Valtrex (Valacyclovir) and Cold Sores
Herpes labialis (also called cold sores or fever blisters) is usually caused by herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). Cold sores usually form on the lips or skin around the mouth, nose and on the chin.
Valtrex (valacyclovir) is indicated for the treatment of cold sores in adults and children age 12 and older. It reduces the episode duration and time to lesion healing by 20% (1.1 to 1.3 days)1. Early treatment with Valtrex also prevents the development of vesicles and crusts.
Valtrex is helpful in preventing recurrent cold sores. Two studies showed that once-daily 500 mg of valacyclovir for 4 months increased the time interval until the next outbreak from 9.6 to 13.1 weeks2. During the 4-month period, 60% of the patients in the valacyclovir group were outbreak-free compared with 38% in the placebo group.
Valtrex dosage for cold sores: 2 grams twice a day for 1 day, taken about 12 hours apart. The treatment should be initiated at the earliest symptoms of a cold sore (e.g., tingling, itching, or burning).
How long to take Valtrex for a cold sore? It should not be taken for more than 1 day for an acute episode.
When Valtrex is most effective?
HSV-1 replication (that triggers cold sores) occurs rapidly and during a brief period3.
Treatment should be started as early as possible after first signs of cold sores, because viral replication is most active in the prodromal period or within the first 8 hours after lesion onset. The maximum number of herpes lesions occurs in the first 48 hours.
Therefore the window of opportunity for Valtrex to provide a benefit is during the early and brief period of time right after first signs of cold sores.
Author: OriginalDrugs Team