Valtrex is an antiviral medication used to treat shingles (herpes zoster), cold sores (fever blisters or herpes labialis), and genital herpes in patients with normal immune systems. It is also used to treat chickenpox in children and teenagers and suppress genital herpes in patients with HIV infection. It works by stopping viral replication, but it does not cure the virus.
How to Use Valtrex
Valtrex should be taken as directed by your doctor. It can be taken with or without food, but if stomach upset occurs, it is recommended to take it with food to reduce irritation. Drinking extra fluids while taking Valtrex is also recommended.
If you have any questions about how to use Valtrex, consult with your healthcare provider.
Valtrex should be stored between 59 and 77 degrees F (15 and 25 degrees C) away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store it in the bathroom, and keep it out of the reach of children and pets.
The active ingredient in Valtrex is Valacyclovir hydrochloride.
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Some medical conditions may interact with Valtrex. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
Some medicines may interact with Valtrex. However, no specific interactions with Valtrex are known at this time.
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects.
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
Dizziness; headache; nausea; stomach pain; vomiting.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); aggressive behavior; bloody or dark urine; change in the amount of urine produced; confusion; depression; fatigue; fever; hallucinations; joint pain; lower back pain; pale skin; painful menstrual periods; pinpoint bruises; seizures; severe abdominal pain; shaky movements; speech problems; swelling of the face, hands, feet, or entire body; unsteady movement; unusual bruising or bleeding from the nose or mouth; weakness; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider.
Written: Laura Jenkins
Reviewed: Cristina Matera, MD