If you are suffering from genital herpes or are vulnerable to cold sores, Valacyclovir is a medication to try. It’s an effective way to treat infections.
It’s a medical prescription for the treatment of herpes infections. It alleviates infections which lead to genital herpes and cold sores.
Valacyclovir is available as a generic medication in any pharmacy. However, it does have a branded variant titled “Valtrex”.
Both work in a similar manner.
But First – A Few Things to Know About Herpes
Herpes are a virus family abbreviated as HSV (herpes simplex viruses). They infect the skin, causing blister outbreaks on the surface.
Those blisters may come with itching, pain, and tenderness. Infections may also occur around the mouth, leading to cold sores.
HSVs are unfortunately incurable. In fact, when the virus infects the skin, it’ll be there forever.
After the first blister outbreak heals, the virus embeds itself in the skin’s nerve cells where the immune system cannot access it!
With that, the virus is dormant most of the time, though it does reactivate occasionally, spreading throughout the patient’s skin cells. In that situation, another blister outbreak may occur.
Back to Valacyclovir
It’s an antiviral medicine used for herpes infection treatments. You may use it as a pill, and it’s used mainly to suppress a possible herpes outbreak.
Valacyclovir reduces outbreak severity and helps clear them fast. The medication can also be used to prevent outbreaks from occurring at all.
It works by making it hard for HSV infections to spread through the skin. The active ingredient curbs outbreaks, assisting the immune system in clearing skin cell infections quickly.
Valacyclovir does this through blocking the enzyme DNA polymerase, which the virus utilizes to copy itself.
Basically, while the medication doesn’t remove the virus from the system, it reduces outbreak severity ensuring they last for less time.
You can also modify the doses you take, using lower strength for shorter and long-lasting effects.
Is it an Antibiotic?
It isn’t. Antibiotics treat bacterial problems, while HSVs leads to viral infections. This makes Valacyclovir an antiviral medicine.
How Much Time is Required for Valacyclovir to Work?
It starts working once it’s in your system. However, the benefits may only be noticeable only after 2 or 3 days of use.
This depends on a multitude of factors. Those include the severity of the infection, the doses taken, and how fast the medication is administered once outbreaks are detected.
Does Valacyclovir Stay for Long in the Body?
No. The medication is only active for a small amount of time after ingestion. Most of the medication should be cleared from the body after 24 hours.
Is the Medication Truly Effective?
It has been proven to reduce the severity of outbreaks. However, it will not remove the virus completely from the patient’s system.
With that, people respond to treatments different. However, if you do take the medication immediately after detecting an outbreak, then you can reduce the outbreaks duration by up to 3 days!
Author: Dr. Erickson graduated from the Mcgovern Medical School at the Univ of Texas Health Science Ctr At Houston in 1988. He works in Anchorage, AK and 2 other locations and specializes in Family Medicine and Psychiatry. Dr. Erickson is affiliated with Alaska Psychiatric Institute.