Feedback on Valtrex Side Effect and Usage, page 3

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: Constant spinal pain
Date: 10/21/2004
I read on the site of two similar cases like mine. I too have had pain in my cervical spine and under went testing. I used valtrex only when I had an outbreak but after having 5 in one year my doctor recommended the once a day suppressive treatment. Once I started taking it daily, a few weeks into it I noticed I had tingling in my cervical spine. It felt like needles sticking my back. Now I have constant upper back and neck pain. It’s like muscle aches. X rays were done but nothing was found. Doctor recommended physical therapy. I believe it’s the valtrex.


AskDocWeb: Thanks for adding to the list of people on Valtrex who have spinal pain. If we collect enough of these, maybe someone will investigate.

Subj: Incision will not heal
Date: 11/8/2004
Hi, I have been taking Valtrex 500 mg twice daily over 1 1/2 years. I am using the medicine to help me with canker sores Herpes Simplex II. It has helped me minimize the outbreaks and would recommend it to anyone who suffer chronic canker sores. I am a little nervous about the long term affects of Valtrex. I recently underwent minor foot surgery and my incision will not heal. All that I can think of is that Valtrex may have something to do with it. I have not been diagnosed with any immune deficiency disorder or syndromes. Any ideas?


AskDocWeb: The first thing that comes to mind is diabetes. Diabetics often have problems with healing just as you describe.

Subj: Tried Valtrex for 2 days
Date: 11/20/2004
I was taking 500 mg Valtrex daily for 2 months and I never felt any problem. But still I had itching and tingling. So I approached my doctor. She prescribed 1 gm Valtrex daily. I took it for just 2 days. I experienced all the followings. Fever, weakness, headache, muscle spasm, cramps, body pain, dizziness, loss of appetite and bad taste in the mouth, stomach upset and stomach pain, always feel very tired, drying and pricking sensation on the skin, not able to concentrate the work and overall very unpleasant condition. When I went office next day morning, my co-worker asked, you look very weak and dull. What happened to you? So I discontinued Valtrex and became fine in 1 day.


Subj: Long term use of Valtrex
Date: 11/28/2004
It has been recommended to me to continue taking Valtrex 500 mg once a day, after a year. In looking on the web the only info I found was that there is no documentation for 500-mg suppression dose taken after a year. Does anyone have experience taking this dose for more than one year?


Subj: Still itching
Date: 12/15/2004
I recently started taking Valtrex-One 500 mg tablet daily five months ago for HSV 2. I have experienced sensitivity in different parts of my body, especially my legs and feet. Also, even though I have been taken the Valtrex for suppressive therapy, I am still having itching with redness or itching with and out break of two to four blisters. Does this usually happen with suppressive therapy? Vagsil helps but it keep recurring frequently.


AskDocWeb: What you describe is not unusual but you might check with your doctor about adjusting your dosage or using an alternative that may work better for you.

Subj: What do I do?
Date: 12/24/2004
I took valtrex 500 mg and it said to take only two times once a day..and so far I feel that it hasn’t really done anything!! What do I do?


AskDocWeb: It is not clear from your email how long you have been taking Valtrex. It sounds like you have taken only 2. You also didn’t say why you were taking them. Have you been diagnosed with herpes? It is possible that you have a different skin condition. It might be a good idea to find out what your doctor says about it.

Subj: How long is it safe to take Valtrex?
Date: 1/4/2005
How long is it considered safe to take Valtrex? It worked remarkably for 18 months and I decided to get off of it due to concerns about long term usage. I would like to get back onto it but need to know how safe it is. And how long can I stay on it?


AskDocWeb: You can take Valtrex for years but note that there are two ways you can do that. The first way is to take a so-called “maintenance dose” on a regular basis. The other way is, “as needed” or to only take it at the appearance of symptoms and the following 7 to 10 days. Since we are not comfortable with the idea of taking medication when there is no need, we favor the “as needed” way of taking Valtrex.

Subj: Immune system and Valtrex

Date: 1/6/2005

A month ago, I used Valtrex for the first time to suppress a cold sore outbreak. It worked very well to ameliorate the symptoms and shorten the cycle. However, I am now having another outbreak only one month later. I’ve never had such a quick reoccurrence. Is it possible that Valtrex interferes with my natural immune system, thereby causing more frequent outbreaks?


AskDocWeb: In most cases Valtrex does not affect your immune system but it is possible. You need keep in mind that special consideration must be given to those who have a weak immune system such as those with HIV infection, or those who have under gone a bone marrow or kidney transplant, or those who have weak kidneys.

