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What is Valaciclovir?

Valaciclovir is a prescribed antiviral medication used to treat the symptoms of cold sores, shingles, and chickenpox.

How does it work?

When swallowed, Valaciclovir changes into Aciclovir and stops the virus from spreading in the body. Valaciclovir has the added benefit of remaining in the body for longer, meaning fewer daily doses are required. Valaciclovir helps reduce the severity and duration of cold sore outbreaks whilst reducing the likelihood of future outbreaks.

How to take Valaciclovir tablets?

For the Herpes simplex, treatment of first infective episode Valaciclovir tablets should be taken twice per day, for 5 days. These tablets should be taken with water. It is important to stay hydrated whilst taking this medication.

Does Valaciclovir work?

When taken at the onset of an outbreak, Valaciclovir has been shown to be just as effective as Aciclovir. Valaciclovir begins working almost straight away and helps prevent an outbreak getting worse. It also reduces the healing time and lowers the chance of spreading the virus to others.

How long does it take to work?

If taken when symptoms are first noticed (e.g. within 24 hours) then Valaciclovir should start working almost immediately after the first dose.

Is Valaciclovir suitable for me?

Valaciclovir can be taken by most adults and children with no issues. However, anyone who is pregnant (or trying to get pregnant), breastfeeding, elderly, or suffers from kidney problems should speak to their doctor or pharmacist before taking Valaciclovir.

Side effects

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Some of the most common side effects are headaches, dizziness, feeling sick, and sensitivity to sunlight.

More information

For more information, please refer to the product patient information leaflet: