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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: Moody, depressed, spaced out, cry all day
I started taking Valtrex 3 weeks ago for ebstein-barr virus. I'm not feeling normal... moody, depressed, spaced out, cry all day. I cut my wrist last week and needed stitches. Not feeling well a few days after starting Valtrex. Could this drug be causing my problems? I'm afraid of what will happen if I keep taking this drug but I don't want ebstein-barr symptoms.
AskDocWeb: Depression is listed as one of the possible side effects for Valtrex and should be reported to the doctor who prescribe it.
Subj: Learning to live with it
When this product came on the market I was thrilled because I had used Zovirax in the past and had to take so many pills a day, plus at the time there was not a generic and it was expensive. However, I experienced horrible joint pain when I took Valtrex to the point of being debilitated until the drug wore off. The first time it happened I did not make the connection to the drug, and thought that I was coming down with a horrible flu virus, but after I experienced it again and made the connection to taking the drug I stopped. The symptoms then subsided.
My doctor seemed unaware of this side effect and didn't have any other patients complain of it. The other problem I found with this drug was that if you tried to take it on a daily basis and then stopped you would almost immediately get another outbreak. I have made the decision to let my body work on its own defence and I am happy to say that I rarely get an outbrake now, and that they are much less severe over the years. I know that everyone is different, but after consulting in a support group I found that this is common as years pass living with the virus.
I am also happy to say that I was able to have normal vaginal deliveries with all three of my children without taking this or any other drug. I did have an outbrake at the time of each delivery on my upper buttock that could be covered during delivery. Keep in mind that the outbrake was no where near my vaginal area, and a very close examination of my vagial area was done to insure I was clear of any outbrakes in this area before I delivered. There are serious dangers to vaginal births when there is an outbrake in the vaginal area to the baby.
I have not transferred the virus to my partner of 17 years or anyone else. I am skeptical of the claim on Valtrex's advertisement that the virus can be transferred without symptoms of outbrake because I have never met anyone who is conscious of being a carrier of the virus doing this. I do believe that this occurs with people who are unaware they have the virus and have unprotected sex with their partner. Not everyone has a classic primary outbrake when they get the virus which is obvious. If that person does not get the blister checked out and cultured they may pass it off as something else or be in denial of what is wrong because it does not fit the classic blistery primary outbrake that people often associate with genital herpes. This person is very likely to pass the virus on to others the next time they experience an even smaller outbrake that they are uncertain of or during the initial stages of the outbrake before it surfaces. They may also transmit the virus at the tail end of an outbrake thinking now that there is nothing wrong and the blister is almost healed. I think the commercials claim is misleading to consumers and scaring people who have genital herpes into thinking that they have to take the drug daily not to spread the virus. Like anything else, practicing safer sex with the use of condoms is a start to protecting your partner and yourself from any STD. If you are aware that you have the virus it is your responsibility to tell your partner and to take neccesary measurses to protect them. If the outbrake is not in an area that will come in contact during sex and you cover the area up to avoid accidental contact it is pretty safe to say you will also protect your partner.
I hope that this information helps others who are looking to treat this virus and live with it. I know personally that I was devastated when I first found out that I had genital herpes and I was very sick with a primary outbrake. I was only 19 years old at the time. I am now 41 years old and can honestly say that this is a very manageable virus in your daily life even though the occasional outbrakes are not always comfortable or convenient. My advice is to discuss your options with your doctor and to also talk to others who have been living with the virus for a long time before you jump into a daily regiment of Valtrex.
Subj: My period didn't come
Hi I went to my genocology and he give me the valtrex 500mg...now my period didn't come so you think that is because of that? thank u
AskDocWeb: Yes, this falls under the heading of menstrual problems which is listed as a possible side effect.
Subj: Thank you Valtrex
I posted on 11/5/2008. Just as an update. I take 6 grammes per day. I have done so for 1 year and have no side effects at all. I take this for cervical dystonia. Before taking Valtrex I had 3 monthly injections of Botox in my neck. I have not needed the injections since January. So thank you Valtrex. I live in a world with little pain now!