According to the Merck Online Manuals, neutropenia is one of the rare complications associated with the use of Valtrex. Neutropenia is a blood disorder characterized by a decreased number of white blood cells in the blood. This often results in a weakened immune system, making the patients more likely to acquire infection and creating a longer wound healing time.

Subj: Just diagnosed with HSV1, now bad
Date: 1/8/2005
I was diagnosed with an hsv1 the day before yesterday. The doctor prescribed Valtrex, 1mg to take 3 times a day. I did not have outbreak yet or any symptom so since the medicine is very expensive $240 I was going to decide not to purchase it. But when I was itching at one kind of reddish pimple very small on my vulva yesterday morning…I said I am glad I can still take the Valtrex because maybe this is the symptom of the cold sore virus. First I thought why would the cold sore cause a bump in the vulva, but I said it can also affect the genitalia… so I took 1 pill… None of the dizziness and other symptom so I was glad… Then after 6 hours I took second pill…then maybe few hours later…I begin feel my palate changed structure and become itching…and I said this is the outbreak may be? then I had itching on my neck…one spot on my arm, on my groin, then here and there… No visible rash but just itching…and I said how come herpes outbreaks into that…it seems itching is very rare side effects for the medicine? and why would herpes cold sore itch in all my body? then itching in each of my ear… I could hardly chew yesterday night because it is very tender in my mouth…and I said…this happens so quick? Then a little starting sore on the corner of my mouth but very little and not painful yet…then this morning…it is my palm??? Itching very bad? I said why all of that happened yesterday and today? Maybe I am allergic to this medicine… I think I am going to stop it…one never know about the long term side effects of these drugs…you hear all the time in the news…


AskDocWeb: It sounds like you are having an allergic reaction to the Valtrex. There are other products available to help. When you begin to itch take oral Benadryl and apply ice to the itchy areas.

Subj: Hallucination with Valtrex
Date: 1/13/2005
I was prescribed Valtrex for cold sores in the one day treatment. Just hours after I took my first 2, I suddenly began to have a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and feeling like I was going to pass out on the floor. I was feeling confusion and experiencing mild hallucinations. Has this ever happened to anyone else? These symptoms only lasted for a period of an hour or two.


AskDocWeb: Sounds like you had an allergic reaction to the Valtrex. If try to take them again, your symptoms may be worse. Ask your doctor about an alternative.

Subj: Lots of side effects
Date: 2/27/2005
I recently discovered that I contracted herpes II from a monogamous partner. Aside from the fact that we feel terrible and my partner was an asymptomatic carrier….I have a few questions.

Why is he not experiencing any symptoms, except for flu-like ones, no sores at all (mouth and genital area), and why is this medication making me feel insane and is there a good substitute? I’ve been irritable, dizzy, depressive, irrational, itchy, tingly, and I am on my third break out this year, and have been between Valtrex 500mg and 1 gram. Its been such a heavy illness that I don’t know what else to do. I hope that this kills it off. What are my options?


AskDocWeb: A person can carry it without having symptoms. Sounds like you need to discuss your symptoms with your doctor. He will likely change your medication.

Subj: Social worker spreading STDs

Date: 3/2/2005

I am a student in Maryland taking a course in public health and I was hoping you could answer a Herpes transmission question. Our class was recently addressed by a social worker in Baltimore who works with prostitutes. The social worker said that in addition to condom use and regular screening for STDs, that they were advocating that the prostitutes take 200 mg of acyclovir (twice daily) as a means of protecting the prostitutes from contracting genital herpes.

I question the logic of this and the social worker said that in order for herpes to infect it must replicate in the exposed person and if acyclovir was present in the naive person an infection could not occur. Thank you for your time,


AskDocWeb: You are right to question that kind of thinking. Not only is your social worker is not a medical professional, they are not well educated in this area. Acyclovir is not a vaccine. It does not prevent infection. If you have the opportunity, tell them to ask any doctor.

Subj: Valtrex and chocolate
Date: 3/8/2005
I recently was diagnosed w/herpes (you can imagine I wasn’t too pleased w/this) and had my second outbreak a week ago. My question is this…has anyone experienced craving chocolate while on valtrex? I have an eating disorder to go along w/the latest addition to my problems and this would just be the straw to break all. If this is true can someone suggest one that they have had luck w/that doesn’t make you want chocolate?


AskDocWeb: That is a new one for us. We haven’t heard of Valtrex causing anyone to have a craving for chocolate.

Subj: Frequent urination with Valtrex
Date: 3/17/2005

Like Amy, I too find I have to pee frequently when taking Valtrex. I try to look on it as a good thing, because then I’m washing my hands frequently. :/


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