Feedback on Valtrex Side Effect and Usage, page 48

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.

Subj: Valtrex and rosacea
Date: 5/24/2011
I have used Valtrex for cold sores that develop on my nose/face. I also have rosacea and it seems to be the most clear when I am taking the valtrex. Is Valtrex a viable option for controlling rosacea outbreaks? My physician doesnt feel like it would help, but I know it does. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks.


AskDocWeb: While there are some drugs that appear to be helpful in treating the flushing associated with rosacea, Valtrex is not one of them. Some beta-blockers and alpha antagonists are helpful in controlling rosacea symptoms but their use is off-label (not approved by the FDA specifically for rosacea). These include:

  • Propranolol
  • Nadolol
  • Zebeta
  • Clonidine
  • Moxonidine

Since one of the main triggers of both herpes and rosacea is stress, doing what you can to relieve stress may have a major beneficial impact on both. Other things that have been found to be helpful in controlling rosacea include the following:

  • Avoid becoming overheated.
  • Avoid getting too close to heat sources.
  • Avoid steam, saunas, hot showers, and hot baths.
  • chamomile tea
  • green tea creams
  • green tea
  • Limit hot beverages and alcohol.
  • Moisturize your skin if it starts to feel dry but look for a moisturizer that does not contain alcohol, eucalyptus, fragrance, peppermint, or witch hazel.
  • Practice cool-down strategies
  • practice sun protection: sunglasses, sunscreen, and wear protective clothing, such as a wide-brimmed hat.
  • topical licorice herb
  • Vitamin B2
  • Wear loose, layered clothing that allows you to remove layers as needed to prevent overheating.

You may also want to consider keeping a trigger journal. This can assist you in learning what food and beverages trigger your rosacea so you can avoid them.

Source: National Rosacea Society, “Ingredients May Aggravate Rosacea.” Rosacea Review, spring 2005 and “New Survey Pinpoints Leading Factors that Trigger Symptoms.” Rosacea Review, summer 2002.

Subj: Unprotected sex
Date: 5/29/2011
had unprotected sex one time what risk did I expose my partner.


AskDocWeb: Another term for unprotected sex is unsafe sex. There are different kinds of risk to be considered with different kinds of sex; oral, vaginal and anal intercourse. Unprotected sex puts both partners at increased risk for a number of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) as well as an unintended pregnancy. These risks range from the mildly embarrassing to completely life changing.

When you have unprotected sex both partners are at risk of contracting a wide range of diseases. While some of these are curable, others are not. Some sexually transmitted diseases do not have any symptoms, especially in men, so you may get a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and not know it.

Unprotected vaginal or anal sex increases the risk of the following:

  • Chancroid
  • Chlamydia
  • Genital herpes
  • Genital warts – Human papilloma virus
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Hepatitis A, B and C viruses
  • HIV – Human immunodeficiency virus Types 1 & 2
  • Molluscum contagiosum virus
  • Nongonococcal Urethritis (NGU)
  • Pubic lice – Pediculosis pubic
  • Scabies – Sarcoptes scabiei
  • Syphilis
  • Vaginal candidiasis – Candida albicans

Unprotected oral sex puts partners at risk of:

  • Genital herpes
  • Genital warts
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Hepatitis A
  • HIV
  • Nongonococcal Urethritis (NGU)
  • Syphilis

Please note that some people who contract an STI(s) may not exhibit any physical symptoms or signs of an infection. For this reason, it is a mistake to think that protection is not required just because the other person looks healthy and does not exhibit any physical symptoms. The risks of having unprotected sex far outweigh the rewards.

Subj: Long-term us of Valtrex
Date: 6/19/2011
I have been taking valtrex for 20 years although it was called something else when I first started taking it (zorvirax) I had a period of about 6 days that I did not have the medication and I broke out within that time frame. Is there any risk from taking valtrex for so long?


AskDocWeb: According to using Valtrex is known to be taxing on the kidney and has been associated with kidney damage. The effects of Valtrex on the kidneys have a cumulative effect over time. Minimizing this long-term effect of Valtrex can be accomplished by reducing dosage amounts and staying well hydrated. Tests for kidney damage can also be ordered to monitor kidney function.

Subj: Can I take Excedrin while using Valtrex?
Date: 7/16/2011
I am taking Valtrex for shingles. I am having a terrible headache. Could I take Excedrin Migraine with it?


