Valtrex Side Effects

Valtrex is a popularly used antiviral medication used in the treatment of Herpes. Like most medications, it comes with its benefits as well as side effects. The fact that the drug was approved by the FDA means the benefits outweigh the Valtrex side effects.

Valtrex is used in clearing up herpes outbreaks if used as soon as the first signs are experienced. The drug is also used in suppressive therapy where it is taken on a daily basis to curb regular outbreaks. However, it is still important to learn about the side effects you should expect when you start taking Valtrex.

Common Valtrex Side Effects

There are some Valtrex side effects that have been officially listed and there are some that are testimonies from people who have used or are still using the medication. The most common side effects seem to be itchy skin, thirst and dehydration, and mild disorientation in some individuals. Valtrex manufacturers include information that warns against use of heavy machinery when using the drug until you identify the effect of the drug.

Adverse Drug Reactions

Lest than 1% of patients have reported a headache, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea after taking Valtrex.

Infrequent Adverse Effects

Between 0.1 and 1% of patients reported effects such as vertigo, dizziness, arthralgia, constipation, renal impairment, rash, abdominal pain, confusion, agitation and sore throat.

Rare Adverse Effects

About 0.1% of patients experienced rare side effects including, Steven-Johnson syndrome, hepatitis, psychotic symptoms, ataxia, encephalopathy, tremor, leucopenia, neutropenia, seizures, anorexia, crystalluria, and a coma.

Valtrex And Liver Health

Valtrex Suppressive therapy involves taking 1 g of Valtrex every day. It is only during active breakouts that 2 g is taken.  However, the use of Valtrex on a daily basis might be too much for some people especially when it comes to the liver. Valtrex is processed in the liver and a high intake can damage this organ. In most cases, the liver damage shows up as hepatitis, abnormal enzymes, or liver inflammation. For this reason, experts in the medical world agree that taking Valtrex forever is not a good idea especially when high doses are involved.

Valtrex And Kidney Health

Taking Valtrex over a long period of time whether continuously or occasionally can affect the liver as well as the kidney. Tests have shown that Valtrex may cause kidney failure in some people. Most people who experience problems with their kidney when taking Valtrex have had previous kidney conditions. Some were simply elderly without any preexisting kidney problems. Some were taking other drugs that also affect the kidneys.

Valtrex And The Central Nervous System

There are reports that link Valtrex to hallucinations, confusion, seizures, delirium, dizziness, encephalopathy and agitation in some people. According to the reports, the people most affected by Valtrex in this are elderly individuals.

Valtrex And Pregnancy

Valtrex is a category B medication. Therefore, there are no known risks involved when you take Valtrex when pregnant or when breastfeeding. Doctors can prescribe Valtrex in cases where they think that labor might come during an outbreak. This is to basically protect the baby from infection. However, the test used to place Valtrex in category B has been termed as insufficient. As a result, experts recommend the use of Valtrex during pregnancy and breastfeeding only in cases where the benefits outweigh the risk to the baby.

Valtrex Contraindications

There are health conditions that do not allow the use of Valtrex as a herpes treatment option. This is because the use of the drug will only make the conditions worse. These conditions include Ttp/Hus, hemodialysis, and renal impairment.

Valtrex And Alcohol

There are reports of increased “Black-outs” if people drink and are taking Valtrex. There are also people who have reported getting drunk faster with less alcohol when taking this medication. Some have blacked out without memory of what happened when they were under the influence.

Possible Valtrex Side Effects

In case of the following allergic reactions or signs, get immediate medical help: difficulty breathing; hives; swelling in the face, tongue, throat or lips.

Valtrex side effects
Valtrex side effects

You should stop taking Valtrex and seek medical attention immediately if you experience the following effects:

  •         Bleeding, easy bruising or fever
  •         Vomiting and bloody diarrhea
  •         Yellowed or pale skin
  •         Fainting or weakness
  •         Reduced or no urination
  •         Red spots on the skin that are not chicken pox or related to herpes
  •         Lower back pain
  •         Mood changes, increased thirst, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and drowsiness
  •         Aggression, agitation, confusion, trouble concentrating, confusion and hallucinations
  •         Shakiness and feeling unsteady
  •         Speech and vision problems
  •         Seizures

Less Serious Valtrex Side Effects

  •         Mild skin rash
  •         Sore throat and stuffy nose
  •         Joint pain
  •         Menstrual pain
  •         Stomach pain and nausea
  •         Dizziness, headache, depression, and feeling tired

In Conclusion

Valtrex is effective in the treatment of different herpes viruses. Valtrex is taken to stop further outbreak as soon as the first symptom is experienced. However, it is important for anyone interested in taking Valtrex to talk to their doctor and discuss all the important elements. Talk about your condition, what you experience and most importantly, talk about your experience when you are taking Valtrex. This way, the doctor can determine whether the medication is good for you or they should look for an alternative if the side effects outweigh the benefits.