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05 Feb 2012 04:26 PM

Valtrex – A Drug to Treat Herpes Virus

Valtrex has been used as an antiviral drug and its generic ingredient that has active role which blocks spreading of virus is Valacyclovir.

This medicine is administers from oral route and works to kill or inactivate herpes virus majorly. Infections where the culprit are herpes zoster, herpes simplex genitalis and virus causing cold sores can all be effectively treated with valacyclovir containing drugs. It must be noted that unlike bacteria viruses spread with the help of host cell where they replicate viral DNA and increase the virulence of the ailment. Sometime in viral medication a concept known as “prodrug” needs to be used. Here valacyclovir acts as a prodrug and it gets converted to acyclovir inside the patient’s body which is the responsible element for inactivating the viruses. Valacyclovir has been shown to have a longer duration of action making the number of doses lesser as compared to acyclovir.

Valtrex is the brand name under which this ingredient is sold by the pharmaceutical companies. This drug was approved by the FDA in 1995.

This medicine is available only through prescription and obtaining it without a valid prescription can be illegal and can result into some serious repercussions. Currently most widely available strength of this drug is 500mg and it must be stored under 30C for maintaining it total potency.

Depending upon the state of the patient Valtrex can be administered with or without the food. People who have weak or damaged kidneys must be given low doses under strict supervision. Generally in cases of herpes zoster infection the usual dosage is 1gm twice to thrice a day for 1 week. This drug is most effective the moment rash or first symptom of herpes is noticed. For best results treatment started within a period of 12 hours after the appearance of first signs are proven to be most promising.

Valacyclovir has not being linked with damaging effects in the fetus during animal studies but still as a precautionary step only when benefits of taking Valtrexoutweighs the risk to the unborn child happens doctors suggest pregnant women to take this drug if they get infected with herpes. Still for nursing mothers it is still a mystery whether valacyclovir is secreted in breast milk or not? If Valtrex is being given to the nursing mothers alternative options than breast feeding must be pondered upon for the safety of the child.

As this drug is a targeted medicine that has been made only to treat specific kind of viruses this must not be taken for any other viral or bacterial infections. Taking low or high amount may put your health at further risk making your body virus resistant for this medicine. Also if you are being treated with valacyclovir (Valtrex) it is important to tell your physician about other medications which you are already taking, this may include blood pressure or diabetes medication as well. Slight headache nausea and vomiting has been reported in few patients taking this drug but these symptoms fade away with time.
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