Valtrex is an antiviral “prodrug” that is converted in the body into a compound called acyclovir. It can also be used to treat cold sores around the mouth (which are caused by the herpes simplex virus), and chicken pox, which is called by a virus called varicella zoster.
Valtrex is commonly taken to treat outbreaks of genital herpes for people who have frequent outbreaks. While the drug does not get rid of the virus altogether, when taken at the first sign of an outbreak, it can make outbreaks milder and make them go away faster. It can also reduce the number of future outbreaks.
Between outbreaks, the herpes viruses that Valtrex treats remain in the body but go dormant. In many people an initial outbreak is not followed by future outbreaks, and even in people with repeated outbreaks, the initial outbreak is usually the most severe, with subsequent outbreaks less debilitating.
When Valtrex is taken as directed, it helps sores heal faster, helps keep new sores from forming, and reduces the pain and itching associated with outbreaks. In people who experience pain after the sores heal (which is particularly common in people with shingles), Valtrex can help reduce the amount of time residual pain persists.
Valtrex is typically prescribed in batches of 30 pills, each of which contains a 500mg dose of the medication. The medication is usually taken twice daily (for a total of 1,000 mg per day) for a period of three to five days.
People who experience repeated outbreaks of cold sores or genital herpes often learn which symptoms precede an outbreak, and when they start taking Valtrex at the onset of these pre-outbreak symptoms, they can greatly reduce the severity of the outbreak. Warning signs that an outbreak may be imminent include swelling, tenderness, and redness. There may be some itching and sensitivity. In some cases this inflammation may never progress to blisters.
Valtrex is not inexpensive, but for many people with recurrent herpes outbreaks, the relief they get from the pain and symptoms is well worth the cost. Following is a sampling of prices from pharmacies in five US cities as of 22 November, 2014.
|City||Pharmacy||Cost: 30 x 500 mg tablets||Average cost for city||Average city cost per dose|
|Overall average: $240.73; Overall average per dose: $8.02|
Herpes Can Be a Very Sensitive Topic
Although genital herpes is very common, with an estimated 25% of women and 10% of men being infected (when both the herpes simplex virus strains 1 and 2 are considered), diagnosis still carries a stigma. In fact, many people who are infected with genital herpes find that the mindset surrounding the diagnosis is worse than the disease itself, which can affect social life, dating, and sometimes psychological health.
When symptoms are present, the virus is highly contagious, so anyone with genital herpes should void all sexual contact whenever sores are present. Condoms don’t always prevent transmission of the virus, because not all sores may be covered by a condom.
The main times when having genital herpes is dangerous are when engaging in sexual activity with someone who has HIV (because it can increase chances of contracting HIV), and during pregnancy. Outbreaks during the third trimester of pregnancy can be extremely dangerous to the baby when it can be contracted from the mother. Fortunately this type of transmission is very rare and mostly preventable through use of medication and C-section delivery.
Getting Medical Help
The first time someone experiences symptoms that could indicate genital herpes, it’s important to be evaluated by a physician, who can confirm or rule out the diagnosis and help develop a plan for dealing with the initial outbreak and any subsequent outbreaks, should they occur. People who have experience dealing with repeated outbreaks often come to know when an outbreak is imminent and want to be prepared by having a medication like Valtrex on hand so it can be started as soon as possible.
Because herpes is such a sensitive health condition, many people who have dealt with it want options for obtaining medications like Valtrex discreetly, and without a lot of hassle. Fortunately, online pharmacies and medical facilitators provide options for people who have herpes so they can obtain the medications they need conveniently, cost-effectively, and with attention to privacy.
Recurrent Shingles Outbreaks
Most people who get shingles have it once and never get it again. However, it is possible to have recurrent shingles outbreaks. Women, people who were over age 50 at their first shingles outbreak, and people with compromised immune systems are most likely to get shingles again, though subsequent outbreaks are still unlikely. Shingles vaccines are available, but they’re not appropriate for everyone. In people who cannot be vaccinated against shingles, early treatment is essential for minimizing the painful symptoms that accompany shingles and minimizing effects of nerve pain that can persist even after the blisters resolve.
Before taking Valtrex or any other antiviral drugs used in treatment of herpes viruses, it’s important to inform your doctor and / or pharmacist about all drugs (both prescription and over-the-counter) that you’re taking to avoid potential drug interactions. People taking certain drugs, like Tagamet, and those who are pregnant or nursing, as well as those with certain immune deficiencies or kidney diseases should not take Valtrex.
AccessRx.com, working with US-licensed pharmacists, offers Valtrex at competitive pricing with unmatched convenience, shipping the medication quickly and discreetly. AccessRx.com is fully committed to maintaining customer privacy and protecting them online through the use of the strongest online security technology.