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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: Does Valtrex shorten the shedding phase?
Date: 12/26/2008
I have been taking 500mg Valtrex daily as a suppressant for Simplex 1. It seems to work well. I was wondering if there are any stats on the prevention of 'shedding'? Is it possible that 500mg a day will prevent 'shedding'? The phase I think where people with herpes can be infectious with no blisters.

AskDocWeb: It will not prevent viral shedding but it does reduce it. There is a clear difference in the amount of shedding with and without the use of this treatment as you can see in the chart here. The white bars show shedding without treatment; the black bars show shedding when treatment was received. Note that Valtrex is broken down into acyclovir in the body.

Subj: Side effects for Valtrex?
Date: 1/6/2009
I have been taking Valtrex for two years. I am now having diarrhea or loose stools, chronic fatigue, nausea, and I get sick a lot. Are these possible side effects of valtrex?

AskDocWeb: The only side effect on your list that hasn't been noted for Valtrex is the chronic fatigue.

Subj: Hair loss
Date: 1/7/2009
Hello, It appears that hair loss is a common reaction. I've been on Valtrex for cold sores for 4 months and have significant hairloss (I'm a female). Other medical tests show I'm healthy in every aspect, and endo told me to stop taking the Valtrex. Has anyone reported hair regrowth after stopping? Why, if it sounds so common on your site, is it only listed as a slight side effect? Thanks.

AskDocWeb: The people who have problems with side effects are more likely to search the Internet for answers and find this website. The majority who don't have any problems are less likely to find us or leave comments.

Subj: Sores on upper lip
Date: 1/7/2009
My 16 year old daughter has had sores on her upper lip for 3 months, almost continuously. A doctor prescribed a cream that didn't help. Another doctor has now suggested this could be herpes, and prescribed Valtrex. After reading the contributions on this site, I am concerned about my daughter taking such a strong medication. Is there a test to confirm herpes, and can this drug help an outbreak that has been going on so long?

AskDocWeb: Yes there are tests that can confirm or deny the presence of herpes although you may need to request one. Remember that the dosage is adjusted according each patient and your doctor will not prescribe Valtrex unless the benefits outweigh the risks.

Subj: Nausea and constipated
Date: 1/7/2009
I have been taking the valtrex suppressent for about 3 1/2 weeks now and have been constipated as well as very nauseaus. I am taking 500 mg per day and am 5'1" and 107 lbs. Is it possible that this dosage is too high for my size? Is it possible for me to cut my pills in half and take that dosage each day or instead take one pill every other day? Could my body acclimate over more time? Also, should I be taking these pills at the same each day? Thanks so much!

AskDocWeb: You can rest assured that your doctor takes your weight and height into consideration when prescribing. Nausea is one of the side effects that may go away as your body gets used to the medication but constipation is not listed as a side effect. Constipation can easily result from stress. If you take your medication at the same time each day, that makes it easier to remember to take it.

Subj: Hair loss from Valtrex
Date: 1/7/2009
I am also experiencing hair loss/thinning. Is the company going to possibly pursue reviewing this potential side effect and hopefully follow up to ensure it is not a permanent side effect?

I am sorry I neglected to add the product is Valtrex. Is the company going to review the other complaints about hair loss/thinning which I am also experiencing. I have been on about 5 months and it seemed to start after about 3 weeks or so. Is there any date to re assure us this is not permanent? Is there any actual product out there that assists with thinning hair? (I am 53 and post menopausal)

AskDocWeb: Sorry Mary, we have not seen any response by the manufacturer to address the issue of hair loss caused by Valtrex.

Subj: Spreading the virus
Date: 1/7/2009
I've been taking 500mg of valtrex daily for about 4 years now and have not had a single outbreak in that time. I contracted the virus (genital herpes) almost 40 years ago and would have an average of 6 outbreaks a year that lasted between 1 and 2 weeks each time. What I noticed about the virus is it seemed to become active when my libido was up. Which only makes sense since like all living things it wants to multiply. And your most likely to have sex when you're horny - spreading the virus to a new host. The virus then remains dormant until it feels it has a good chance of infecting a new host again. Which brings me to the ads on TV. They claim you may spread the virus even when you don't have the sores. Now a woman may not know if she has broken out at the beginning; but a man surely would. So maybe a woman could spread the virus thinking she hasn't broken out yet but in my opinion and experience the only way the virus is spread is when your sex partner has broken out with the sores.

Subj: Late periods
Date: 1/20/2009
Yes I too have had late periods while on valtrex

Subj: I'm lost
Date: 1/27/2009
Just found out I have herpes five days ago, I'm lost. I always made sure I did the safe thing. I guess that did not work, now I'm wondering if I use this valtrex 500 for the 7 days how long before I have an outbreak. My doctor told me to just use it for 7 days an that is it until I have an outbreak, why not use it for the rest of my life so I can never have an outbreak if that stops it from happening?

