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Valtrex vs Acyclovir for herpes suppression?
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Valtrex vs Acyclovir for herpes suppression?

I went in today to see my doctor and she suggested that rather than be on Acyclovir (as I have been: 400mg 5x per day with an awareness that this is a high dosage and we will be decreasing it)to suppress my herpes simplex 2 and associated unexplained sexual sensitivity loss, that I should go on Valtrex as it is “a better drug”.  Its also a vastly more expensive drug.  I get Acyclovir for like $10 a month.

Is the quality of Valtrex in terms of it being a suppressive drug worth the difference in price over Acyclovir?  I don’t mind taking Acyclovir throughout the day if it means have enough money to pay for rent, food, clothing etc.

I hope to hear back, and thanks in advance.

Greg
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101028_tn?1348750963
The dose for acyclovir for suppressive therapy is 400mg 2x/day . I have no idea why you are on such a high dose. It's completely unneccesary.  If you are still having symptoms on that dose then you need a further evaluation to find out what is going on because chances are good that it isn't herpes.

Valtrex is an acyclovir prodrug. What this basically means is that you swallow valtrex and your body converts it into acyclovir inside your body.  Because you get more of the active medication in your body that way - you don't have to take it as often.  The advantage of valtrex is - less pills to remember to take so a greater chance of actually taking them.  There isn't any other real difference between them.  

I'm not sure where you are being followed up at but according to your profile you are near one of the best herpes clinics around. Is that where you are seen at?

grace
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Avatar_n_tn
Recently diagnosed - stressed out - from my research suppressive therapy of Valtrex 500mg daily reduces viral shedding by 80% and Acylovir 400mg x2 daily reduces viral shedding by 94%. Is this correct and if so Acylovir appears to be more affective. Please clear this up for me.....Thank you very much liz
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207091_tn?1337713093
I don't know where you read that, but I've not heard of those numbers.

If you are in Seattle, you should go to the Univ of Washington Viral Clinic - they are one of the best in the country, and I'd go there in a heartbeat.

Aj
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Auntiejessi

Obtained info from ASHA which states that while on Acyclovir 400mg x2dly 94% reduction in subclinical shedding. So I wonder is Acyclovir more affective than Valtres. I understand that Valtrex its just 1 pill - - Acyclovir is x2 and possiblities of missing a dosage is more likely however is Acyclovir more affective?
Thanks Liz86
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207091_tn?1337713093
Well, that's interesting, as valtrex turns to acyclovir in your liver.  You might post this in the herpes forum, as Grace is an expert with these numbers and studies.

Aj
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, not sure how to post info in the herpes forum, not familar how it works, thanks Liz86
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207091_tn?1337713093
There is a link for the herpes community at the top of this page in the community description.  Just click it, and it will take you to the herpes forum.  Then you post just as you did here.  

You should start your own thread there, and to do that, just click on the green "Post a question" button.  

Aj
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Avatar_n_tn
I to have taken both drugs and for me- as we are all different Valtrex is the only sure fire prescription that worked for me, absolutly no outbreaks or chronic pain as opposed to acyclovir. I am currently fighting California ADAP over their refusal to assist with Valtrex. However after extensive research if you find that acyclovir works equally well for you then  in my opinion you need not change. I have friends who also have success with acyclovir. Valtrex is very expensive and I await their looming patent to end sometime in 2009. However you can obtain Valtrex from Canadian pharmacies for about $80.00  a month-significantly less. Please just be sure and do a little research that it is a reputable pharmacy and there are many that are. Good Luck.
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207091_tn?1337713093
Have you tried Bridges to Access?  That's the assistance program for GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of valtrex.

I do think that ADAP should cover valtrex, but in the meantime, you might try that program for help.

Aj
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Avatar_n_tn
My doctor has me on 800 mg acyclovir 1 time daily for suppression.  Is this as effective as taking 400 mg 2x daily?  Everywhere that I have read says that you are supposed to take acyclovir twice a day.  My main concern is reducing the chance of spreading the disease to others.  I use condoms however I want to make sure that I am on the most effective treatment to reduce the chance of shedding as well.

