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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: Bathroom 3 times a night, headaches, tired, aggravated, itchy throat
Date: 9/15/2008
Hi, I was given Vatrex 1g a day for suppression therapy. After the 5th day I felt horrible. I cut it down to 500g a day and still felt really terrible. I was up going to the bathroom 3 times a night, headaches, tired, aggrivated, itchy throat. I have hashimotos thyroidist and fibromyalgia. Positive ANA. I'm thinking after reading all these comments that this is why I might not be able to take valtrex. Thryoid problems, fibro and positive ANA are IMMUNE problems. Am I correct in saying this?

AskDocWeb: We don't know. With so many unknowns involved in fibromyalgia and immune system problems it is difficult to determine why you get a particular response to a drug.

Subj: I have alot fewer breakouts
Date: 9/17/2008
I have been taking Valtrex for a few years now for supression and have come to be quit addicted to it, I say that because for some reason my insurance company is reluctant to let me have 1 Gram a day. However when I take one gram a day, I have alot fewer breakouts so I can say that the product has worked well for me. I am one of those people who has breakouts often. So 1g a day was prescribed. Last year though my doctor put me on 500mg daily. I had many more breakouts and I'm just wondering is it bad for me to take 1 gram a day? It seems to work for me and I just feel better over all. I do have some abdominal pain from time to time, but its nothing I can't handle. Kinda feels like menstrual cramps. I'm 37/female.

AskDocWeb: When considering your prescription, your doctor has to weigh the potential risks against the known benefits. If the benefits outweigh the risks and you can cope with the abdominal pain then it's okay for you to take 1 gram a day.

Subj: Long term side effects
Date: 9/25/2008
I was recently diagnosed with herpes, I am unaware of any prior outbreaks. Wondering if there are any Long term side effects associated with valtrex, like kidney failure, liver problems etc.

AskDocWeb: Most of the time Valtrex is considered very safe for long-term use but statistics on the side effects of long-term usage do not seem to be available.

Subj: Effect the prostate?
Date: 9/27/2008
My doctor has just put me on Valtrex 1000 mil. Its working good, just wondering if it could effect the prostate in any way? I'm on day 6 of meds. Thanks

AskDocWeb: There have been no reports of any effect on the prostate.

Subj: Valtrex allergy
Date: 10/2/2008
I was given Valtrex after being diagnosed with herpetic conjunctivitis. This was the first time I ever had the virus outbreak anywhere that far from the oral/nasal cavity and the doctor treated aggressively with Viroptic and Valtrex (3grams daily for seven days). I was already sick with this for a week when I received treatment as it occurred at the beginning of cruise (how nice...).

Problem: immediate itching and rash on legs that made me itch until I had bled under the skin, itching like mad. I knew this could be indicative of allergy, but was more concerned about being blinded, so I continued the Valtrex although my doctor was not in favor. It has been a week OFF of the Valtrex now, and my legs are still itching! How long does this take to get out of my system? The eyes are good, thank God. Doc doesn't want to treat with prophylactic Valtrex due to no decent long term support that it prevent ocular recurrence. I'm afraid to ever take it again as the allergy, I understand, could be more extreme with each new this leg itching fitting to the breakdown of this medicine in the body? I was very reactive to it with the other typical side affects as well (dizzy, tired, etc.).

AskDocWeb: The half-life of Valtrex ranges from 2.5 to 3.3 hours so the amount of time that Valtrex stays in your body is relatively short. Half-life refers to the amount of time required for half the drug to leave your system. Most of it should be out of your system within 24 hours. Since the itch is persisting, you should consult with your doctor.

Subj: Losing hair
Date: 10/2/2008
I have been taking Valtrex for approx. 6 months. My scalp is extremely dry, has a burning sensation and I seem to be losing hair. Are these common side effects?

AskDocWeb: Less than 1% of patients taking Valtrex experience hair loss but it is one of the possible side effects.

Subj: Birth defects?
Date: 10/5/2008
I have been on Valtrex for 9 months on a daily basis for genital herpes. I have never had an outbreak. My boyfriend is negative and we are dicussing marriage and children. Would the genital herpes cause my unborn child to have any type of birth defects?

AskDocWeb: There is cause for concern and this is something you'll want to discuss with your doctor. It is important to prevent an outbreak from occurring around the time of giving birth to prevent passing on the infection. Genital herpes in the mother can cause brain damage, cerebral palsy, vision or hearing impairment, or death of the baby if the virus is transmitted to the infant before or during the birth.

Subj: Bump on vaginal area
Date: 10/13/2008
Ok I'm not sure if I should take valtrex or not... My doctor told me that I was exposed to herpes in my blood stream but not actual herpes... And it wasn't a bad thing. She says 4 out of 5 people have it, and it will always be in my system. She recommended valtrex but said I really don't need it. I'm starting to develop a bump on my vaginal area... And when I touched it, it's a little painful. I'm really worried and want to know if someone could explain what's the bump about... Please any answers would help.

AskDocWeb: To find out what it is, your doctor would need to check it out.

