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Herpes is one of the most common infections among the human population. The absence of treatment can provoke dangerous diseases, including tumor. Valtrex (GlaxoSmithKline, Brentford, UK), due to its active substance (valacyclovir), blocks the ability for viral life forms to reproduce and suppresses the spread of herpes in the body. Valtrex is made in the form of white tablets, taken orally.

Pharmacological properties

Absorption of the drug occurs in the gastrointestinal tract. Under the influence of hepatic enzymes, Valtrex is transformed into valine and Acyclovir. Then, acyclovir is inserted into the DNA structure of the virus, which leads to a destructive change in the synthesis of the viral DNA polymerase. As a result, the pathogenic microorganism loses its ability to reproduce. The stronger the patient’s immunity, the more successful the process of destroying the viral population will be.

Indications for use

The instructions for use dictates the following direct indications for the drug:

  • Genital herpes
  • Herpes simplex virus of the first and second type
  • Human herpesvirus of the sixth type
  • Labial herpes
  • Varicella-zoster virus
  • Herpes zoster virus
  • Epstein–Barr virus
  • Lichen
  • CMV infection
  • cytomegalovirus

Dosing and administration

Valtrex is taken orally and should be washed down with a sufficient amount of water. The standard treatment for patients infected with herpes simplex virus provides a dosage of 500 mg twice a day. The duration of therapy is three to five days. For the severe form of primary herpes, the duration of treatment may be increased up to 10 days.

Pregnancy

Data about the efficacy and safety of treatment with Valtrex during pregnancy are absent. As such, limited animal tests have shown the absence of teratogenic effects on the embryo. The decision to prescribe the drug should be made by the doctor, who considers the benefits against the possible risks to the fetus.

Side effects

The pharmaceutical instructions for the use of Valtrex contain the following list of side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath, encephalopathy, vomiting
  • Fever
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Skin irritation
  • Acute renal failure, renal colic, hematuria, impaired renal function
  • Dysarthria, tremor, psychotic symptoms, coma, convulsions, ataxia
  • Manifestations of hepatitis, discomfort in the abdomen, diarrhea, rashes
  • Thrombocytopenia, leukopenia
  • Angioedema, urticaria, photosensitivity, pruritus
  • Hallucinations, dizziness, agitation, confusion, and depression of consciousness

Contraindications

Valtrex should be taken with caution by patients with renal failure or clinically manifested forms of the human immunodeficiency virus, as well as in combination with nephrotoxic medicines.

Direct contraindications to its use include:

  • Severe cirrhosis of the liver
  • age younger than 12 years
  • Increased susceptibility to the components of the formulation
  • Age younger than 18 years in the case of herpes zoster or the ophthalmic form of herpes zoster