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Valtrex vs Acyclovir for herpes suppression?
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by seemsserene, Sep 26, 2007
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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Member Comments (30)
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by gracefromHHP, Sep 26, 2007
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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by liz86, Nov 08, 2008
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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by auntiejessiBlank, Nov 08, 2008
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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by liz86, Nov 10, 2008
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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by auntiejessiBlank, Nov 10, 2008
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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by liz86, Nov 10, 2008
Hi, not sure how to post info in the herpes forum, not familar how it works, thanks Liz86
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by auntiejessiBlank, Nov 10, 2008
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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by here4u, Nov 21, 2008
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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by auntiejessiBlank, Nov 21, 2008
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