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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 cancer. Valtrex (GlaxoSmithKline, Brentford, UK), due to its active substance (valacyclovir), block 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. Valaciclovir is a modified version of acyclovir, which can be taken less often than acyclovir since it is better absorbed in the body.
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
Valtrex is intended to treat and prevent infections caused by the Herpes zoster virus, cytomegalovirus infection that progresses with organ transplantation, lip fever and other infections of the skin and mucous membranes. Valtrex is able to prevent the formation of sores if taken during the initial appearance of herpes symptoms.
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.
There are no clinical studies about the efficacy and safety of treatment with Valtrex during pregnancy. Limited animal tests have shown the absence of teratogenic effects on the embryo. The use of Valtrex in women during pregnancy and lactation is approved only in the case when the potential risk to the fetus and child does not exceed the potential benefit of treatment for the mother.
During the treatment with Valtrex, there is a risk of nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and anorexia. Additionally, Valtrex side effects include allergic manifestations in the form of a rash, itching, urticaria, angioedema, and anaphylaxis.
Valtrex is not recommended for people with hypersensitivity to valacyclovir, acyclovir, or any other ingredient in the structure of this drug. 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