Feedback on Valtrex Side Effect and Usage by AskDocWeb

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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: Terrible vaginal itching/burning
Date: 4/6/2004
I have been on surpessive Valtrex for genital herpes for 7 months and since then I experience terrible vaginal itching/burning. I have been tested for everything and so far all negative. I am allergic to Sulpha/Septra, some antibiotics and I am asthmatic. Is is possible I am allergic to the Valtrex as my gyno tells me the itch is not associated with the genital herpes, yet it started when I started the Valtrex. Also the first few weeks I took it, I got burning in my mouth. Thank you if anyone knows the answers


Subj: A-vib?
Date: 4/7/2004
I had an outbreak of herpes shingles or chicken pox virus. The infection came out of the clear blue. I awoke up one morning and my left eye was cloudy. It was a Saturday, so I had to wait until Monday to see my eye doctor. The only symptom I had was what I thought was a sinus headache for three days before. They said the infection was putting pressure on my retina, and it was cutting off the blood supply to my retina. I almost lost my eye. I was immediately put on acyclovir, for 10 days then they put me on veltrex, and predisone drops for the eye. I went back to work and the first day back, my heart went into a-fib. It took them 12 hours to get my heart to beat normal again. Have you heard of anyone else that had an a-fib side effect to veltrex? I didn’t have any side effects to the ayclovir and the predisone drops. I can’t think of anything else that would of put me into a-vib. Can you help me? Thanks.


AskDocWeb: We have not come across anyone else that had a-fib as a side effect to Valtrex. We would suggest a full medical exam and work up to discover the cause. If you don’t know the cause, you could be in for another nasty surprise.

Subj: Thinning?
Date: 5/6/2004
Hi, Does Valtex cause hair thinning? I have noticed some slight balding since taking it. Thank you.


AskDocWeb: Yes, Valtrex can cause thinning hair.

Subj: Anyone else?
Date: 5/19/2004
I used supressive Valtrex 4 times now. Each time I had mysterious things happen which I was told was not associated with it. The first time I had sores inside my mouth and it was extremely painful. I was told it was an allergy to cats. The 2nd time I had vulva pain and itching. The third time I had severe vulva pain burning and itching. The fourth time I had severe vulva pain and itching and I was told to double up on my morning dose and take my normal evening dose. I have been tested 15 times for genital herpes with negative results and I was told to get over it, I do not have genital herpes by two doctors. I stopped taking the valtrex 1.5 months ago but the pain is still here. I was told I have Vulvadynia but I believe what I have is dammage from the Valtrex. I hope this goes away. I have to use a pain patch to get through the day. My mouth also hurts from time to time. Does anyone else have these symptoms since taking Valtrex?


Subj: Question about blisters
Date: 5/26/2004
I have just found out the news of having herpes. No culture was done, but it is assumed. My question is do all herpes blisters eventually scab or crust over or can they just disappear?


AskDocWeb: The blisters typically rupture within three to five days, leaving behind pink shallow ulcers that crust over and heal. It is extremely rare for these to scar unless you scratch the blisters and they get infected with bacteria. The entire cycle lasts about two weeks.

Subj: Horrible taste
Date: 6/9/2004
I am taking 500 mg per day to prevent cold sores which I get once a month. I take the pill at 6:00 am and by noon, I have a horrible taste in the back of my throat.


Subj: It is helping, but
Date: 6/9/2004
I am currently taking Valtrex for herpes and it is helping but I am having severe muscle aches, dizziness, and I feel deprived of sleep.


Subj: No sex
Date: 6/9/2004
My sex life is DRY. My boyfriend is on this drug and he said it was a side effect that he has a low sex drive. Is this true and if so, what can I do? We had wonderful sex at one time but, now it NEEDS HELP!!!

No sex

AskDocWeb: A low sex drive was not listed as a side effect of Valtrex. Sounds like you two need to sit down and talk. Or at least take up sensuous massage.

Subj: Can’t take it
Date: 6/18/2004
I was recently diagnosed with genital herpes and my doctor first prescribed me Acyclovir, 800MG pills five times a day. I’m 24 yrs. old and in good health, however I do have an irregular heartbeat and on the first day of treatment I was only able to take three of the pills because my heart began palpatating more than usual and I began to feel dizzy and flushed, especially in my face. I notified my doctor and he switched me to Valtrex, 500MG pills three times a day. I took one pill the night I recieved the prescription and a second the following morning. By lunch time my face began to feel flushed, my heart started palpatating more frequently and continued doing so into the evening. My doctor wants to put me on suppressive therapy for a year after the first ten day treatment period but I haven’t even been able to make it through one day of complete doses.


Subj: Chronic cold sores
Date: 7/6/2004
I get chronic cold sores on my lips. My doctor prescribed Valtrex, but so far I’ve had the same number of outbreaks. I’ve been on the medicine for three months! Have I given it enough time? Do people still experience outbreaks, and there is nothing we can do about it? I’ve lost hope!


AskDocWeb: Valtrex reduces the severity of the outbreaks and speeds the healing process but it is not a cure.

Subj: Alcohol with Valtrex
Date: 7/30/2004
I just want to make sure that while I am taking Valtrex for the 3 day period during an outbreak – if I consume alcohol will it counter act and void out the healing effects of the Valtrex any? Thanks,


AskDocWeb: Using alcohol does not seem to affect the effectiveness of Valtrex but you may still want to avoid it. Alcohol lowers the strength of your immune system.

