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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: How long will it take?
Date: 10/1/2010
My doctor has me on 1000mg Valtrex 3 x daily for a week as a means to head off shingles. I do not have a rash, but have severe burning and tingling on my left arm. My question is: how long will it take for the Valtrex to stop these symptoms?

AskDocWeb: That varies from one person to the next but somewhere between 3 and 7 days.

Subj: Harm later on in life?
Date: 11/13/2010
Hi I'm taking valtrex 500 once daily for the rest of my life so I'm just wondering can taking the med itself can it harm me later on in life?
ms G

AskDocWeb: Your future may not be as bad as you thought. Of those taking Valtrex daily, by the third year as many as 82% have no outbreaks at all. Although concerns about liver and kidney problem are still being studied, the known benefits far outweigh the possible risks.

Subj: Frequent urination
Date: 11/14/2010
ive been taking valtrex for about 3 months for fever blisters and reoccuring fevers, so far its helped by keeping fevers down and no cold sores yet, but here recentaly ive been urinating very frequently, is this a side effect?

AskDocWeb: There are a few reports of frequent urination but that is not listed as a side effect.

Subj: Why is it necessary?
Date: 11/18/2010
Why is it necessary to complete the dosage of 200mg x 5 for 5 days if the herpes blisters types II is gone after 2 days?

AskDocWeb: It is important to finish the full course of treatment in order to minimize the chance of the blisters redeveloping.

Subj: Stiff joints and pain
Date: 11/18/2010
I have been taking Valtrex (250) per day for the last year. I have noticed stiff joints and severe pain and stiffness in my feet. The foot pain and stiffness is most prevelent after sitting for a while. Upon arising it takes a short while for my toes and arches to loosen up so I can walk normally. The 250 dose is taken to lessen outbreaks from shingles. What do you think? Are these side effects from the Valtrex?

AskDocWeb: Joint pain is listed among the possible side effects of Valtrex for up to 6% of patients.

Subj: Valtrex and high blood pressure
Date: 11/24/2010
I recently took a series of Valtrex for coldsores. At the same time I was feeling very aggitated and I took my blood pressure which was 180/100, still up at the doctors office in the morning. I have never had an incident like this before and have never had to be on BP medicine. Is it possible that the Valtrex could cause this or a combination of Valtrex and Wellbutrin. The doctor put me on BP medicine right away but I wonder what caused this to happen. I have asked several people if Valtrex can elevate your BP and they all say no, but I just saw it as a side effect of Valtrex.

AskDocWeb: Yes, high blood pressure is a rare but severe possible side effect of Valtrex. According to the manufacturer's website, this side effect was identified after Valtrex went on the market.

Subj: Valtrex and lupus?
Date: 11/25/2010
is there any evidence of valtrex being linked to lupus.....

AskDocWeb: We have not seen any evidence that might link Valtrex with lupus. Researchers are still not sure just what exactly causes lupus.

Subj: Yeast infections?
Date: 11/26/2010
will this cause yeast infections?

AskDocWeb: Yeast infections are not a side effect of Valtrex. You are more likely to have a yeast infection with an outbreak of genital herpes whether you take Valtrex or not.

Subj: Increased liver enzymes
Date: 11/26/2010
I have a question: I have been diagnosed with hepC and I have herpes. I take Valrex only at the start of outbreak symptoms and stop when the outbreak clears up. Now I am reading that the drug increases liver enzymes. How long after I stop taking Valtrex can I expect the enzymes to return to their "normal" (for me) levels?

AskDocWeb: Because hepatitis C can also affect liver enzymes, it can be difficult to determine when they will return to normal. However, if Valtrex caused the increase in liver enzymes then you may see the liver enzymes improving and returning to normal by six months after the medication is stopped.

Subj: Itching
Date: 12/2/2010
I have been taking valtrex for a week. I was itching so cut back the dose and now have a rash on both my calves which I noticed yesterday morning.

AskDocWeb: Your doctor may be able to tell you if the rash is due to a reaction to Valtrex or something else that might need attention.

Subj: Hair loss
Date: 12/10/2010
Hi there, I have been taking Valtrex for a few months as a suppressant for oral herpes. I have noticed a substantial thinning of my hair (in a matter of months) and as a result have stopped taking the Valtrex. I have read here that it may have been the cause. Should this hair grow back once I have stopped taking the Valtrex?

AskDocWeb: In most cases drug induced hair loss stops and the lost hair grows back when the drug is discontinued. However, always talk to your doctor about the consequences and alternatives before stopping any prescription medication.

Subj: Valtrex and Tetracycline?
Date: 12/11/2010
Is there any harmful effect in taking Valtrex along with Tetracycline?

AskDocWeb: We found no drug interactions listed between Valtrex and Tetracycline. However, this does not necessarily mean no interactions exist. Always consult with your doctor or pharmacist for the latest information.

Subj: Prozac and valtrex?
Date: 12/12/2010
I currently take prozac for anxiety and I take valtrex when I have a break out of shingles which reoccurs on my back. I was wondering if the two drugs taken together can cause more emotional mood swings,

AskDocWeb: No, mood swings are not listed as a drug interaction between Prozac and Valtrex. In fact, there are no interactions listed between these drugs.

