Benefits And Side Effects Of Valtrex 

Valtrex Benefits And Side Effects

In this article, we’ll discuss Valtrex Benefits and Side effects.

Valtrex Benefits And Side Effects

Cold Sore is a viral infection that occurs due to a specific strain of the HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) known as HSV – 2. This directly affects the region on and around the lips. Initially, an itchy and tingling sensation exists and once the patient continues to itch the affected spots, blisters filled with liquid begin to form on different spots or as lumps together.

These blisters can merge and burst, releasing an oozy liquid in the process. This liquid is contagious and leads to the formation of a sore-like patch on the lumps. The skin on that portion becomes flaky with charred red spots. It looks exactly like the aftermath of a burn. 

There are two options to get rid of this infection. One option is to simply wait for 2 to 5 weeks for the immune system to heal the cold sores. The other option is to opt for an antiviral form of medicinal tablets known as Valtrex (also known as Valacyclovir). Keep in mind, the infection cannot be permanently cured by Valtrex. What Valtrex does is that it stops the HSV from spreading and leaving prolonged symptoms.

Consuming doses of 2 grams every 12 hours for a period of one to two weeks proves to be sufficient to suppress the infection completely. Valtrex can be applied to other parts of the body too, not only the lips, thus imparting several additional benefits. At the same time, Valtrex can also lead to diverse side effects that can either be rare, common or occur due to interactions with a number of other drugs.

First, we shall speak about a number of benefits of Valtrex:

  • Valtrex is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for viral treatments. It can be administered to a patient who is suffering from cold sores that arise due to the HSV – 1 infection.
  • It can also be used to treat genital warts and infections that are transmitted due to coming in contact with an individual who is a victim of HSV – 2.
  • Valtrex also proves to be a great remedy for people who are diagnosed with shingles (painful rashes on the body). Its antiviral properties prove highly effective in suppressing the active bacteria that are causing disturbance under the skin and forming lumps of rashes covering a significant surface area of the body.
  • Valacyclovir has been formulated with an ingredient composition that also helps tackle the issue of VZV (Varicella Zoster Virus), also known as Chickenpox.
  • Valacyclovir is a prodrug. By this we mean it converts itself into another substance altogether, knows as acyclovir. This only occurs once the initial form of the tablet has passed through the liver. However, Valacyclovir has a much longer half-life in the body as compared to acyclovir or any other herpes-related medications.
  • Valtrex not only helps combat infections like HSV – 1 and HSV – 2 (chickenpox). It also proves highly effective in fighting the Epstein-Barr virus, also known as HHV – 4. This virus is known to be associated with different types of cancer. Another disease that Valtrex helps fight is known as Cytomegalovirus (CMV). CMV is a ‘kind of’ STD due to its relation to the family of Herpesviridae.
  • Multiple researchers have performed extensive experiments on this topic and have concluded that if a person consumes Valacyclovir regularly as prescribed then the odds of the Herpes infection being transmitted to another person is cut by 50 percent.

Valtrex is overall a safe drug and can be used for herpes infections by people of all age groups, but like all medicines, it too has side effects. Keep reading to learn about different kinds of side effects based on their possible frequency of occurrence:

Common side effects of Valtrex:

  • Mild dizziness in the head due to the release of gases in the body after reacting with Valtrex
  • Headache and Nausea can occur if you consume too much food or consume this medicine after fasting for 24 hours
  • Gastrointestinal infections can occur, leading to Diarrhea

Not so common side effects of Valtrex:

Something between 0.1 to 1 percent of HSV -1 and HSV – 2 patients who are prescribed Valtrex experience the following side effects:

  • Vertigo
  • Confusion due to unclarity in the head
  • Shingles can develop – leading to painful rashes
  • Visual impairment can occur making it dangerous to drive or walk on the streets
  • Abdominal pain can occur due to Valtrex damaging the kidney in some way
  • Swelling of the mouth or throat can occur
  • An individual can begin to show signs of weakness

Uncommon, but possible side effects of Valtrex:

These side effects are highly uncommon but it is necessary to be aware of them as they can yet occur in one of every 1100 people who are consuming Valtrex due to HSV – 1 or HSV – 2 infections – 

  • Neutropenia: Exhibiting low levels of a type of white blood cell known as Neutrophils
  • Leukopenia: Exhibiting low levels of overall white blood cells / disease-fighting cells known as Leukocytes
  • Anorexia: An eating disorder that makes a person eat very less and lose out on a substantial amount of body weight
  • Anaphylaxis: An extreme type of allergic reaction that can lead to fatal situations where one’s life is at stake
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis: This calls for fever, a flu-like disease and severe occurrence of blisters that peel off the skin
  • Steven-Johnsons Syndrome, Hepatitis and Fatigue

Possible long-term side effects of Valtrex:

There are specific parts of the body that can become victims of the long-term side effects associated with Valtrex:

  • If you are consuming Valtrex for a long time due to some long-lasting viral infection then the odds of your kidney facing damage are high. Thus, you should consult your doctor before you begin the intake of Valtrex.
  • Patients who already have kidney diseases, undergone kidney transplants, undergone bone marrow transplantation and are not hydrating themselves regularly have a high chance of being victims of renal toxicity. This can lead to the complete failure of one or both kidneys.
  • Individuals who are a victim of liver infections or liver diseases in the past or present can experience inflammation in their livers when they consume Valtrex.
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome (HUS) and Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP) are 2 disorders that prove to be a long-term side effect. They prove extremely fatal as they activate bacteria within the body that leads to the destruction of crucial red blood cells and platelets. Due to this, the overall count of red blood cells and blood platelets reduces and the ability of the body to form blood clots goes for a toss.

However, this side effect mostly only occurs in people who have HIV and are taking Valtrex:

  • Be cautious if you are consuming medicines to suppress HIV, viral, retroviral or bacterial infections. Always consult a doctor to avoid unwanted drug interactions and undesired side effects that can stay for a long time.

Everything said and done, the benefits of Valtrex far outweigh the associated side effects of the same. Besides, 90 percent of the side effects mentioned above are rare and will not occur if you consume the medicines on time, do not miss a dosage, avoid drug interactions and share your medical history with a doctor before beginning your prescription.