Valaciclovir, Valacyclovir, Valtrex or Zleitrex are all names of the anti-viral drug useful in the treatment of the herpes virus infections in humans. Herpes infections can cause irritation and pain and be really bothersome. There are two different types of herpes viruses, herpes simplex and herpes zoster (shingles), and this drug can be used to treat both types of infections.
Valtrex is a pro-drug, which means that it get transferred in the body during its metabolism into the active drug. As it is, Valtrex is less active than its metabolit acyclovir. Acyclovir is actually the medication that fights against the HSV (herpes simplex viruses) 1 and 2 and against Herpes zoster virus. This drug (both Valtrex and acyclovir) can be used in the treatment of oral herpes. It is also proven useful to treat herpes infections in cancer patients. Some recommend using Valtrex (or acyclovir) to treat primary herpetic gingivostomatitis (herpes infections of the gum and mucous membrane of the mouth), but there are no proofs that the treatment will be successful.
Valtrex Mechanism and DosageThe mechanism of action of acyclovir is the blockage of the enzyme known as DNA polymerase in the viral particles. After the block, virus can’t multiply or spread further to other parts of the human body. Because of that effect, Valtrex is used to control and localize the infection, helping the body handling the viral infection.
Valtrex can be found in 500 or 1000mg doses. In most cases, doctors will prescribe 2g of Valtrex, twice a day. Usually, your doctor of pharmacist will warn you to make a 12 hour gap between the doses of the medication.
Adverse EffectsThere are several side effects of Valtrex and they include: headache, tiredness, fever, sore throat, vomiting, and abdominal pain and in some women painful menstruations. This anti-viral medication might also affect your brain and lead to confusion, vision and speech problems and behavioral changes.
Some patients might be allergic to the medication and experience: itching, throat problems and even breathing difficulties.
CautionInform your doctor about all medications, prescribed and OTC (over the counter) you have been using, as well as the supplement and remedies you are using at the moment. Report your medical history and current medical condition.
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
Be aware that this medication might cause dizziness. Do not drive or handle heavy machinery while using Valtrex.
This medication is not meant to be used in pregnancy. Consult your doctor if you are pregnant and have a herpes infection about the best possible treatment.