Cold sores usually heal on their own within days and this is why most people do not require any treatment for this condition. However, there are frequent cases when antiviral medications are prescribed to deal with the condition and Valtrex for cold sores is one of them. It works for dealing with the infection, preventing its development or high risks of various complications. What does it mean? When you notice a cold sore forming, use Valtrex to prevent its further growing and spreading. If you are rather prone to their frequent formation, ask your healthcare provider to set the best treatment plan that works just for you.
Clinical Effects of Valtrex for Cold Sores
The studies showed that any kind of pain that is closely associated with the lesions of herpes simplex virus infections seen in cold sores or genital herpes responds very well to Valtrex for cold sores. Its use allows the lesions heal much faster. In addition, the rates of lesions reoccurrence reduce significantly.
As to the transmission rates between couples, they get reduced as well. The improvements of this sort are viewed in varicella virus infections with the reduction in intensity and duration of pain, severity of lesions and reduction in chickenpox, too.
How Does Valtrex for Cold Sores Work?
After the medication is absorbed and delivered, it stops the further development of the virus and its reproduction, thus fewer cells are infected in the body. What about the already infected cells? Valtrex for cold sores blocks the action of the DNA polymerase enzyme. This viral enzyme is a must for the viral infection as with its help the virus manages to copy the genetic material and keep spreading to other cells near-by. When the medication adds to the blockage of the enzyme, the virus doesn’t longer multiply: the condition gets less severe and it’s getting much easier for the immune system to cope with it.
Valtrex is metabolized in the liver or intestines to acyclovir. It is the active form that is commonly viewed as an analog of the metabolites used in the formation of the viral genetic material chains. The active form interferes with the DNA polymerase responsible for the assembly. The Valtrex for cold sores effectiveness makes the viral polymerase of DNA much more susceptible than the host polymerase.
There is also another viral enzyme. It is called thymidine kinase. It works enhancing the effects of the remedy. As a result, there is a fast blockage of the viral DNA polymerase from choosing the metabolites for proper functioning. The process is also accompanied by the total paralysis of the enzyme, the prevention of the viral DNA production and the shutting down of the viral replication.
And getting back to the main question, the action onset usually depends on more than just one factor. Scientists define two major ones: the severity of the outbreak along with how soon after the outbreak you use Valtrex. The drug is typically prescribed for a week or 10 days maximum. It is enough for the blisters to heal. Some doctors prescribe it for a longer timeframe, yet in rare cases. Those people, who tend to suffer from repeated outbreaks, get the medication prescribed for 5 days only.
Most patients experience relief after 2-3 days of administration with blisters vanishing within a week. But the sooner you start taking Valtrex for cold sores, the less severe and shorter the outbreak will be.
Valtrex Works for Cold Sores Prevention, Too
The cold sore development has seven stages. The very first one is commonly referred as the prodromal stage that is characterized by the occurrence of initial symptoms as signs that a cold sore is about to start. The list of symptoms includes pain and burning, tingling and itching in the area of a potential cold sore. Healthcare professionals agree that this is the moment when Valtrex for cold sores is to be taken. The medication suppresses/prevents the further development of an unpleasant condition if Valtrex is taken during this stage.
Some doctors agree that symptoms may vary in number and diversity depending on a person. This is why they add a few more lines to the list:
- High fever;
- Swollen glands or sore throat;
In very rare cases, these symptoms disappear without any treatment needed. Yet, when seriously infected, the virus keeps remaining in the body for a lifetime and more new outbreaks occur. Some patients try to soothe the affected area with creams and antiviral ointments, yet only a few of them provide at least some positive results. Valtrex for cold sores is prescribed more often than others. It can slow down the spreading of the virus and assist the body in fighting once the infection occurs. Unfortunately, it doesn’t cure the condition BUT it lessens its symptoms to a great extent.
! The medication is not recommended for people, who suffer from AIDS/HIV, those with kidney problems and lower immunity.
