain across my chest
I was prescribed Valtrex for Shingles. 3 tablets a day for a week. Apparently I was in the early stages so taking Valtrex prevented me from getting a rash. However, 3 weeks later it is not sure if that was the correct diagnosis. I read the long list of side effects and did not really want to take the drug but I was told the benefits outweigh the side effects. I felt a little confused and 'fuzzy' in my head for a couple of days but that cleared up and it seemed OK, I did feel better. However the day after I finished I had a flashing pain across my chest and a really weird after effect in my body. A trip to ER cleared any heart issue but the 'feeling' appeared less intensely for a week after that. I wondered if it was an unknown withdrawal symptom from the drug. I would not take it again. I get bad cold sores on my mouth from time to time and I have found that Zovirax cream works wonders if you get it on quick enough. I have not found it over the counter here in the States, but it is in UK and Australia.
AskDocWeb: No withdrawal symptoms have ever been noted for Valtrex. You might ask your doctor about the possibility that you may have had a panic attack. Many people confuse a panic attack for heart problems.
Subj: Missed periods
Does valtrex cause missed periods?
AskDocWeb: Less than 1% of women using Valtrex report having menstrual problems but it can happen.
Subj: Rapid heartbeat
I have mild Mitral Valve Prolapse that usually doesn't cause too many problems. I started valtrex yesterday - 500mg twice a day) and today my heart is racing (between 85 and 100 beats per minute resting) - could this be the valtrex? Thanks,
AskDocWeb: Yes, rapid heartbeat is one of the possible side effects of Valtrex. If it continues or becomes bothersome be sure to tell your doctor.
Subj: Generic valtrex?
I am considering "generic" valtrex, I have read warnings regarding that it is not a true generic yet does contain the active ingredient. These warnings are not very well substantiated with an explanation of what the false "generic" is missing. What does Valtrex have that say? Acyclovir doesn't.
AskDocWeb: The Valtrex website doesn't say anything about generics. A generic drug must be considered bioequivalent or therapeutically equivalent to its brand name counterpart. The generic drug must have the identical active chemical compounds as well as the same quantity and speed of absorption of its active ingredients into the bloodstream. Sometimes the generic version may differ in color or shape from its brand name counterpart but these differences have no effect on the medical action or effectiveness of the drug.
The patent for Valtrex expires in 2009. This is the earliest date that a generic version of Valtrex could become available in the USA. However, other circumstances could extend the exclusivity period beyond 2009. This could include such things as other patents for specific Valtrex uses or lawsuits. Once the patent for Valtrex expires, several companies will likely begin manufacturing generic versions at lower prices.
I have an outbreak and so I had wait more or less 4 to 5 days after my outbreak to get a bottle of valtrex due to a insurance issue. On my first dose I took 2 pills at the same time since I thought maybe it would relieve my symtoms faster. Is that bad? Also can one go without treatment and let the symptoms go off on their own?
AskDocWeb: Without treatment, the entire cycle of an outbreak lasts about two weeks. Valtrex reduces the severity of the outbreaks and speeds the healing process. Some people report healing in as little as 3-4 days. In clinical trials the median time to cessation of pain was 5 days.
Subj: Cut Valtrex in half?
You say you cannot cut Valtrex in half but you do not give a reason. Why?
AskDocWeb: The reason is that you are supposed to follow your doctor's instructions and take your medicine as directed. If your doctor prescribes one-gram pills and this is too much for you to swallow then talk to your doctor about getting the 500mg instead. You could take two of the 500mg pills and get the same one-gram dose.
Subj: Daily use of Valtrex?
Do you recommend Valtrex be taken daily if someone gets an outbreak only once every 2 or 3 years? I always think I don't need Valtrex because I feel my outbreaks occur rarely enough but then when I DO get an outbreak, I reconsider daily use of Valtrex (rather than the topical treatment I get from my doctor). Feedback, wisdom, suggestions?
AskDocWeb: Is that one outbreak every 2 to 3 years with or without treatment? Valtrex will reduce the number of outbreaks as well as reducing the time needed to get through one. We suggest you discuss this with your doctor as he is the best one to decide your treatment.
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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.