Subj: Can’t afford the Valtrex?
Date: 8/3/2004
I have been taking 1 Gram of Valtrex daily for 5 or 6 months to treat Herpes Simplex. Before I was on Valtrex I would have outbreaks one after the other for two years solid. I was miserable! The manufacturer of Valtrex have a program called Bridges to Access that allows me to get a 90 day supply (usually costs around $900.00) for free. Anyone that is suffering and can’t afford the Valtrex should ask their doctor about this program. It has changed my life!


Subj: Allergic reaction
Date: 8/3/2004
My husband was taking valtrex for his fever blister (really, he doesn’t have anything else). Well then he started getting a freaky red raised rash, on his neck, and in spots on his trunk. We thought perhaps he is allergic to it, so we stopped the Valtrex and called the dermatologist. He gave my husband a strong antihistamine, and my husband took that for two days and was totally comatose. But the rash and itching still have not stopped, and now it has been 5 days since the itching started, and he stopped taking Valtrex. Why didn’t the antihistamine help, is it because the Valtrex is still in his system? Oh, also he took 5 doses of valtrex as per the label, but the valtrex website says only to take two doses. Maybe this contributed? Thanks! He is going to the doctor again though.


AskDocWeb: The antihistamine probably did help but it just didn’t counteract the symptoms completely. We suggest you call the pharmacist and ask if the dosage on the label is correct. One dose is the number of pills you take per serving. Typically this is 2 pills. Did your husband take 5 pills or 10 pills? In either case this seems to be an unusually high dose.

Subj: Hair loss with Valtrex
Date: 8/19/2004
I noticed someone wrote about thier hair thinning since they started taking valtrex and I know it’s not listed as a side effect but I have noticed as well that my hair has started to thin since I started to take valtrex almost a year ago. Is there any other medications I can take other than valtrex?


AskDocWeb: We know of no “good’ alternative to Valtrex. The newer famciclovir offers no additional advantage. Vidarabine (Vira-A) is sometimes used as an alternative, but it is much less effective.

Ethyl chrloride or Xylocaine cream may help for very painful sores.

Then there is topical penciclovir cream. Topical penciclovir heals lesions, eases pain and stops the spread of infection. In large randomized trials it has demonstrated that it shortens the duration of herpes lesions, as well as the duration of pain, by about 1 day. That’s not as great a benefit, but it’s certainly another alternative. Patients apply the penciclovir cream to lesions every 2 hours for up to 4 days.

There is antidotal evidence that the following has provided some benefits, but we cannot recommend them. To control herpes flare-ups some people get good results from Lysine (500mg daily), an amino acid. Other self-help treatments include Vitamin C (1000mg with Bioflavonoids per day), Vitamin E, daily zinc, aloe vera applied to the sore and taking Garlic (12 tabs at outbreak onset then 4 tabs every 4-6 hours).

Please note that there are health concerns with using garlic.

Subj: Reply to Marie
Date: 9/8/2004
Marie, I began taking Valtex once a day for suppressive therapy because doctors had gone back and forth with my tests results. They also came back negative. I have had the same symptoms as you regarding the sores in my mouth when I first starting taking it, then about 1.5 months later I began to have, what I thought was a yeast infection, vulvar pain an itching. Took over the counter Monistat for treatment and nothing worked. Then the doctors said it was a bacterial infection and to take antibiotics, that didn’t work. They kept insinuating that I had a bacterial and yeast infection. The pain has gotten worse with extreme constant vulvar pain. This has been going on for 3 months. The doctors think that I also have Vulvadynia or Interstitial Cystitis. I have also had outbreaks, which are not herpes, inside the vaginal wall that resemble a boil or a pimple. Please contact me to discuss further. Your symptoms are verbatim to mine. I believe also this is damage from the Valtrex. Too similar in the symptoms. Have you had a resolution to your problems?


Subj: Might have herpes
Date: 9/17/2004
Hi, I went to the doctor Wednesday for burning and itching they said I might have herpes or an infection, I have only took 3 Valtrex since Wednesday and kept taking my antibiotic and I have no pain at all down there anymore, I am waiting for my results from doctor if I have herpes or not but my question is, would it only take 3 Valtrexs to take away everything???


AskDocWeb: No, three Valtrex would not likely take away the burning and itching. Remember that when someone says you might have something, the opposite is also true. You may not have herpes. While Valtrex does speed the healing process, this sounds more like a yeast infection.

Subj: Valtrex and alcohol
Date: 9/22/2004
Does ALCOHOL lessen the effects of Valtrex? Thanks,


AskDocWeb: Using alcohol does not seem to affect the effectiveness of Valtrex.

Subj: Headaches with Valtrex
Date: 10/11/2004
Hello. I’ve been recently diagnosed with genital herpes and took Valtrex for 5 days. At the fourth day I started getting headaches. It’s been 2 days since I finished my medication and they keep coming back. It’s not strong but it’s annoying to wake up with a headache and have it all day long. Is that a side effect from Valtrex; if it is – how long does it usually take for them to stop, after people stop the medication?


AskDocWeb: Yes, headaches were listed as a common side effect of Valtrex although we found nothing about their duration or how long they continue after discontinuing Valtrex. Read more feedback about Valtrex. Valtrex reportPage 2 345678910Last Page 64

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