What is Valtrex?
Valtrex is the leading medication for the treatment of the herpes virus. Although most commonly thought of as a medication used to treat genital herpes, it can also be used to treat:
- cold sores
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How Does Valtrex Work?
Valtrex contains an active ingredient known as Valacyclovir. Once inside the body, the Valacyclovir actually becomes acyclovir. This particular ingredient gets into the cells of the body, particularly those already infected by the herpes virus. Within these cells, the ingredient kicks its abilities up a notch and stops an enzyme known as DNA polymerase from doing its job.
The job of this enzyme is make copies of the virus’s genetic material so it can reproduce itself thus spreading to more cells and causing outbreaks. When the enzyme is stopped, the virus is no longer able to reproduce and this gives the body’s immune system a chance to catch up and fight the infection.
Although the immune system won’t may not able to destroy the virus permanently even with the help of Valtrex, it can reduce the risk of outbreaks developing and can reduce the symptoms associated with outbreaks.
This is particularly true in the case of genital herpes which cannot be cured but can be controlled using the medication.
Valtrex Compared to Other Herpes Medications
While Valtrex is not the only anti viral medication on the market used in the treatment of herpes, it does provide advantages over the competition.
When compared to Zovirax, for example, Valtrex provides similar effectiveness but requires fewer dosages to achieve that level of effectiveness. Studies have shown that Valtrex is better at treating shingles (herpes zoster) than Zovirax.
Valtrex has also been found to be more effective in the treatment of genital herpes than Famvir, particularly when it comes to reducing the risk of spreading the virus to sexual partners.
Other herpes medications can provide treatment for conditions caused by the herpes virus but lack the effectiveness and convenience of Valtrex. As a result, Valtrex has quickly become the leading medication for these conditions. Additionally Valtrex has repeatedly been shown to be relatively safe. Adverse side effects occur in less than 1% of patients.
Overall, patients needing treatment for conditions caused by the herpes virus can benefit from regular use of Valtrex.