Famciclovir is a member of antiviral drugs used for treatment of infections caused by several types of Herpes viruses.
This agent acts against viral replication and prevents further spread of the virus from one cell to another. The drug cannot completely cure the viral infection it is prescribed for but may successfully decrease all the symptoms such as pain, burning and tingling sensation, tenderness of the affected area as well as itching. Famciclovir may also prevent new sores and blisters from forming.
First of all, the drug is used in patients suffering from herpes zoster (shingles) which occurs once the immune system becomes weak, many years after the person suffered from chickenpox.
Furthermore, famciclovir is also efficient in case of recurrent outbreaks of cold sores and fever blisters in people with preserved function of the immune system. Similarly, it is prescribed to healthy individuals suffering from repeated outbreaks of genital herpes and in order to prevent this condition from reoccurring.
As far as immunocompromised patients are concerned, famciclovir is efficiently used for treatment of recurrent herpes simplex infection of the skin and mucous membranes in people suffering from HIV.
Famciclovir - How It is Used?
Famciclovir comes in a tablet form and is taken with water. Treatment of shingles requires taking the drug every 8 hours for 7 days. It starts 3 days after the rash appears.
As for cold sores and fever blisters, famciclovir should be taken immediately when one foresees the attack coming experiencing tingling, burning or itching sensation.
Treatment for repeated outbreaks of genital herpes includes taking of the tablet twice a day for one day. The onset of treatment is 6 hours after the first symptoms occur. Famciclovir taken twice a day for a year may prevent recurrent episodes of genital herpes.
HIV patients receive famciclovir twice a day for 7 days when treated for any kind of herpes infection.
Famciclovir - Side Effects
There are certain side effects associated with intake of famciclovir. While some are well tolerated, others require prompt discontinuation of the drug.
Most commonly reported side effects include headache, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, gas and stomach pain. Tiredness, rash and itching may occur as well. Finally, the drug may be blamed for painful menstrual periods.
Pain, burning, numbness and tingling in the hands or feet must be reported without any delay.Precautionary Measures
Allergy to famciclovir, penciclovir, acyclovir and other such drugs must be reported. One should report all the drugs he/she is taking including vitamin/mineral supplements and herbal products. Pregnancy must be reported as well. Finally, driving a car or operating a heavy machinery must be avoided until one figures out how the drug affects him/her.