Subj: Oral surgery while on valtrex?
Date: 10/13/2008
I have been on Valtrex for 3 months - first ramping up to 2000 mg a day and now dropping back to 500 mg a day. I found that I could not increase or decrease the dose at the rate the Doctor suggested but he was OK with my going much slower and tailoring it to what my body could tolerate. I changed dose by 125 mg a week. It was too harsh otherwise. I now need oral surgery. My Dr wanted me to drop to 500 mg before I had the surgery but I cant get there in time. Have you heard of any problems with folks having dentistry or oral surgery while on valtrex?

AskDocWeb: No, just the opposite. Valtrex is sometimes used to reduce the possibility of complications during surgery, recovery, and the healing process afterward.

Subj: Odds of contagion
Date: 10/14/2008
Hi, sorry if this is a repeat, but after reading a few pages I didn't quite find an answer. I was diagnosed with HSV1, genital. I had one, very mild and short outbreak and no problems since, a year later. Deciding to pick my sex life up again, I've been subscribed Valtrex 500mg a day as a preventative measure to spreading the virus. BUT, my doctor was unable to tell me how effective it really is. 1) Is it true that genital HSV1 is less contagious when it is genital? I've heard this but it doesnt really make sense to me why that would be the case. 2) What are the odds, with, and without a condom, of spreading Genital HSV1 specifically while on Valtrex? Thanks!

AskDocWeb: Sorry Brad, the specific data that would allow those odds to be calculated is not available, it has yet to be produced. The best you can do is to minimize the possibility of infection. You can do that by following your doctor's instructions, taking your medication as directed, avoid sexual contact while you have an outbreak, and always use a condom.

Subj: Hair is rapidly thinning
Date: 10/15/2008
My 19 year old daughter was given valtrex for fever blisters. She took it for about 3 months and noticed that her hair was thining rapidly. When we asked her Dr, she was told that hair loss was not a side affect of this medicane. Non the less, she immediately stoped taking the valtrex but her hair is still coming out at the root just as fast. It has been about 45 days since she has been off the medicane, but she is devestated and afraid that it will not quit coming out. I too am worried as the pace is very rapid, about a handful a day and I am looking for a dermatologist to see her. Before the valtrex, she had very thick healthy hair. Do you have any suggestions on what we can do for her medically? Thanks,

AskDocWeb: The dermatologist is your best course of action. It is possible there could be an unrelated problem that may require treatment.

Subj: Cold sore outbreaks
Date: 10/16/2008
Hi there, I have had cold sore outbreaks since I was young. I had another outbreak about 3 days ago, in which I first felt the tingling. However, I did not take the Valtrex until today. Will it still help get rid of the coldsore? Also, the doctor said to put vaseline on the coldsore, but I think it should be left to dry out? Help!

AskDocWeb: It's best to start the drug within 48 hours of first noticing the rash. If you wait more than 72 hours after you first get that first indication of an outbreak, the medication may not be effective.

Subj: Valtrex and exercise
Date: 10/17/2008
Can I exercise, lift weights or ride bike get sweaty while taking valtrex for shingles?

AskDocWeb: There is no problem with that if the equipment used is your own and not used by others. Typically shingles is not thought of as being contagious but contact with a person with shingles can lead to chicken pox in someone who has never had chicken pox and has not received the varicella vaccine. In such cases, transmission occurs during the active phase when the blisters have erupted but have not yet formed dry crusts. You may want to take some precautions until everything is cleared up.

Subj: Horrible experience
Date: 10/25/2008
I had a severe first outbreak 7 years ago. I was prescribed Valtrex but had an immediate allergic reaction and almost died. I let the outbreak run its course which lasted about 3 weeks and looked as if I had leprosy. It was a horrible experience I could not even urinate but never got another outbreak since then!

Subj: Rash on neck
Date: 10/26/2008
I have been taking valtrex for a year now. My doctor precribed me 1mg and take it as needed as I only get herpes attack very seldom. I also take some advil for headaches sometimes. Lately, I have been noticing a rash on the base of my neck between my clavicle whenever I take the valtrex they will become more red and visible. After few days, redness will go away but the rashes remain there and its embarassing. I am thinking that I have a reaction from using the valtrex. Should I stop taking it since I only take it once or twice every month?

AskDocWeb: You need to have your doctor take a look at the rash to assess the situation and then advise you about taking Valtrex.

Subj: Genital herpes
Date: 10/31/2008
I was diagnosed last month as having genital herpes. I only got outbreaks maybe 2 - 3 times per year mainly in the summer. I thought the 2 genital bumps were just inflammed hair bumps. I would treat them with blue star ointment or triple antibotic ointment. At the end of September I got a sore that really burned and was irritated. I had the test done and rated 2 on the scale of 1 - 10. Once I began taking Valtrex 1000mg per my OB/GYN, I notice lesions occur on my anal area and small, round, light colored, skin discoloration spots all over my body. These did not occur until I started taking Valtrex. If I stop taking Valtrex, I have more lesions, on the inside of my thighs and on the top of my head. This is strange. I also have an itching on my back and arms and my nerve endings appear to be affected. I am being checked for renal problems and do not want to make it worse by continuing to take Valtrex after seeing that kidneys are affected by the medication.

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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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