Valacyclovir won’t banish the shingles virus from your system, but it will help to minimize the frequency and severity of outbreaks. The virus responsible for shingles is known as varicella-zoster and is related to the herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2.
Shingles is a reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (also known as the herpes zoster virus), which is responsible for the childhood disease of chickenpox. It occurs primarily in those over 50 who suffered from chickenpox as children and is usually characterized by a painful rash.
Those who had chickenpox as children almost always have an immunity to the childhood form of this virus and will not suffer a second outbreak. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of shingles, which can recur, although recurrences are relatively rare.
Shingrix Vaccine Highly Effective
According to Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University, the two-shot Shingrix vaccine series is 98 percent effective, but it’s not recommended for everyone. Stay away from this particular vaccine if you’re under the age of 50, have a compromised immune system, or have suffered from a severe allergic reaction in the past to any component of the vaccine.
Apart from vaccination, the only shingles preventive measure available to those who had chickenpox as kids is the powerful antiviral medication known as valacyclovir (also sold under the brand-name Valtrex).
Blunts Effects of Outbreaks
It cannot guarantee that you’ll never experience a shingles attack, but it can help to sharply reduce the severity and frequency of any such outbreaks.
As mentioned earlier, the varicella-zoster virus most often strikes children in the form of chickenpox. However, once the chickenpox outbreak is over, the virus takes up permanent residence in the nerve cells. It might remain forever in that dormant state, but it might also resurface years later in the form of shingles. And as you’ve already read, shingles can recur.
Valacyclovir or its brand-name counterpart, Valtrex, is effective against the varicella-zoster virus as well as infections by the herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2. HSV1 is most closely associated with cold sores and fever blisters, while HSV2 is linked to genital herpes.
How Valacyclovir Works
Valacyclovir works by interfering with the way in which these various viruses spread. It inhibits the ability of the viruses to spread to nearby cells, which minimizes the severity of outbreaks. Ordinarily, these viruses wreak havoc with the patient’s system by spreading quickly to healthy cells.
Valacyclovir is sold in tablets of 500 mg each. According to MedBroadcast.com, the recommended adult dose of the drug to treat a shingles outbreak is 1000 mg, taken three times daily for seven days. To ensure the best possible results, begin treatment with valacyclovir within 72 hours after the shingles rash first appears.
Ordering Valacyclovir Online
If you prefer the convenience and privacy of ordering your medications online, consider placing your orders through Arizona-based eDrugstore.com, a longtime online medical facilitator. Its prices include not just the drugs you’re ordering but a bundle of time- and money-saving services as well. Shipping is free, sparing you the hassle of trips to and from your local pharmacy.
If you’re having trouble fitting a visit to your doctor into your busy schedule, eDrugstore has the perfect solution for you. Try its complimentary consultation service, which will pair you up online with a physician licensed to practice in your state. If the doctor determines that you’re an appropriate candidate for the drug, a prescription will be authorized. To learn more, visit eDrugstore’s Sexual Health page.