Provided by You Health

Valacyclovir (Generic for Valtrex®) Medication Overview: Genital Herpes
Valacyclovir is an FDA-approved treatment for oral cold sores, genital herpes, and herpes zoster in adults. Hims & Hers offers access to valacyclovir for the treatment of RECURRENT genital herpes (not the initial, or first, infection you’ve ever experienced).
**If you are experiencing a new genital lesion that you are concerned may be due to the herpes virus, please see a healthcare provider in-person in order to get an accurate diagnosis prior to seeking treatment through the Hims & Hers platform.
This medication overview reviews the risks and benefits of the treatment your physician is recommending for GENITAL HERPES. Please make sure to read it in addition to the manufacturer’s pamphlet that comes with the medicine. If you would like to learn more about valacyclovir for the treatment of oral herpes, please click on this link insert link to valacyclovir Treatment plan - oral herpes
What is valacyclovir?
After taking valacyclovir by mouth, it is quickly converted in the body to acyclovir, an antiviral drug that is active against Herpes Type-1 and Herpes Type-2 viruses. Specifically, it lowers the ability of herpes viruses to multiply in your body.
Valacyclovir is only available with a healthcare provider’s prescription.
Valacyclovir used daily (SUPPRESSIVE THERAPY) with safer sex practices can lower (but not completely eliminate) the chances of passing genital herpes to your partner. Do not have sexual contact with your partner when you have any symptom or outbreak of genital herpes. Use a condom made of latex or polyurethane whenever you have sexual contact.
What is genital herpes?
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It causes small, painful blisters on your genital area. You can spread genital herpes to others, even when you have no symptoms. If you are sexually active, you can still pass herpes to your partner, even if you are taking valacyclovir. Research shows that valacyclovir taken every day (SUPPRESSIVE THERAPY) as prescribed and used with safer sex practices (condoms) can lower the chances of passing genital herpes to your partner.
Recurrent genital herpes infections are outbreaks that occur following your initial infection. The frequency and severity of recurrent genital herpes infections generally decrease over time, although this varies from person to person.
What is the difference between EPISODIC and SUPPRESSIVE treatment of recurrent genital herpes?
Episodic Therapy: This is when you take medication for an individual outbreak as it occurs. Typically, you would start the medication within 1 day of noticing a genital lesion or at the first sign of any prodromal symptoms (tingling, itching, or burning) that precede some outbreaks. This type of therapy can shorten the time to healing of the herpes lesions.
Suppressive Therapy: This is when you take the medication on a daily basis. Suppressive therapy is often recommended for people who experience frequent or severe recurrences or those people who would like to reduce the risk of transmission to a sexual partner who does not have genital herpes.
How do I determine which treatment is right for me?
The following is provided for informational purposes only. Please discuss which treatment is appropriate for you with your healthcare provider:
I don’t experience frequent/severe outbreaks and I am currently not sexually active → EPISODIC THERAPY I prefer only to take medication when I start experiencing symptoms of an outbreak → EPISODIC THERAPY I have a sexual partner who does not have genital herpes and I don’t want them to contract it from me → SUPPRESSIVE THERAPY I have frequent and/or severe episodes of recurrent genital herpes → SUPPRESSIVE THERAPY (if you have greater than 9 outbreaks a year, we recommend that you seek care with a healthcare provider in-person)
Does valacyclovir cure genital herpes?
No, there is no cure for genital herpes
How should I take valacyclovir?
Valacyclovir is a tablet that is taken by mouth with or without food.
Episodic treatment: 500 mg twice a day for 3 days
Suppressive treatment: 500 mg once daily
Start treatment with valacyclovir as soon as possible after your symptoms start. valacyclovir may not help you if you start the treatment too late. If you miss a dose of valacyclovir, take it as soon as you remember and then take your next dose at its regular time. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, do not take the missed dose. Wait and take the next dose at the regular time.
Who should not take valacyclovir?
Do not take valacyclovir if you are: hypersensitive or allergic to valacyclovir, acyclovir, or any component of the formulation
If any of the following conditions apply to you, please speak with a healthcare provider in-person about seeking treatment for your oral herpes: Younger than 18 years of age Pregnant or breastfeeding HIV infection or AIDS Kidney or liver problems History of a bone marrow transplant or kidney transplant Weakened immune system not related to HIV infection Aseptic encephalitis or transverse myelitis Urinary retention issues Widespread herpes simplex virus History of seizure disorder
Can I take valacyclovir if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
It is best that you see a healthcare provider in-person if you are pregnant or breastfeeding to discuss the best approach to managing your genital herpes.
What are valacyclovir’s ingredients?
Active ingredient: Valacyclovir hydrochloride Inactive Ingredients: Carnauba wax, colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, FD&C Blue No. 2 Lake, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, povidone, titanium dioxide, edible white ink
What are the most common side effects of valacyclovir?
Headache Nausea Abdominal pain
Use & Storage Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children. Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.