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About Valtrex

If you use Valtrex, please help others by sharing your experience with side effects. 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.


Bleeding from penis
Date: 9/28/2011
I have been taking 2000MGs of valtrex a day for the past 3years. This month during foreplay, I started bleeding from my penis in massive amounts. There was no pain but it was difficult to stop the flow of blood. This happened twice a week apart. Could the Valtrex have been a factor in the reason I bled?
Brian

AskDocWeb: Valtrex is not known to have that effect. Bleeding from the penis has several possible causes but most of them do not cause bleeding during foreplay. An examination by a urologist should tell you exactly what is wrong and how to treat it. Bleeding from your penis does increase the chances of passing on a blood borne infection to your partner so don't delay in getting it checked out.


Incredible pain and itching
Date: 9/29/2011
I had what I think is my 2nd herpes outbreak rcently and it is TERRIBLE! Incredible pain and itching. I went to my GYN who did the swab test- which came back neagtive (so did the test the 1st time I had this happen- about 6 mos ago). I've been taking Valtrex 1000 mg ex a day for 14 days and usuing the Zovriax ointment for just as long. I have had minor relief and continue to get new blisters daily. I recently had an IUD removed (the itching started the day after) and so am having a lot of break thru bleeding- which makes the itching worse. How long can this last?? My GYN doesn't know what else it could be!?
Kari

AskDocWeb: How long it lasts depends on the cause. When symptoms appear shortly after a procedure there is a possibility that infection occurred during the procedure. There is also a possibility of other complications from the procedure. If your GYN doesn't know the cause then maybe it is time for a referral to a specialist.


Sore spots on face, ear, and arms
Date: 10/3/2011
I have been on valtrex daily for three years (500 mg twice a day or 1 gram once daily). I have sore spots on my face, ear, & arms that cannot be seen, but can sure feel them. Feels like a pimple that can't be popped, hard & very sore. I can only attribute it to the valtrex or synthroid... Any suggestions?
Sue

AskDocWeb: That is not a side effect of Valtrex however, a surprising number of people taking synthroid complain about sore spots on their head. You might want to consider having your doctor check on the cause of the sore spots.


Vaginal discharge
Date: 10/5/2011
I am currently on valtrex and it is giving me alot of vaginal discharge making my pants even wet. Is this abnormal ama it is jst normal, though i have ever had urinary tract infection in the past and i was treated. Please help!
Emmanuel

AskDocWeb: A vagina discharge is not one of the side effects of Valtrex. If the discharge is occurring outside of your normal menstrual cycle it may be an Abnormal Vaginal Discharge.


Yellow or white tongue?
Date: 10/8/2011
Hello, I've been taking Valtrex for about 6 MO. now and have noticed my tongue being yellow/white at times. It gets a bit sore, along with my gums and roof of mouth. Is this a normal reaction? I spoke to my doctor and he said to just watch it. It hasn't exactly changed, has anyone else had these side effects?
A

AskDocWeb: There are many medical conditions that can cause your tongue to turn white. Here are some of the possibilities.
  • AIDS
  • Alcohol
  • Broad spectrum antibiotics
  • Candidiasis
  • Chronic illness
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Fluticasone asthma puffers
  • Immunosuppression
  • Immunosuppressive medications
  • Keratosis pharyngis
  • Leukoplakia
  • Leukoplakia
  • Malignancies
  • Mechanical trauma to tongue
  • Oral candidiasis
  • Oral lichen planus
  • Oral manifestations of skin conditions
  • Oral thrush
  • Smoking
  • Steroid inhalers
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Jaundice causes a yellow tongue.


Breakout on my tongue and vertigo
Date: 10/9/2011
I seem to coincidentally have vertigo right at the same time I had a breakout on my tongue. It's happened before. Just coincidence or could it be related?
Megan

AskDocWeb: It could be either one. Dizziness has been reported by up to 4% of patients taking Valtrex. However, some patients also report experiencing vertigo 3 or 4 days before an outbreak.


Vertigo
Date: 10/11/2011
I am taking the generic for Valtrex now for a virus in a nerve in my ear. I have vertigo and have been taking the medication since July 2011. I received lab results that show "at risk" levels in the red cell areas and iron, iron absorbtion/saturation and ferritin. I am worried that continuing to take this drug is doing more harm than good. My vertigo has not cleared up and I am worried about other side effects since I did have clots a few years ago in my superficial veins causing me to be on coumadin. What is your advice?
Denita

AskDocWeb: Hello Denita. The forum is free but it is limited to discussing the side effects of Valtrex. For advice you should consult with your local healthcare provider or Adask an online Doctor.


