Specific Indications for Valtrex
Valtrex Uses for Cold Sores
Cold sores (known medically as herpes labialis) are caused by a virus, usually herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1). Cold sores, also called fever blisters, usually occur on the lips or mouth (unlike canker sores, which occur inside the mouth). Cold sores can be highly contagious (they can spread to other people very easily). Most people have been infected with the cold sore virus, even if they have never had a cold sore.
The cold sore virus never really goes away, but remains inactive in certain nerve cells in the body. The virus can become active, often triggered by stress or illness, and can cause cold sores again and again.
When Valtrex is used to treat cold sores, it can help the cold sore to heal faster. However, it is not a cure and does not stop the cold sores from appearing once the symptoms have started. Valtrex works best if used at the first sign of a cold sore (often tingling, itching, burning, or redness).
Valtrex Uses for Genital Herpes
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by a virus, usually herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2). Genital herpes symptoms may include redness, itching, bumps, tingling, vaginal discharge, and painful urination.
Genital herpes blisters usually heal within one to two weeks. Most people who are infected with genital herpes will have recurrent outbreaks. Valtrex is not a cure for genital herpes, and the virus will always remain in your body. However, when used to treat genital herpes, Valtrex can help genital herpes blisters to heal more quickly.
If taken on a daily basis, Valtrex can also help prevent genital herpes outbreaks from occurring and can help prevent the spread of the virus to sexual partners.
Even while taking Valtrex, it is important to avoid sexual contact while you are having a genital herpes outbreak to prevent spreading the disease to your partner. It is important to always use condoms, even between outbreaks, as genital herpes can be spread at any time.
Valtrex can also be used on a daily basis to prevent outbreaks in people with genital herpes and HIV.
Valtrex Uses for Chickenpox
Chickenpox is an infectious disease caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), a virus that is part of the herpes virus family. Chickenpox results in a blister-like rash, itching, tiredness, and fever.
Symptoms of chickenpox can begin with one to two days of low-grade fever and tiredness. These early symptoms of chickenpox do not always occur before the chickenpox rash develops.
Early symptoms of chickenpox are followed by itchy blisters that first appear on the trunk, face, and scalp. These blisters can spread over the entire body, causing between 250 and 500 itchy blisters. The chickenpox rash can appear in three or more successive waves. Eventually, the blisters crust over.
Valtrex is approved to treat chickenpox in children and adolescents age 2 to 18 years old. It works best when started within 24 hours of the onset of the chickenpox rash.