Subj: Long term health concerns
Date: 12/13/2010
Subj: Long term Valtrex for Shingles prevention? Been taking 1GM Valtrex /per day to prevent recurring / chronic shingles outbreaks on my face. It's been working for a few years now; Some days I have to take one or two additional Valtrex pills due to burning / itching symptoms of oncoming shingles. However, the rash doesn't surface because I guess I have enough Valtrex already in my system to prevent the actual outbreak. I can feel when the virus is 'trying' to emerge as the rash. Question is "What are the long term health concerns I should have about taking valtrex this way?" My liver? Thanks!!

AskDocWeb: So far no serious adverse effects have been reported from taking Valtrex long-term. There is some concern about possible effects on kidneys as some doctors are recommending patients drink a lot of water while taking Valtrex.

Subj: Valtrex for Shingles
Date: 12/14/2010
I was prescribed Valtrex for Shingles--its been 5 days--when pain is bad I can't wait to take prescribed dose to alleve--i also take 3 aspirin with pill--I am reading there R no side effects--interaction between the 2--is this true?--I think I will be out of pills before I'm cured--qcan I get a refill & will it help me?

AskDocWeb: There are no drug interactions between Valtrex and your pain pills however, some pain pills do not mix will with other pills for pain. Please talk to your doctor about using Aleve (naproxen) and aspirin at the same time. Using aspirin with Aleve (or other NSAIDs) may increase the potential for serious gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity, including bleeding, inflammation, ulceration, and perforation of the digestive tract. The symptoms of a bad reaction to using these drugs together include abdominal pain, bloating, sudden dizziness or lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting blood, anorexia, and black stools. These symptoms should be immediately report to your doctor.

Subj: Cystic acne
Date: 12/15/2010
Ive been using valtrex for a 2nd time for about 3 wks now and it seems while im using it I break out with cystic acne really bad!! Could the valtrex be causing this? I normally have very clear skin.

AskDocWeb: It is not listed as one of the possible side effects but there have been some reports of acne while taking Valtrex so it may be a rare one.

Subj: Zovirax and herpes on the lips
Date: 12/16/2010
I was wondering if you can take Valtrex for general herpes in the lips (cold sores) to prevent or help with break out? Also for those who get breakouts on their lips there is a really really good oiment called Zovirax. It's by prescription only but once you feel or see that u are gettig a break out you put it on right away and it will clear in like 3 to 4 days it's great!!!

AskDocWeb: Zovirax is a brand name for Acyclovir. It also comes in capsules and tablets. The term "general herpes" has been replaced with more specific designations of the 8 different viruses in the herpes family of viruses. The viruses are known by numbers now as human herpes virus 1 through 8 (HHV1 - HHV8).

Human herpes virus 1 (HHV1) is also known as herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1). This is the typical cause of cold sores around the mouth but can also lead to infection in the genital area causing genital herpes usually through oral-genital contact.

Human herpes virus 2 (HHV2) is also called herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV2). This is the typical cause of genital herpes, a sexually transmitted infection. However, like HHV1 it can also infect other parts of the body such as cold sores in the face. Like HHV1, HHV2 is contagious and is spread by skin-to-skin contact, typically through sexual contact.

Human herpes virus 3 (HHV3) is also called varicella-zoster virus, which causes chickenpox. It can also cause a recurrent viral infection of the skin called herpes zoster or shingles. When a dormant varicella-zoster virus from chickenpox becomes reactivated it is called shingles. This virus may recur along nerve pathways, causing multiple sores where the nerves end on the skin. Because an entire group of nerve cells can be affected, shingles is generally much more severe than a recurrence of herpes simplex. The lesions generally appear in band-like patterns occurring on one side of the body and are often accompanied by itching, tingling, or even severe pain. Most people who experience shingles once do not experience it again.

Human herpes virus 4 (HHV4) is also known as the Epstein-Barr virus. This is the major cause of infectious mononucleosis, sometimes referred to as "mono" or the "kissing disease." It is transmitted through saliva, coughing, sneezing, or sharing eating utensils with an infected person.

Human herpes virus 5 (HHV5) is the official name of cytomegalovirus (CMV). CMV is also a cause of mononucleosis. In people with healthy a immune system, the virus may not cause any symptoms. It can be sexually transmitted, can cause problems to newborns, and can cause hepatitis. CMV can be transmitted through sexual contact, organ transplants, blood transfusions, and breast-feeding.

Human herpes virus 6 (HHV6) is a virus found in the blood cells of a few patients with a variety of diseases. It causes roseola and a variety of other illnesses associated with high fever and a skin rash in small children. This virus accounts for many of the cases of convulsions associated with fever in infants (febrile seizures).

Human herpes virus 7 (HHV7) is a more recently discovered virus closely related to HHV6. Both HHV6 and HHV7 are so common that most of humankind has been infected at some point, typically early in life. HHV7 can also cause roseola, but other clinical effects are still being discovered.

Human herpes virus 8 (HHV8) was recently discovered in very rare tumours called Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS). These tumours are found in people with AIDS. KS forms purplish tumours in the skin and other tissues of some people with AIDS. HHV8 may also cause cancers, including certain lymphomas (lymph node cancers) that have been associated with AIDS.

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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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