What is Valacyclovir?

Valacyclovir is a prescription medication often used to relieve the pain and discomfort of shingles and herpes. This medication comes in a tablet form to be taken orally.

What Does Valacyclovir Treat?

Valacyclovir is used to treat herpes labialis (cold sores), herpes zoster (shingles), and herpes simplex (genital herpes) in adults. It may also be used to treat cold sores and chickenpox in children.

How to Use Valacyclovir

This medication works best when it is used within 48 hours of the first symptoms of genital herpes. For recurrent outbreaks of genital herpes, it works best if used within 24 hours. Symptoms of an outbreak include pain, burning, or blisters. It may be taken with meals or on an empty stomach.

It is important to drink extra water while taking this medication since you will pass more urine. Drinking plenty of fluids keeps you hydrated and allows the kidneys to work well.

You should always follow your doctor’s dosage instructions and take the medication for the entire treatment time. Your dosage and how often you take the medication will depend on your treatment plan. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. If it is close to your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal schedule.


Before beginning this medication, discuss any allergies, current medications, supplements, herbal drugs, or dietary supplements you are taking with your doctor. Valacyclovir may interact with some prescription drugs so it’s important to speak to your doctor about this. If you have advanced HIV, have had a bone marrow transplant, kidney transplant, or kidney disease, this medication may not be right for you.

It is important to remember that Valacyclovir does not stop you from spreading herpes to others.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Valacyclovir include:

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Joint pain
  • Nasal/ear congestion
  • Body aches or pain
  • Muscle pain, aches, or stiffness

If these side effects become bothersome, speak to your doctor.

Valacyclovir Herpes Treatment Online

Make a virtual appointment today with one of our online dermatologists to discuss getting a Valacyclovir herpes prescription treatment.