Is acyclovir as effective as valtrex and if so is taking an 800 mg pill once daily as effective as taking a 400 mg pill 2x daily?  Also, if a 800 mg acyclovir pill once daily is OK, is there a time of day that it should be the most effective to take to help reduce shedding? for instance if I plan on engaging in sexual intercourse at say around 8 pm in the evening.

thanx
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207091_tn?1337713093
The suppression dose for acyclovir is 400 mg twice a day.  Acyclovir doesn't last as long in your body, so you aren't getting as much benefit from taking it once a day.  

You should take it at regular intervals, like breakfast and dinner, etc.  

Aj
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Avatar_n_tn
Does anybody know why when im with a new partner I experience outbreak symptoms some days later??
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580755_tn?1357673215
Post in the herpes community
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Avatar_m_tn
I've been taking acyclovir 400 mg 1/day for a few years and i just got a bad outbreak and I cant seem to get it under control.  I've increased my pills to about 6 per day, which usually clears it up in a couple days, but this time it's not helping.
I've have valtrex from a previous prescription, which i'm considering taking for a few days to switch it up.  However, in the past Valtrex hasnt helped.  I'm not really sure what to do-any suggestions??
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580755_tn?1357673215
Post in the herpes communtiy.
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Avatar_m_tn
I was just told that I have herpes 2 weeks ago.  From all test taken it seemed to have old antibodies and maybe it's been there for some time. I've been married for 5 years and have been faithful. I've asked him to be tested but he said either way he's not leaving so we go on the assumption he has it for now. I was giving acyclovir for outbreak if any 200 mg 5 times a day, because I don't seem to ever recall having one. I did have a discharge which was told it was yeast but it never seemed to go away so I went back and asked that blood work be taken because of stuff I read and it was herpes. Can I just take 200 mg twice a day for suppression . Please advise ?
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580755_tn?1357673215
Do people not read? POST ALL HERPES QUESTIONS IN THE HERPES COMMUNITY.
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Avatar_f_tn
I break out often with sores in the mouth,foods that are acidic, really upsetting to worry about what I eat, Don't eat alot of fruit which is good for you and Sauces, tomatos, anything spicy. Lemonade. Usually behind the lips, told herpes simplex.If I don't cover nose and lips good in the sun for long ,a break out will appear. I have acyclovir 200mg, says once a day. maybe not enough. Any suggestions. Thanks carole
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580755_tn?1357673215
Read what I have posted to the last 3 people who have posted.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have recurrent genital herpes..i am not always sexually active. will acyclovir started a few days before sex reduce shedding of my genital herpes so that i dont have to take it everyday?
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101028_tn?1348750963
you posted on a very old post. please start your own post on the herpes forum and we'll gladly help you over there - thanks!

grace
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Avatar_m_tn
Why would my doctor suggest i switch from valacyclovir to acyclovir out of the blue? i barely take the stuff for hsv 2 on my elbow, since i quit taking it my outbreaks from sun exposure have gotten milder.
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Avatar_m_tn
Why would my doctor suggest i switch from valacyclovir to acyclovir out of the blue? i barely take the stuff for hsv 2 on my elbow, since i quit taking it my outbreaks from sun exposure have gotten milder.
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101028_tn?1348750963
this is an old post. please start your own post on the herpes forum - thanks!