What are the benefits of Valtrex? The medication is known and chosen for decreasing the amount of time it typically takes for a cold sore to heal. It does even more than that: Valtrex reduces symptoms and even pain. If taken soon after the outbreak or when the first symptoms occur, it prevents lesions from occurring/spreading, reduces their size and number and decreases the amount of viral shedding.
Valtrex for Cold Sores Dosage
The Valtrex dosage for cold sores differs from patient to patient. It is suggested to follow doctor’s instructions to take as much as you need to succeed in finding the infection. The amount you administer also depends on the strength of the medication. The number of doses per day varies greatly, too. The same refers to the time allowed between doses and the length of time the drug needs to start working.
Oral dosage form (tablets): children younger than 6 years old are usually not prescribed to take Valtrex. In case they are allowed to take the drug, the administration schedule is made for each case individually. Children aged 6-17 years are prescribed to take 2-gram tablets twice daily, 12 hours apart. Adults take 2- gram tablets twice daily, 12 hours apart. The dose can be either increased or decreased. However, it is not allowed to take more than 10 mg of Valtrex for cold sores a day.
Who is not allowed to administer the drug for cold sores? People, who belong to the risk group, are usually those, who are:
- Allergic to the main or secondary ingredients of Valtrex;
- Pregnant women;
- Women, who are trying to conceive;
- Nursing mothers;
- On other prescription medications, dietary supplements or herbal remedies and preparations;
- Suffering from bone marrow;
- Having a kidney transplant;
- Having AIDS or HIV;
- Suffering from kidney conditions.
Still, in some cases such people get Valtrex prescribed. Yet doses are the lowest and a patient should undergo a medical check-up more often than other sufferers.
How to Take Valtrex for Cold Sores?
Before starting any treatment course, it is recommended to read the information leaflet from a manufacturer. It usually gives much information about the drug along with a complete list of benefits and side effects to be expected after administration.
The doses prescribed by your healthcare provider must be spread evenly. A tablet can be taken either before or after food. When the infection is cleared up, you need to continue the course. Take pills until the prescribed treatment course is finished. If you forget to take a tablet, take it as soon as you remember about it. Don’t take more than two doses daily, unless another dose was prescribed by a professional.
Side Effects Caused by Valtrex for Cold Sores
There are both common and rare side effects (adverse reactions) that can take place after the administration of Valtrex for cold sores. Common ones are:
- Nausea and/or vomiting;
- Stomach pain;
All common side effects disappear within several hours or one day. They are mild and never appear all at once. They are rarely persistent or get worse. They are called to be first natural body reactions to new chemicals in the system.
As to rare ones, they are more severe. They occur when a patient takes doses that are higher than prescribed:
- Shaky movements;
- Unsteady movements;
- Mental and mood changes like confusion, hallucinations, and agitation;
- Changes in urine amounts;
- Trouble speaking.
There was a single case of a life-threatening condition provoked by Valtrex for cold sores in a patient with a severe underlying health condition beside cold sores. He had the disorder of the blood cells. The condition may occur in people with a weak immune system due to bone marrow transplant, kidney transplant or HIV disease. If you experience any serious side effect OR the mild one doesn’t vanish on its own, please contact your healthcare provider or call 9-1-1. Get immediate medical help, if the medication triggers fever and extreme tiredness, heartbeat problems (fast, slow, irregular), severe stomach pain, changes in urine amount and color, loss of consciousness, seizures, vision disturbances or skin and eye yellowing.
The effectiveness of Valtrex for cold sores is beyond doubt. But you still need to understand that it may vary depending on the dosage, the underlying conditions as well as on the severity of the outbreak. Always discuss your condition and the frequency of issues with your healthcare provider. You may be prescribed to take tablets according to an individual schedule. If you worry about potential side effects and life-threatening conditions, avoid them by taking as much as prescribed.