Shingles is caused by infection of varicella zoster virus (VZV). Patients will feel strong pain on the blisters formed as a group over their bodies. Shingles often takes place in older people who had chickenpox before. It can cause blindness if there are shingles near the eyes.
Valaciclovir blocks the virus from replication by inhibiting DNA polymerase of viruses. Therefore, it is used to treat herpes simplex virus infection and shingles.
There are capsules and tablets for oral use. It does not differ much whether you take it with food or not. If GI upset occurs, administer with meals.
Herpes zoster infection
Take 1g 3 times daily for 7 days.
Take 1g 3 times daily for 7 days or more, continue for 2 days after crusting of lesions.
Herpes simplex virus, first episode
Take 500mg twice daily for 5 days. Continue if healing incomplete or new lesions form.
Take 1g twice daily for 10 days.
Herpes simplex virus, recurrence
Take 500mg twice daily for 3-5 days.
Take 1g twice daily for 5-10 days.
Herpes simplex, suppression
Take 500mg daily in one or two doses. Reassess recurrence per 6-12 months.
Genital Herpes (reduction of transmission)
Take 500mg daily by the infected partner.
Prophylaxis of cytomegalovirus disease
Adult after organ transplantation
Take 2g 4 times daily for 90 days, start by 72 hours after transplantation.
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In Hong Kong, Valaciclovir is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.
For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk
Need more information?
For detailed information about the use of Valaciclovir in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.
Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.