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Valtrex is a medicine that is used to fight viruses, also known as an antiviral. This particular medicine is used in those with normal immune systems in order to aid them against viruses such as shingles (herpes zoster) and genital or oral herpes simplex viruses. In those patients who suffer from genital herpes, Valtrex can be used in addition to safe sex methods in order to reduce the spread of the virus to others. There may be other viruses where Valtrex is a good choice of medication for you and so do not be surprised if your doctor prescribes you this medication for another condition.
As is the case with all drugs, it is vital that you carefully follow the instructions given to you by your doctor. Valtrex comes with a leaflet that will provide you with information about the medicine and how to use it. However if you do happen to have any questions about how to take this medicine then you should talk to your pharmacist, nurse or doctor and they will be happy to help you. It is not important if you take this medicine with food or on an empty stomach, however you must not mix the medicine in with your food or with any liquid. It is advisable to drink an entire glass of water when you take the medicine. Where you keep the medicine is very important and in this case it must be stored at room temperature (77 degrees F) away from the sun and in the bottle or box provided or in an airtight container. You must take the medicine as directed by your doctor and if you can take it at the same time everyday i.e. at breakfast time, then that may help you to remember. It is very important that you take this medicine everyday as directed and do not miss a dose, even if you are feeling better. Failure to take your medicine as directed will likely result in the worsening of your symptoms. In the unfortunate scenario that you do forget to take a dose, you must take the missed dose as soon as you remember unless this is near the time of your next dose. In this case you should just forget about the missed dose and carry on with your normal schedule, as you must never take two doses of a single medication at the same time. If you have any concerns then you should contact your pharmacist, nurse or doctor for more information.
Herpes is a condition that should begin to improve within a few days of starting the medication. If the virus does not improve or if symptoms worsen then it is important to contact your doctor. In the case of genital herpes you should begin using the medicine at the first signs of infection such as blisters, burns or pain. You must use protective sexual measures such as condoms while being treated for genital herpes. Valtrex can cause dizziness and so you should avoid performing tasks such as driving, operating heavy machinery or any other dangerous activities until you know what effects the medicine will have on you. If this medicine is taken in combination with alcohol or any other forms of medications your ability to perform everyday tasks may be impaired and you should talk to your doctor about this if you are concerned. Valtrex may have adverse effects on the fetus in pregnant women and so all women who may be thinking about getting pregnant should weigh up the pros and cons of taking this medicine during pregnancy with their doctor. Also it is unknown if Valtrex is excreted in the breast milk and so general advice at this time is to speak with your doctor about whether it is safe for you to breastfeed. If Valtrex is used in elderly patients it can be said that they may be more sensitive to its effects and so this should be discussed with the doctor.
As is the case with most drugs Valtrex is not without its side effects. Some of the things that you may notice when taking this medication include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, headache or dizziness. Many of these may be minor and go away during the course of treatment, however if they do bother you then you must talk to your doctor. If at any point you experience symptoms of fever, toxicity, speech problems, yellowing of the skin or eyes, pale skin, pinpoint bruises, weakness, seizures or dark urine then you must visit your doctor as soon as possible. Fortunately it is uncommon for someone to have an allergic reaction to this medicine, however they do occur and if you notice severe dizziness, a rash, itching, trouble breathing or swelling then you must seek immediate medical attention.
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