grace
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2185521_tn?1337942966
the difference their is none ...acyclovir  is a great effective medication....it is design to suppress outbreak's ...what the confusion is the volume of medication..400mg vs 200mg 3x for 7days Valtrex..2x a day for 7-10 day's ...this explaining on directions is wrong in fact and why it is used ....I don't know...but what it means is (this way of= taking it is design to take when you have a outbreak..so if i have a out break...Boom...( I take it this way for 7 to ten day's to suppress the current outbreak)..but what about the gray area's. What if i Have a outbreak and don't know it, What if i can pass it through viral shredding , Which has no symptoms....I have heard a lot of garbage about herpes and people need to wake up it's a virus...you do not take medication acyclovir or valtrex....on outbreak...to suppress your current outbreak..to totally cover the outbreak's you take it everyday..the gray area is how long..do i follow the prescription..but for everyday..hmmm..onething is do not trust Doctor's i think we have all had bad experience .Multiple Visit's , miss informed and bad information..hours online etc etc...I'm in a relationship and we decided to take it everyday...(Grey Area) taking it everyday suppress the virus (also cold sore version) the reason you need to take it everyday is to contain it..so you ..and in my case...girlfriend don't make it worst for us...your hands..legs ..inner thighs,feet,eyes , Face,,,this is why their are so many versions of the virus in the body....acyclovir is the formula that suppress..Valtrex turns into acyclovir in the body..it's the Same Medicine. Valtrex is the same Or if i want to get tech Oxymoron.. Valtrex Has the acyclovir  Component that's what you need..if you are on a budget acyclovir is for you just have to take it frequent and more often..if you are made of money Valtrex is for you. the increase gray area..is therapeutic ..adjustments (said weird) meaning if you dose it to weak..you would need a strong dosage so it wouldn't be uncommon for someone take 400mg vs 200..i would say ..probably the high the better..but you have to do the knowledge.get to no your body..since we all have a strong sense of are body this is why the dosage informaton is wrong because it doesn't talk about  difference betweens.(why take it for) .. TALK TO YOUR dOCTOR. PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN(DOCTOR) gET THE FACT'S if you are trying to protect your self and your love one's take every day..to suppress for no chance of outbreak..without medicine you will continus to have outbreak's as soon as the dosage were's off ..doctors are evil
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Avatar_m_tn
that's great that you take that much as long as you are drinking lots of water. I am on ACYCLOVIRcream and pills, I have only an oral breakout I am on 4x a day. This is my first out break and i'm a 30year old female. I did speak to a friend who mention for oral outbreaks, doing everything in you power to stop or lessen the serverity of them by mixing what all or any of the medications or creams.
I am going on 6 days and no real clear up. So I'm going to start combining
GOOD LUCK
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Avatar_m_tn
Well im married and just found out that i have had it and didnt know and now my husband has it... Are there any websites or info for married people living with this!
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101028_tn?1348750963
start your own post and we'll gladly help you with your situation.
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Avatar_m_tn
I've got herpes Whitlow on my thumb. I work in a hospital and think I picked it up there. I can't imagine where else. No one in my household has it.   It's very unpleasant when I have an outbreak with it spreading up my arm if I do not take antivirals. I am on Valacyclovir 500 mg once a day for supression, but when I have an outbreak (yes, supression does no always guarantee no outbreaks) I take 500 mg twice a day for three days, then go back to 500 mg a day.

What we all read about foods causing an outbreak are interesting. Some say Peanut butter. What's interesting is that I eat Peanut Butter, no issues. However, if peanut butter gets on my Thumb, guess what, GUARANTEED outbreak! And FAST. Like within a few hours.  

What's vital to remember, antivirals do not "Kill" virus. They slow down the replication of them. That gives your immune system more time to mount an attack. Only your immune system can attack virus.  So many patients think that Antivirals kill virus. They only aid in slowing viral replication.

As mentioned,  Valacyclovir (Valtrex) is a Pro Drug and has an extra molecule in it that, in laymans terms, provided your body with the task of converting it into acyclovir.  Less is flushed out quickly and thus more antiviral drug is available to slow viral replication.  

I've tried both over the years, and Valacyclovir is more effective during an outbreak, in my body.  Your mileage may vary. ;)
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Avatar_m_tn
Dear Dr grace, I need any scientific paper that support your words that both acyclovir and valcyclovir are the same effects, please if you have anything regarding this concern send it to me ASAP...  I need it.
Thank you
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