Subj: Inability to maintain erection
Since going on valtrex I have for the first time in my life experienced the inability to maintain an erection. I've seen you've addressed this problem several times here but I am 100% positive it is due to the Valtrex. Why when you go off the drug does it seem to still be working after the 24 hours you say it is out of the system?? I had an outbreak 1 month after discontinuing useage and the outbreak lasted only 4 days and I could still feel the valtrex working??
AskDocWeb: Erectile dysfunction is not listed as a side effect of Valtrex. We suggest you get a physical to rule out physical problems, especially if you no longer experience morning erections.
Your body's ability to fight off an infection is not a constant. The strength of your immune system varies over time. That is why your outbreaks may be bad one time and mild the next. Just because you had a mild outbreak a month after discontinuing Valtrex does not mean that the drug was still working. It is a mistake to come to a conclusion from the experience of a one-time event.
Subj: Hair loss from Valtrex
Have you found the hair loss from Valtrex to be irreversible? Does it possibly only occur when you first start taking it and then levels out?
AskDocWeb: Because there is such a small number of cases (less than 1%) of hair loss reported by users there is not yet enough data to answer your question. Those who have experienced hair loss are encouraged to share your story here so that others can benefit from your experience.
Subj: Going bald
I take valtrex 500mg once daily, I have noticed signifigant hair loss and I'm extreamly concerned, although the product works well, I am going bald... Is there a preventitive to the hair loss?
AskDocWeb: Although there are products used to fight hair loss (minoxidil, Provillus, we have seen nothing that would completely prevent it.
Subj: Severe acne
I am using valtrex almost for 6 years, one side effect I notice after using it, I get acne severe... Herpes symptoms start with severe itching on the genital area or scrotum. Once I use valtrex it gets cleared... but will get acne problem after a week of valtrex use. For it I use zithromax, 6 tabs. once I use that my acne gets cleared...
Subj: Decreased sex drive
I've been on valtrex for about a year now. I was prescribed a pill daily for suppression but I try to skip a day here and there since the pill is so expensive. I have am experiencing a decreased sex drive and I'm wondering if it is as a result of this pill (it's the only thing different in my life and I am usually a very sexual person).
AskDocWeb: Changes in the sex drive are not listed as common or even rare side effects of Valtrex but there are a couple of other reports of problems in this area.
Subj: Avoid re-infecting
I started dating a girl who has genital herpes too like me. Our concern is what can we do to avoid re-infecting or avoid triggering outbreaks. Also any advise on having kids coz we need some. Thanks,
AskDocWeb: Telling you how to avoid re-infecting and avoid triggering outbreaks could fill a book! Actually over 30,000 books are already out there but there's only four that we recommend:
Subj: Improvement in chronic fatigue syndrome
I have suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome for just over ten years. Over that time I have improved bit by bit naturally, mostly through lifestyle management and avoiding over extending myself re exercise and late nights. I can never escape the brain fogs, iritability and tired legs though...they always seem to be part of this disease. Believe me I have tried so many so called remedies but they have never helped and have been expensive. I recently started a course of Valtrex and have been taking it constantly for the last two months. I would have to say that I have experienced improvement in my condition...I am in the best physical shape than I have ever been since before I got CFS. I haven't had any side effects at this point. I am not saying that I am %100, but I am much better off for taking this drug. I feel for every person who has been effected by this condition and recommend giving this drug a go.
Subj: I aggravated the situation
I took Valtrex for a cold sore and it did help tremendously with that. I did however experience severe crying, depresssion, anger and aggitation. Unknowinly, I aggravated the situation by having a few drinks. Be AWARE of this side effect so you can self-monitor your emotional state/thoughts. I really thought I was loosing my mind.
Subj: Suppressive qualities of Valtrex
I've been infected with HS-1 and because it is contagious to other parts of my body such as the eyes and genitals, I know that I must be use caution especially during an outbreak. My question is whether or not the suppressive qualities of Valtrex might offer any protection to regions of my body that are not yet infected.
AskDocWeb: Only to a limited degree, Valtrex interferes with the activity of enzymes needed for the virus to multiply. Restricting the growth of the virus means that there is less present to infect other areas. That is not enough to prevent infection but it does help.
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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.