Valtrex is a drug that is used to treat those who are afflicted with a herpes simplex virus infection (such as genital herpes, shingles, and cold sores). It is also used to treat cold sores and chicken pox in juveniles. The brand name of Valtrex is Valaciclovir Hydrochloride. Because it is an antiviral drug, it is designed to slow down the progression of the virus long enough to enable the body to fight off the infection brought on by the virus.
It is imperative to note that while Valtrex slows down the rate of the infection, it cannot cure it. It is also important for patients to inform their physicians (prior to taking Valtrex) if they are afflicted with HIV/AIDS, a weakened immune system, a kidney/renal disease (especially those who are on dialysis), or if they had a kidney or bone marrow transplant. Particularly as it relates to those suffering from a kidney affliction, combining this condition with Valtrex may prove fatal. It is also important for patients to inform their physicians if they are taking any additional medications, as the synergistic effects of these medications with Valtrex may be detrimental to their health.
While on Valtrex, it is important for patients to consume the medication as soon as the onset of the viral infection (i.e. herpes, chickenpox, or cold sores) occurs. Herpes infections are contagious, and this is important to understand and appreciate while one is on Valtrex. In addition, it is imperative to discontinue taking Valtrex in the event that catastrophic effects occur, such as fever, bruising, or bleeding, or the appearance of red spots on the skin, diarrhea (particularly bloody stools), vomiting, pale or yellow skin (jaundice), weakness, fainting, or urinating less than usual or not at all. It is important to take the medication with a full glass of water. This is especially the case with those afflicted with a kidney condition, where remaining hydrated is very important. The medication can also be taken with or without food. Valtrex comes in both a tablet and a liquid form. Because Valtrex cannot cure the virus and the infection is highly contagious, it is important practice safe sex (wearing condoms, abstinence, and the like).
It is also important to avoid infected areas of the body coming into contact with healthy individuals. Wash your hands in order to minimize spreading the infection. Seek immediate medical attention in the event that you experience one of the following symptoms: hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
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