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Genital Herpes, Cold Sores, and Shingles Treatment
Famvir (famciclovir) is an antiviral prescription medication which is prescribed to treat outbreaks of the herpes simplex virus including cold sores and shingles. When taken properly it can help to reduce the duration of the symptoms and prevent future outbreaks
How Does Famvir Work?
This drug works by attacking the herpes simplex virus in the system, effectively slowing the spreading down enough to allow time for the body to fight off the virus. The end result is a lessening of both the symptoms and the duration of outbreaks.
How to take Famvir:
Only take this drug as directed by your doctor. This drug is taken orally by mouth with water. Your doctor may adjust your dosage levels depending on your situation. If you miss a dose of Famvir take it at the next chance you get and keep taking your other doses at their scheduled times.
Symptoms and Signs of Genital Herpes:
Genital herpes can lay dormant in the body for years before surfacing and in some cases it may never surface. When it does, it is usually accompanied by the following symptoms:
- An Outbreak of sores and or legions near, in or around the genitals or mouth
Living with Cold Sores and Genital Herpes:
Living with an annoying, painful and reoccurring virus such as herpes can be very detrimental. It can be both embarrassing and painful to deal with the symptoms of oral and genital herpes. Famvir offers a way to prevent and lessen your outbreaks and allows you to effectively control the herpes virus.
Famvir Side Effects:
There are some potential side effects which can occur when taking this drug including:
- Tingling in hands
- Tingling in feet
- In rare cases, a potentially serious allergic reaction can occur which can include the following symptoms: breathing difficulty, swelling of the lips, swelling of the mouth, swelling of the tongue, swelling of the face or an outbreak of hives—if you experience any of these rare yet serious side effects, STOP taking Famvir and seek immediate medical attention.
Always make sure to let your doctor know about any drug allergies before taking this drug. Do not take this drug if you are allergic to penciclovir (Denavir) unless otherwise directed by a doctor. Women who are pregnant or nursing should consult with a doctor before taking this drug, as well as anybody who suffers from kidney disease. This medication will not prevent the spread of the herpes virus.
Important Patient InformationFAMCICLOVIR - ORAL (fam-SYE-kloe-vir) COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Famvir
IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
USES: Famciclovir is used to treat infections caused by certain types of viruses. It treats shingles caused by herpes zoster. It also treats outbreaks of herpes simplex that cause cold sores around the mouth, sores around the anus, and genital herpes. In people with frequent outbreaks of genital herpes, famciclovir is used to help reduce the number of future episodes. Famciclovir is an antiviral drug. However, it is not a cure for these infections. The viruses that cause these infections continue to live in the body even between outbreaks. Famciclovir decreases the severity and length of these outbreaks. It helps the sores heal faster, keeps new sores from forming, and decreases pain/itching. This medication may also help reduce how long pain remains after the sores heal. In addition, in people with a weakened immune system, famciclovir can decrease the risk of the virus spreading to other parts of the body and causing serious infections.
HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking famciclovir and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually 2 to 3 times a day or as directed by your doctor. This medication works best when started at the first sign of an outbreak, as directed by your doctor. It may not work as well if you delay treatment. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished. Do not change your dose, skip any doses, or stop this medication early without your doctor's approval. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
SIDE EFFECTS: Headache, nausea, and diarrhea may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (such as agitation, slowed thinking, confusion, hallucinations), dizziness, drowsiness, change in the amount of urine, yellowing eyes/skin, easy bruising/bleeding. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking famciclovir, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to penciclovir; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney problems. This drug may rarely make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. This medication may contain lactose. If you have certain conditions such as galactose intolerance, severe lactase deficiency (not lactose or milk intolerance), or glucose-galactose malabsorption that require you to restrict your intake of lactose, consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking this medication. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Do not have certain immunizations/vaccinations (such as vaccines against the varicella virus) without the consent of your doctor. Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and change in the amount of urine. Famciclovir does not protect against the spread of genital herpes. To lower the chance of giving herpes to your partner, do not have sexual contact during an outbreak or if you have symptoms. You can spread genital herpes even if you do not have symptoms. Therefore, always use an effective barrier method (latex or polyurethane condoms/dental dams) during all sexual activity. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. It may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company. safely discard your product.
This product information is intended for United States residents only. Before prescribing, please refer to the patient information. You can view the document and also download it on your computer. You may also consider printing out a copy for yourself. View US Prescribing Information - PDF Version
To view the PDF document, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader which you can download for free here.
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How is the medication packaged?
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