Valacyclovir is an antiviral medication that is commonly used to treat and prevent outbreaks of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections. It is a prodrug of acyclovir, which means that it is converted to acyclovir in the body. Valacyclovir is usually prescribed for a period of 7 to 10 days, depending on the severity of the infection.
One of the most common questions that patients ask when taking valacyclovir is whether they must take it exactly 12 hours apart. The short answer is no, but it is important to understand why.
While valacyclovir is typically prescribed to be taken twice daily, with a 12-hour interval between doses, it is not critical to take it exactly 12 hours apart. Valacyclovir has a relatively long half-life, which means that it stays in the body for a longer period of time. This allows for a certain degree of flexibility in the dosing schedule.
However, it is important to be consistent with the dosing schedule that has been prescribed by your healthcare provider. If you are instructed to take valacyclovir twice daily, it is best to take it as close to 12 hours apart as possible, to ensure that you maintain therapeutic levels of the medication in your system.
It is also important to take valacyclovir with food and plenty of water to help reduce the risk of gastrointestinal side effects and to ensure that the medication is properly absorbed into the bloodstream. Additionally, it is important to complete the full course of treatment, even if symptoms improve before the end of the prescribed period.
While it is not necessary to take valacyclovir exactly 12 hours apart, it is important to be consistent with the dosing schedule prescribed by your healthcare provider. This will help ensure that you achieve the optimal benefit from this medication and minimize the risk of potential side effects.
How many valacyclovir to take during an outbreak?
The recommended dosage of valacyclovir during an outbreak depends on various factors such as the severity of symptoms, frequency of outbreaks, and overall health of the individual. Generally, the standard dose of valacyclovir for treating a herpes simplex virus outbreak is 1 gram (1000mg) taken orally twice a day for 7-10 days.
However, for individuals with weakened immune systems or severe outbreaks, a higher dosage may be required. In such cases, the healthcare provider may prescribe up to 3 grams of valacyclovir per day in divided doses for a period of 7-10 days.
It is important to note that since valacyclovir is a prescription medication, the dosage should be determined by a healthcare provider based on the individual’s medical history, current medications, and other factors. It is never recommended to self-medicate or alter the dosage without consulting a healthcare provider.
Additionally, taking the full course of valacyclovir as prescribed by the healthcare provider is essential to treat the outbreak effectively and prevent future outbreaks from occurring. Skipping doses or stopping the medication prematurely may lead to incomplete treatment and increased risk of recurrence.