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Valacyclovir (By mouth)

Treats herpes virus infections, including shingles, cold sores, and genital herpes. This medicine will not cure herpes, but may prevent a breakout of herpes sores or blisters. Also treats chicken pox.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Valacyclovir is used to treat herpes virus infections, including herpes labialis (also known as cold sores), herpes zoster (also known as shingles), and herpes simplex (also known as genital herpes) in adults. It is also used to treat chickenpox and cold sores in children. In your body, valacyclovir becomes the anti-herpes medicine, acyclovir. Although valacyclovir will not cure shingles or… Read more
Brand names include
Valtrex
Drug classes About this
Antiviral

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Valacyclovir and postherpetic neuralgia

Bibliographic details: Segarra-Newnham M, Tagoff S S.  Valacyclovir and postherpetic neuralgia. Journal of Pharmacy Technology 2004; 20(4): 229-232

Acyclovir versus Valacyclovir for Herpes Virus in Children and Pregnant Women: A Review of the Clinical Evidence and Guidelines [Internet]

Although acyclovir has traditionally been seen as the drug of choice in pregnancy and pediatrics, valacyclovir has the benefit of decreased dosing frequency and potential increased compliance as a result. This report aims to review recent evidence and relevant practice guidelines on the comparative effectiveness of acyclovir and valacyclovir in children with chickenpox and in pregnant women with Herpes Simplex Virus infections, chickenpox and shingles.

Valacyclovir compared with acyclovir for the treatment of herpes zoster ophthalmicus in people with an otherwise normal immune system

The aim of this Cochrane Review was to find out if valacyclovir performs better than acyclovir in the treatment of a painful itchy rash caused by the chickenpox virus (herpes zoster ophthalmicus). Cochrane researchers collected and analysed all relevant studies to answer this question and found one study.

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Summaries for consumers

Valacyclovir compared with acyclovir for the treatment of herpes zoster ophthalmicus in people with an otherwise normal immune system

The aim of this Cochrane Review was to find out if valacyclovir performs better than acyclovir in the treatment of a painful itchy rash caused by the chickenpox virus (herpes zoster ophthalmicus). Cochrane researchers collected and analysed all relevant studies to answer this question and found one study.

Treatment for the first time men and women get genital herpes (first‐episode genital herpes)

The aim of this research was to look at the positive and adverse effects of treatments, on the duration of symptoms, in people who have their first episode of genital herpes.

Antiviral medication for the treatment of infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever)

We investigated the benefits and side effects of antiviral treatment for people with glandular fever compared with fake treatment or standard care.

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