AskDocWeb: Altough Valtrex may reduce the severity and number of outbreaks, it is not likely to totally prevent them from occurring.

Subj: Spinal/neck problem
Date: 1/27/2009
My doc wrote me a prescription for Valtrex in case I had a breakout----which I occasionally get on my neck. She told me to take 3 pills (which she wouldn't write on the Rx- 1 gram each!) at the onset, then 1-1 for the next 2 days to nip it in the bud so to speak. Well I did, and in the middle of the night I had the worst stomach cramping I've ever had in my life. My neck was stiff and I couldn't get out of bed without pulling on my near by dresser. Then I was throwing up. I went to my primary doc and had blood work done. My kidney numbers had doubled but have gone back to normal since the incident. It has been 2 weeks now and my neck is still killing me. I don't have full range of motion and I can't lift my head up to see my toes! Is this spinal/neck problem something that is common. I'm concerned that it's still a problem for me.

AskDocWeb: Arthralgia or joint pain is a side effect for about 5% of Valtrex users.

Subj: Eye problems
Date: 1/27/2009
Does Valtrex effect your eye at all? My left eye feels a little bit sore, and I have shingles... Does either one have to do with my eye?

AskDocWeb: Valtrex doesn't affect the eyes or vision but the herpes virus can cause a couple of different eye problems; chorioretinitis, swelling of the eye, and keratitis, inflammation of the cornea of the eye.

Subj: Dilantin and Valtrex?
Date: 1/29/2009
I am 7 months pregnant, I also have epilepsy. I just found out I have herpes. I take dilantin for my epilepsy, and I was prescribed valtrex for the herpes. Will the dilantin and valtrex mix well together? I am afraid the two will not interact well.

AskDocWeb: There are no drug interactions at all listed between Dilantin and Valtrex in the drug database. Getting a regular Dilantin assay may be a good idea for safety sake.

Subj: Contraindication?
Date: 1/31/2009
My doctor has prescribed me valtrex 1g 2xs/daily while we wait for blood test results for Herpes? My daughter was just diagnosed with a mitochondrial disorder and there is the possibility that I may also have one. I told my doctor this and she still prescribed this. Is it safe in mitochondrial disorders?

AskDocWeb: The only medical conditions we could find that might contraindicate the use of Valtrex are bone marrow transplant, kidney transplant, and some complications of HIV (Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/hemolytic uremic syndrome or TTP/HUS).

Subj: Unfortunately no one informed me
Date: 2/1/2009
A few days ago I had the symptoms of a cold sore for the first time. Not knowing what it was I spread chapstick all over my lips to hopefully stop the burning. Little did I know it was the beginning of a coldsore and because of the repeated use of the chapstick I spread the infection to most of my lips. After using the cream zovirax with my bare finger I then spread the type 1 herpes to my genitals and I think now my eye. Unfortunately no one informed me my disease could spread that easily. If you have even a cold sore wash your hands thoroughly because you can spread it to anywhere on your body, including your hands. Now I have to live with this terrible disease for the rest of my life and there is nothing I can do about it.

Subj: Anyone else with shortness of breath?
Date: 2/1/2009
I was prescribed Valtrex months ago for a herpes rash that's been recurring on my buttocks. My doctor says I contracted herpes from a toilet seat because of its location (that totally freaks me out!) and because I've been with my husband for 8 years and he's fine. I just recently started taking the Valtrex to help with outbreaks but now for the past 4 days I've had shortness of breath and have been feeling a little "foggy" like I'm in high altitude. All of a sudden I'm becoming very winded when exercising when it used to be no problem at all. I went to the doctor after 2 days of feeling like this and all lab reports appear to be normal. I'm thinking now it's a major side effect to Valtrex and will likely stop taking it. Anyone else have this problem?

Subj: Neck and tongue swollen
Date: 2/6/2009
Does valtrex causes the neck and/or shoulder area closest to the neck to swell a little bit? Does it have any effect on the tongue, like it becomes swollen but not painful?

AskDocWeb: Any swelling of the tongue should be reported to your doctor as soon as possible because that may indicate an allergic reaction.

Subj: Heal lesions at home
Date: 2/12/2009
I have genital herpes and dealt with outbreaks since ive been diagnosed. The healing of the lesaion is so long that it starts becoming embarassing. What can I use to heal the lesion at home without buying so many over the counter products?
Tired of spending money

AskDocWeb: Several people have reported that taking 500 mg of Lysine daily reduces the severity of outbreaks.

Subj: Suffering from back stiffness
Date: 2/17/2009
I came to this site because I've noticed that since I started taking Valtrex for supression purposes, my back started to hurt terribly and I've been suffering from back stiffness. I read Sheryl's "terrible ordeal" and it sounds like there are some similarities. I also have noticed extreme dizziness, fatigue and nausea, thinking I just had some "bug." I'm beginning to think the cure is worse than the condition.

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2007-2009 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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