Valacyclovir tablets are a prescription antiviral medicine. Valacyclovir tablets lower the ability of herpes viruses to multiply in your body.
Valacyclovir tablets do not cure herpes infections (cold sores, chickenpox, shingles or genital herpes). The efficacy of valacyclovir tablets has not been studied in children who have not reached puberty.
Cold sores are caused by a herpes virus that may be spread by kissing or other physical contact with the infected area of the skin. They are small, painful ulcers that you get in or around your mouth. It is not known if valacyclovir tablets can stop the spread of cold sores to others.
Chickenpox is caused by a herpes virus called Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV). It causes an itchy rash of multiple small, red bumps that look like pimples or insect bites usually appearing first on the abdomen or back and face. It can spread to almost everywhere else on the body and may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms.
Shingles is caused by the same herpes virus that causes chickenpox. It causes small, painful blisters to appear on your skin. Shingles occurs in people who have already had chickenpox. Shingles can be spread to people who have not had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine by contact with the infected areas of the skin. It is not known if valacyclovir tablets can stop the spread of shingles to others.
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease. It causes small, painful blisters on your genital area. You can spread genital herpes to others, even when you have no symptoms. If you are sexually active, you can still pass herpes to your partner, even if you are taking valacyclovir tablets. Valacyclovir tablets, taken every day as prescribed and used with the following safer sex practices, can lower the chances of passing genital herpes to your partner.
Do not take valacyclovir tablets if you are allergic to any of its ingredients or to acyclovir. The active ingredient is valacyclovir.
Before taking valacyclovir tablets, tell your healthcare provider: About all your medical conditions, including:
Kidney failure and nervous system problems are not common, but can be serious in some patients taking valacyclovir tablets. Nervous system problems include aggressive behavior, unsteady movement, shaky movements, confusion, speech problems, hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are really not there), seizures and coma.
Kidney failure and nervous system problems have happened in patients who already have kidney disease and in elderly patients whose kidneys do not work well due to age. Always tell your healthcare provider if you have kidney problems before taking valacyclovir tablets.
Call your doctor right away if you get a nervous system problem while you are taking valacyclovir tablets.
Common side effects of valacyclovir tablets in adults include headache, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and dizziness. Side effects in HIV-infected adults include headache, tiredness and rash. These side effects usually are mild and do not cause patients to stop taking valacyclovir tablets.
Other less common side effects in adults include painful periods in women, joint pain, depression, low blood cell counts and changes in tests that measure how well the liver and kidneys work. The most common side effect seen in children < 18 years of age was headache.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you develop any side effects that concern you. These are not all the side effects of valacyclovir tablets. For more information ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Keep valacyclovir tablets and all medicines out of the reach of children. General information about valacyclovir tablets Medicines are sometimes prescribed for conditions that are not mentioned in patient information leaflets. Do not use valacyclovir tablets for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give valacyclovir tablets to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them.
Please see the full Prescribing Information for complete safety information.