Prices for Valtrex and valacyclovir are holding steady in November 2022. However, you will save time by ordering those drugs online from eDrugstore.com.
Valtrex prices at all three retailers have remained close to the national average of $14.14 after a rise early in the year. At many retailers, valacyclovir prices have been edging up slightly over the last few months, although the average price is beginning to decline overall.
Prices at CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart
CVS’s price for Valtrex has dropped a penny to $14.69. Valacyclovir is available at $2.29, $1.06 more than the national average of $1.23.
Walgreens currently prices a 500 milligram tablet of Valtrex at $15.14, a price that has held steady for most of 2022. Their price for generic valacyclovir 500 milligram tablets has remained at $2.39.
Walmart’s price for Valtrex and valacyclovir remains at $14.32 and $1.37, respectively.
How To Fight Back
Take valacyclovir (also available under the brand name Valtrex) to minimize the number and severity of outbreaks.
Valacyclovir works by making it more difficult for herpes virus cells to multiply. This restricted ability to replicate itself lessens the frequency of herpes viral outbreaks and reduces the discomfort caused by any outbreaks that do occur.
First patented in 1987, valacyclovir arrived on the market in 1995 under the brand names Valtrex and Zelitrex. Valacyclovir became available as a generic drug in 2009.
Technically speaking, valacyclovir is a “prodrug,” a compound that’s biologically inactive by itself. Once you take it, your body metabolizes it, which activates the drug — in this case turning it into acyclovir. You’re still infectious during an outbreak when you take valacyclovir, so practice safe sex techniques to limit risk to your partner as well as any care needed to limit exposure in other contexts.
The main benefit of taking a prodrug is that since it’s produced by the body, more of the end medication is “bioavailable,” circulating through the body to have an effect. Especially for strong infections or for people who have trouble fully processing acyclovir, this is an important aspect.
Valacyclovir can be taken with or without food. It’s recommended that you drink a lot of water while on a course of valacyclovir to help you stay hydrated and support your kidneys.
Before taking valacyclovir, review every medication and supplement you’re currently taking with your doctor. Some of them may need to be phased out, as they may have adverse interactions, particularly involving the kidneys.
Drug classes most likely to cause harmful interactions include:
- Other antivirals
- Antibiotics, particularly injected ones
- Hypertension medication
- Bowel disorder medication
- Osteoporosis treatments, with injectable ones at particularly high risk
- Some over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
Since valacyclovir is essentially a form of acyclovir, the warnings and side effects are the same. If you’re allergic to acyclovir or have any complications from taking it, don’t take any form of valacyclovir. The most common side effects were gastrointestinal (nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea) and headache, affecting fewer than 1% of people taking it in studies.
While it’s most commonly used to treat strains of the herpes virus, valacyclovir can also be prescribed to prevent cytomegalovirus infections after organ transplant. This drug may also be included in chemotherapy regimens to limit the risk of getting a herpes virus during cancer treatment.
If you have kidney disease, are immunocompromised, or have had a kidney or bone marrow transplant, you shouldn’t take valacyclovir without a doctor’s express order, as there may be risk based on the action of the drug. If you’re pregnant, may become pregnant, or are nursing, discuss whether you should use valacyclovir with your doctor before taking it.
When taking valacyclovir, review the symptoms of possible side effects to red blood cells, such as easy bruising, bloody diarrhea, and limited urination. If you experience these, see a doctor immediately.
Valacyclovir Treats Shingles, Too
Long recognized as the treatment of choice for infections caused by herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2, valacyclovir is a powerful antiviral drug that can also reduce the discomfort caused by herpes zoster (shingles).
Shingles, a viral infection characterized by a painful rash, is caused by the herpes zoster virus, which arises when the long-dormant varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox reactivates in adulthood.
There is no cure for any of these viruses. Once contracted, they go into permanent residence in the host’s body. During periods of latency, they reside quietly in nerve cells. However, during periods of stress or immune system weakness, they can become active again, causing cold sores, genital herpes, and shingles.
Antiviral Prices at eDrugstore
These potent antiviral drugs are available at brick-and-mortar pharmacies throughout the United States and can also be ordered from reputable online prescription drug services like eDrugstore. Based in Tempe, Arizona, we’ve been in business since the late 1990s.
Our prices for Valtrex and valacyclovir are competitive when compared with those at CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart, America’s three largest prescription drug retailers. In fact, eDrugstore prices for Valtrex and valacyclovir have gone down from $17.55 and $2.93 in May to $16.58 and $2.76, respectively, in November.
eDrugstore Adds Value
Our prices cover not just the medications but a bundle of added-value services as well. When you order online from eDrugstore, you’ll save yourself travel to and from the local pharmacy as well as any time you might waste waiting for the pharmacist to fill your prescription. You’ll also get free delivery.
If you don’t yet have a prescription, we can help. Our complimentary consultation service will connect you online with a physician licensed to practice in your state. If the doctor decides that you’re an appropriate candidate for the drug, they will authorize a prescription and ship it to you for free.
To learn more, pay a visit to our sexual health page.
Dan is a long-time freelance writer focusing on technology, science, health, and medicine, with a lifelong interest in physics, biology, and medicine. His work has taken a particular focus on scientific studies “beyond the headlines,” reading the study to more closely examine the results.