There are several different types of medication that are used to treat people, and two of the most commonly confused are antibiotics and antivirals. While both might sound similar, these prescription drugs tend to treat different things. Valacyclovir, brand name Valtrex, is often mistakenly represented, but a quick look at how this FDA-approved drug treats immune system issues makes identifying it simple.
What is Valacyclovir (Valtrex) Used to Treat?
Before seeking the answer to the initial question, here are some things that a healthcare provider might treat by prescribing Valacyclovir Hydrochloride. These include:
- Chickenpox (caused by varicella zoster) starting at 2 years of age.
- Shingles (herpes zoster)
- Herpes Simplex
- Oral Herpes (Cold Sores, HSV-1 and Herpes Labialis)
- Genital herpes (HSV-2)
These medical conditions are all treated with Valacyclovir in many ways, but always under proper medical advice. While the medicine is used to treat children in cases such as chickenpox, it should be kept out of the reach of children unless prescribed.
Valacyclovir Treats Sexually Transmitted Diseases
The vast majority of people that know about this medication know it as a treatment for the herpes simplex virus, which includes oral herpes and genital herpes. The herpes virus is difficult to treat because it tends to return upwards of four times after the first outbreak. Thus, recurrent genital herpes is treated with Valacyclovir, and it’s crucial for the user to not have a missed dose.
Essentially, after the initial outbreak following sexual contact or other acquisition of the virus, people can begin to use prescription drugs to treat it. While Valacyclovir will not cure herpes simplex, varicella zoster virus, or any other form of herpes, it can stop the virus from reproducing, giving the user some relief. The medicine can stop new blisters from forming and cuts down the time for herpes infections as the virus is prevented from reproducing. That’s why it is necessary to use the drug at the first sign of an outbreak.
Common Side Effects of Using Valacyclovir
There are many possible side effects of using this medication. They include:
- stomach pain
More serious side effects of using this medicine are mostly related to adverse effects of allergic reactions or drug interactions. Doctors can inform the users about these issues.
This medicine should not be used by people that suffer from:
- Kidney disease
- kidney transplant patients
- People with kidney problems
- People that had a bone marrow transplant
- Individuals with advanced HIV
It’s important to be aware of all of these possible side effects.
Recap: Is Valacyclovir an Antiviral or Antibiotic?
Based on the way it treats viral infections, it’s clear that Valacyclovir is an antiviral medication. It’s used to help treat many issues from childhood illness to severe herpes virus outbreaks.
Valacyclovir is a very useful medication that is widely prescribed in the present. While there are many who cannot use it due to underlying ailments, it’s still one of the best medicines available for herpes treatments.