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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: Concerns for smokers?
Date: 3/28/2010
I have just recently been put on Valtrex for herpes, a concern of mine is that I smoke. Ive noticed that my heart races and i feel alittle light headed/dizzy! Should a person taking this medication not smoke? I was never informed by my doctor who actually perscribed it? Please if there are any concerns for smokers who are on this pill id love some insight!
Olivia

AskDocWeb: There is no direct reference to smoking in the product information for Valtrex. Of course you know that you would increase both the quality and quantity of your life if you quit smoking.


Subj: Valtrex causes more outbreaks?
Date: 3/30/2010
I wrote before and after reading all of these comments I'm upset. I was just diagnosed with genital herpes and after a couple of days on valtrex I have more lesions. I have to wonder about the drug company and keeping themselves in business. It's suppose to make it better right? Well, it's worse. From what I have read kidney, liver problems there's no way I will be on this drug for years with the outcome of kidney and liver problems. This is a an awful drug if it causes more outbreaks!! I'm very mad.
TCS

AskDocWeb: The real question is, did it really cause that outbreak or would you have had that outbreak anyway, no matter what you did? You can't be sure that your conclusion is accurate when it is based on a single event. That is why drug companies do clinical trials, testing the affect of a drug over time with many different people.


Subj: Hives, heart palpitaions, hair loss
Date: 4/13/2010
I have been taking valtrex daily for three years and have noticed a few symptoms. When I first started to take it I was diagnosed with dermographism (hives). I had to take allergy medication to supress that. My doctor said that sometimes exposure to a new virus could cause the dermographism to resurface. The dermographism has gone away and I no longer have to take allergy medication for it. I have been noticing lots of my hair shedding and am just starting to realize that it is most likely from the Valtrex. I don't have bald spots, but just overall thinning and it seems to have started when I started taking this medication.

I have also been noticing that I have heart palpitaions, which I would get once in a while, but now get more frequently. I am going to stop the medication today, but am not looking forward to it because I get break outs once a month when I am not on anything. Is there something else I can take? I am reading a lot about lysine. What will happen if I just don't take anything? How long will the outbreak last and what is a good remedy to stop the itching? I am going to go off of this medication for three months and then revisit this site to comment on what has happened with my hair and heart palpitations. I am almost 100% sure it is from this medication already just from reading what other people have experienced...it's a shame too because it really works as far as surpressing the virus! This is not fun!
Maria

AskDocWeb: Hives and heart palpitations may require immediate medical attention and should be reported to your doctor as soon as possible. If an outbreak is left untreated the entire cycle lasts about two weeks. L-Lysine is an amino acids necessary for building muscle protein in the body. It also plays a major role in calcium absorption, recovering from injuries, and the production of hormones, enzymes, and antibodies in the body. Although more research is needed, L-lysine does seem to inhibit the growth of the herpes simplex virus. Good sources of lysine are foods rich in protein including meat (specifically red meat, lamb, pork, and poultry), cheese (particularly Parmesan), certain fish (such as cod and sardines), yogurt, brewer's yeast, legumes, wheat germ, and eggs.

Please note that lysine can increase how much calcium the body absorbs. If you are already taking a calcium supplement, talk to your doctor before using a lysine supplement. Lysine can also cause side effects such as stomach pain and diarrhea.


Subj: Substitute Acyclovir for Valtrex?
Date: 4/14/2010
I'M 81 YEARS OLD and my doctor says I have Epsteien- Barr disease. He prescribed Valtrex which $743.00 for 30 day. I get my presciptions from the VA and they could not fill but would substitute acyclovir. Is this a proper substitute for my problem?
Kenneth

AskDocWeb: Valtrex is an Acyclovir prodrug. When you swallow Valtrex, your digestive system converts it into Acyclovir making 55% available to the body to suppress the virus. When taking Acyclovir only about 15% of what is taken is made available to the body after passing through your digestive system. That is why the dosage is higher with Acyclovir. More of the medication is destroyed by the digestive system.


Subj: Drug for depression?
Date: 4/16/2010
I have instant, amazing results from my use of Valtrex on an as-needed basis for HSV. However, my husband becomes very depressed on it, which is a rare side effect. He is not normally depressed. Is there any drug used to counteract that effect?
Meg

AskDocWeb: Yes there are several possible drugs that may be used to treat depression. Unfortunately they also may produce side effects but it's worth discussing this with his doctor.


Subj: Face and neck are bright red and hot
Date: 4/17/2010
I took two Valocyclovir 1 gm tablets for cold sores, about 6 hrs ago. My face and neck are bright red, and hot to the touch, although the rest of my body is fine. I don't think I'll take the second dose, but remain with the topical cream, "Denavir". As soon as I feel tingling, I use it immediately, and my cold sores generally don't get larger or even erupt. This time, they were a little stubborn, so I opted for the oral Rx. Never again!
Sue


Subj: Expired acyclovir?
Date: 4/17/2010
I have a history of HSV1 and had Chickenpox as an adult. I recently had a sore rash around my eye, but it disappeared before my doctor could see it. However, my forehead and scalp began tingling, then stinging. It has since spread over my body. But no more rash, just rough bumpy skin and a bad case of flaky scalp. My doctor refuses to give my acyclovir because she sees no sores, but gave me pain meds. It's been over 2 months with this stinging burning pain all over. I am afraid it is shingles, but without a rash my doctor refuses to entertain that notion. I do have full prescriptions of acyclovir capsules, but they expired in 2004/05. Would it be safe for me to take the expired acyclovir just in case it is shingles or could it hurt me?
lmg

AskDocWeb: Taking any medication that has passed its expiration date is not recommended. The results of doing that could range anywhere from having no effect to something worse than eating spoiled food.


Subj: Lost control of bladder
Date: 4/22/2010
I took Valtrex for the first time yesterday. I have a concerns, as for the first time in my adult life, I lost control of my bladder! I am only 37, so it was completely unexpected and embarrassing. Is this a common side effect?
Maria

AskDocWeb: No, the loss of bladder control is not listed as a side effect of Valtrex. Urinary incontinence (loss of bladder control) may be caused by the several things; diabetes, kidney disease, or a urinary tract infection caused by the herpes virus.


Subj: Blood test
Date: 4/22/2010
I went to the Dr approx. 4 days after having symptoms of genital herpes. I thought it was a yeast infection. Since I am 37 and in a relationship I never considered herpes. Anyway, after I recovered from the news my Dr took a blood test and put me on Valtrex 2000mg. I have been taking it 2 days...Question-how long before I will see improvement?...the high fevers, and sores are making me miserable. Also, if I was just recently exposed to Herpes 2, will the blood test show I'm positive?
Ella

AskDocWeb: You are likely to start seeing improvement after the seventh day. It may take up to six months before herpes shows up in a blood test. Not to say that it will, just that if you test in the first 6 months after exposure the test can produce a false negative. For the most accurate results test 6 months after exposure.


Subj: Cytotoxicity?
Date: 4/27/2010
Is Valtrex cytotoxic and what are the precausions of cytoxicity? Thanks,
Mike

AskDocWeb: Cytotoxicity is the quality of being toxic to cells. A cytotoxic drug is one that blocks the growth or activity of cells in the body such as those used for chemotherapy. It kills or has a toxic effect on cells. Valtrex is not cytotoxic. It works on the virus, which is 1000 times smaller.


Subj: Genital herpes
Date: 5/4/2010
I have break out on my back that the doc says is genital herpes. Always breaks out in the same spot and have never had any on genitals. The break outs seem to become more frequent instead of less, first one was 13 years ago, after childbirth which the Dr first said was shingles. But it breaks out approximately once per month now so after 12 years of breakouts Dr. gave me Valtrex 1 gm once per day for a year, within a week of stopping the valtrex I broke out again. Will the breakouts ever slow down? Can I go back to daily dose? Anything else I can do that might help?
Cher

AskDocWeb: If the Valtrex was working then talk to your doctor about going back on it. As we told Maria above, taking a supplement of L-Lysine has been reported to inhibit the growth of the herpes simplex virus and reduce the number of herpes breakouts.


Subj: Valtrex for chicken pox?
Date: 5/9/2010
I have a chicken pox, in the first day blister appear my dr give me valtrex, then I notice every time I feel dizziness too badly?? it is true the valtrex is bad for chicken pox?
Jasmien

AskDocWeb: Valtrex does not cure chicken pox but it does decrease the pain and helps the sores heal faster. That is bad for the chicken pox virus but good for the person who suffers from the disease.


Subj: Sensitive to light and bad headaches
Date: 5/12/2010
I started taking valtrex a couple of years ago. First for suppressive therapy 1 - 500 mil per day for one year. I noticed that my eyes were very (overly) sensitive to light (too a point it was nearly painful. I reduced my intake to outbrakes only, 2 500 mil a day at on set. However, by the 5 pill...can't take another, as the headaches are as though my brain is ready to burst...(not good)..and the foggy thinking...lack of luster thoughts..etc.. Make taking it nearly impossible. I'm wondering if others had this happen..and what alternatives might be available.
Dee

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2007-2010 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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