Long term use of Valtrex
Date: 10/16/2011
What ate the studies showing in regards to depression/anxiety and long term use of Valtrex?
Whitney

AskDocWeb: Valtrex is currently thought to be just as safe as long-term use of Acyclovir. Depression has been noted in HIV infected patients but has not been attributed to Valtrex. Headache, nausea, and diarrhea are the most commonly reported adverse events. A small percentage of Valtrex uers report anxiety however, just having the herpes virus can produce anxiety and depression.


Cold sores and vaccination
Date: 10/19/2011
Is having a current outbreak of cold sores caused by HSV-1 a reason to delay vaccination with Zostrivax?
Paul

AskDocWeb: Currently active cold sores are not listed as one of the contraindications for Zostavax.


3 questions:
Date: 10/26/2011
1. I recently picked up shingles and I read somewhere that you're more susceptible to shingles if you had chickenpox before the age of one - which was my case. Why is that?

2. Does Valtrex interfere with the way the immune system does its job? Since it's assisting, doesn't it make it weaker?

3. What does Valtrex do in your system if you continue to take it after the virus is subdued? Does it find something else to do?
John

AskDocWeb: Answer 1. The earlier you get the virus the more time it has to establish itself in the body.

Answer 2. Valtrex works "with" you immune system, not in place of it. If it did the work of your immune system then there might be a chance of atrophy there but that is not the case.

Answer 3. While the virus is subdued, it is not eliminated from the body. Valtrex continues to inhibit the growth of the virus, which helps prevent the virus from growing to the point where you would have another outbreak.


Large doses of Valtrex
Date: 10/26/2011
I have an occasional cold sore outbreak (nothing major) and usually do not use Valtrex for that. However, I have been prescribed it for me prior to minor light/laser treatments (1g 2x per day). It has been helpful in keeping me from developing an outbreak. However, I did have a photodynamic therapy treatment with Levulan for AK's and my dermatologist forgot to mention the cold sore issue. Much to say the least I had a horrible outbreak on my chin (probably 60 little blisters). I just had the same treatment done and we actually pre-treated the day before with (500mg 2x per day). I was supposed to continue this regimen, but I was advised to take 1g the night of the procedure (yesterday) and the 500mg 2x per day for 8 days.

I wake up this morning and took my 500mg. Looked in the mirror and noticed several cold sores appearing on my chin. I called the doctor's office and was advised to take 2g immediately and 2g 12 hours later then to continue my normal regimen of 500mg 2x per day. I have also used the Zovirax cream in addition. Much to say the least they are still popping up. From all the reading I have done this seems like alot of Valtrex to be taking. I know every doctor is different, but I was just wondering if this kind of dosing is typical?
Katie

AskDocWeb: Okay, that is a lot of Valtrex to be taking but it is not unusual. According to the Physician's Desk Reference, that is the maximum standard dosage for cold sores (Herpes labialis) and is only done for one day's treatment.


Valtrex hair loss
Date: 10/26/2011
i've been on Valtrex for over a year.. I can't miss a dose, or I'll have an outbreak... I'm 50 years old..but my hair is thining and I have THIN hair anyway... I'm dommed.
Cindy

AskDocWeb:


Tachycardia
Date: 11/30/2011
I developed shingles a couple of weeks ago. I did not go to the doctor right away because I have a lot of problems with contact dermatitis. I also take 2700 mg of neurontin daily, which perhaps masked the pain. The blisters were on my right side. After a week, when I noticed the blisters were spreading, I went to a dermatologist, who prescribed 1 gram of Valtrex 3 times a day, plus 3 10 mg prednisone, to be taken all at once. I am in pretty good health, but CKD, GFR 35. I took both meds with food. About 3 hours later, I developed severe tachycardia, weakness-totally dizzed. (BTW, I'm 61).

The lengthy pharmacy info sheet for Valtrex said get immediate medical attention for tachycardia, etc, so I went to the ER, things were getting increasingly bad. They gave me an IV to flush me out. My husband said it took about 3 hours for heart rate to stabilize. I have never had tachycardia in my life. I have been fine since the IV 7 days ago. BTW, my D Dimer was up, so they gave me all sorts of heart and imaging tests. All was fine.

SO--any reactions like this reported about Valtrex? My husband searched the internet, he found some indicator the D Dimer can go up with Valtrex (mine was 1300) I know my body, and I know I had a drug reaction. I am taking nothing for the shingles now (I have a bit of glaucoma, and am nervous about prednisone.) So--Valtrex? Any possibility of kidney damage etc with my reaction?
Hill

AskDocWeb: Tachycardia is known to be one of the rare side effects of Valtrex. You might want to ask your doctor about checking your creatinine clearance. A decreased would indicate kidney damage. Please see Jane's post 11/23/2007 and our answer about reversing an allergy.


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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2010-2011 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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