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Top 10 Questions About Valtrex Answered

Valtrex is a prescription medication used to treat various strains of the herpes virus. It is one of the world’s most common drugs used to treat herpes and is widely available throughout the United States. Despite its popularity, many people still have questions about the drug.

This article provides the answers to the top 10 questions frequently asked about Valtrex and its generic valacyclovir. Read ahead to learn more about how this drug can help people live happier and healthier sex lives.

1. Does Valtrex Cure Herpes?

Currently, there is no cure for herpes. However, Valtrex can help people living with herpes by minimizing outbreaks and shortening the duration of outbreaks. It will not “cure” herpes, but it can make living with the virus much more manageable.

Valtrex can be used to treat:

  • Herpes simplex virus 1 (cold sores)
  • Herpes simplex virus 2 (genital herpes)
  • Herpes zoster (shingles)

2. Can Valtrex Reduce the Risk of Passing Herpes to a Partner?

Once-daily doses of antiviral medications like Valtrex can help to reduce the risk of herpes transmission. This method is only effective when used to prevent someone living with the herpes virus from transmitting the virus to a partner. However, it is not 100 percent effective and should not be used as a sole prevention method.

Research shows that people living with asymptomatic herpes are up to 50% less likely to spread the virus to a partner while taking antiviral medication. People living with symptomatic herpes are also less likely to transmit the virus when using this method. This research has predominantly been conducted with heterosexual couples.

3. Is the Generic Just as Effective?

The generic equivalent of Valtrex is valacyclovir. As with many sexual health medications, the generic version is just as effective as the brand-name version of the drug. People may choose to use generic sexual health medications to save money on prescriptions they need to use on a regular basis.

Valacyclovir can also be used to treat:

  • Herpes simplex virus 1 (cold sores)
  • Herpes simplex virus 2 (genital herpes)
  • Herpes zoster (shingles)

4. How Long Does Valtrex Take to Work?

Valtrex works by interrupting cycles of herpes virus reproduction. The time it takes to work is dependent upon how severe the outbreak is and on how soon it was taken at the onset of an outbreak. People who take once-daily Valtrex must do so under the direction of a doctor and will have to be consistent for the drug to work properly.

Every herpes outbreak is different. However, most people can expect to experience relief from herpes symptoms within two to three days after taking their first dose of Valtrex. The quicker someone takes Valtrex, the quicker they are likely to begin seeing a difference in duration and severity of symptoms.

It typically takes seven to 10 days for blisters to heal during an outbreak. It is important for people to take their Valtrex medication only as prescribed. Even if symptoms begin to clear, people should finish their full prescription.

5. Can I Take Valtrex with Alcohol?

As with any other prescription medication, it is important to carefully consider the side effects when mixing alcohol with Valtrex. Alcohol consumption can cause nausea, vomiting, and headaches independently of medication. When combined with medications like Valtrex, alcohol can also exacerbate side effects.

Alcohol warnings are not currently included within Valtrex product labels. Most providers recommend moderate to no alcohol consumption for patients taking prescription medications for herpes. However, it is always important to speak with a medical provider before combining any alcohol with prescription medication.

6. How Effective is Valtrex at Treating Cold Sores?

Valtrex can be prescribed for treating cold sores (oral herpes) in the same way that it is prescribed for treating genital herpes. Research shows Valtrex to be just as effective at treating herpes simplex virus 1 (cold sores) as it is at treating herpes simplex virus 2 (genital herpes). One research study found that people who took Valtrex at the onset of cold sore symptoms had significantly shorter outbreak durations compared to those who did not take the drug.

7. Do I Still Need to Use a Condom with Valtrex?

It is still important for people living with herpes to practice safer sex. Herpes can be spread through skin-to-skin contact whether or not someone is currently symptomatic. Taking Valtrex can help to reduce risk of transmission, but it should not be solely relied upon for prevention.

Additional ways to prevent the spread of herpes to a partner include:

  • Using other barrier methods (e.g. dental dam) during oral sex
  • Disinfecting all sex toys
  • Avoiding skin-to-skin contact during active outbreaks

8. What Are Common Side Effects of Valtrex?

The type and severity of Valtrex side effects vary from person to person. The risk of experiencing side effects increases with age. Certain prescription medications can negatively interact with Valtrex, making side effects worse.

Commonly reported Valtrex side effects include:

  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Skin rash
  • Sore throat
  • Stomach pain
  • Stuffy nose
  • Tired feeling
  • Vomiting

Anyone concerned with experiencing significant side effects when taking Valtrex should speak with their medical provider about their options.

9. Can I Take Valtrex While Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

Research has not demonstrated adverse effects in infants of mothers who use Valtrex.  Mothers living with herpes can still breastfeed, as long as they do not have lesions present on the breasts. Herpes medications have been deemed safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding.

It is important for mothers to weigh the risks and the benefits and speak to a medical provider before using any prescription medication while breastfeeding.

10. Where Can I Buy Valtrex?

Valtrex is widely available throughout the United States. A doctor’s prescription is needed prior to purchasing the drug. It can be found at most retail pharmacies, including online retailers like eDrugstore.com.

Safe and effective medications like Valtrex are now more accessible than ever through our services at eDrugstore.com. You can speak with a medical provider and have affordable medications discreetly delivered right to your door by visiting our sexual health page.

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