AskDocWeb: From 17% up to 38% of those taking Valtrex report headache as a side effect. However, the incidence rate for migraines is less than 1% so you may be one of the unlucky few in that regard. We found no drug interactions listed between Valtrex and Excedrin Migraine but as always, check with your doctor to make sure it would be safe for your particular situation.

Sometimes a migraine headache can be a sign a more serious problem that requires prompt medical care. Here are the symptoms that indicate a need for immediate medical attention:

  • Severe headache accompanied by fever, nausea, or vomiting that is not related to another illness
  • Sudden, severe headache that may be accompanied by a stiff neck
  • Headache associated with convulsions (seizures)
  • Severe headache accompanied by confusion, double vision, or loss of consciousness
  • Headache that worsens over days or weeks or has changed in pattern or behavior
  • Headache following a head injury
  • Headache and a loss of sensation or weakness in any part of the body (possible stroke)
  • Recurring headache in children
  • Persistent headache in someone who has been previously headache-free, particularly in someone over age 50
  • Headache associated with shortness of breath
  • Two or more headaches a week
  • New headaches in someone with a history of cancer or HIV/AIDS

Subj: Is this “normal”?
Date: 7/21/2011
I have noticed when I take the 2gm bid, the next day I’m very bloated, is this related?? Also a few days before I realize the cold sore is coming on I fell very tired, is this “normal”, thanks.


AskDocWeb: Viral infections are often accompanied by fatigue. Bloating is not listed as one of the possible side effects of Valtrex however, there are a numeber reports of bloating and gas by patients.

Subj: How many days should I take Valtrex?
Date: 7/24/2011
I began taking valacylcovir 4 days ago for herpes II. I began taking it as soon as I felt a twinge of tingling and itching. The good news is that the flare up is not getting progressively worse, as they usually do! I can still feel a little something going on, but I’m not in misery, like I normally would be. I have definitely noticed the headaches and nausea. No fun! What concerns me the most, though, is that I haven’t been able to sleep for the last 3 nights because it feels like my skin is crawling! Also, I’ve definitely noticed a marked increase in aggitation at everyday things. Normally, I am very easy-going and patient. If I am taking the valacylcovir to reduce the flare-up, but not as an all the time suppressive, about how many days should I take it before I can stop? I am taking 500mg, 2x/day. Thanks for any help.

Hopeful but concerned

AskDocWeb: That varies with your condition. You would have to consult with your doctor for an answer specific to your situation. Headaches and nausea are the most common side effects of Valtrex.

Subj: I have to be truthful
Date: 7/26/2011
I just posted this review at (another website) and now I am posting it here: I was raped, in 2006 and I had my first out break in 2011. I was extremely stressed at the time, and I am on my second round of outbreak. I’ve learned a lot about being truthful with guys. They hear my story and they run. Other guys don’t understand why I just don’t get a friend to (deleted) on the side with herpes. I don’t believe in causal sex anymore for one, and for another, my self esteem has rock bottomed to the point where I believe that no one would want me. I started counseling because of pre existing emotional distress, and because stress can trigger an outbreak, I felt it was key. I don’t understand a lot of why this happened to me, but I have to be truthful with the men in my life. Most of them do run away, but when the time comes, I will find the right one.


Subj: What is the maximum dosage of Valtrex?
Date: 7/29/2011
I have reoccurring shingles, one doctor to told me I could take as many as 4x 500mg of valtrex in the morning and the same at night when I have an outbreak. What is the maximum I can take during an outbreak?? I take 1 500mg daily with no outbreak.


AskDocWeb: It appears that you are at the maximum dosage. According to the Physician’s Desk Reference the maximum dosage is 2 grams (2000mg or 4 500mg capsules) every 12 hours.

Subj: Can you smoke while taking Valtrex
Date: 7/31/2011
I have shingles I have had it for a week now I was given Valacyclovir as an anti-virus after 2 days of taking the drug I would go outside for a smoke and I would have the feeling of being “high”…my question is does smoking effect this drug? should I not smoke while taking it? and if I did smoke while on this drug will it harm me?


AskDocWeb: According to the Surgeon General smoking weakens the body and has been proven to reduce the body’s ability to fight off cancer and other diseases. You know it is addictive so please think about the consequences.

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