How Does Valacyclovir Work For Cold Sores?

How Does Valacyclovir Work For Cold Sores?

Cold sores can be a challenging symptom of herpes simplex infection that can affect everything from eating to drinking to your sex life. Even worse, they can reappear randomly if they are triggered by environmental or hormonal factors. Data shows that more than half of American adults have been infected with herpes simplex virus and have experienced a cold sore outbreak within the last two years. These outbreaks can be mild or severe and may sometimes require treatment. In the following short article, we discuss the most popular medication for cold sores, valacyclovir, and answer the question how does valacyclovir work for cold sores.

About Valacyclovir

Valacyclovir is an antiviral drug used to treat and mitigate symptoms of herpes, shingles and chickenpox. Valacyclovir does not destroy herpes, shingles or chickenpox but decreases the severity and length of outbreaks, and mitigates symptoms. This medication can be purchased as the brand name drug Valtrex and is available at most in-person and online pharmacies.

What Are Cold Sores?

Cold sores are a common viral infection that cause the appearance of tiny, fluid-filled blisters on and around your lips. These blisters are often grouped together in patches. After the blisters break, a scab forms that can last several days. Cold sores spread from person to person by close contact, such as kissing, touching of the face, and oral sex. They're usually caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), and less commonly herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Both of these viruses can affect your mouth or genitals and can be spread by oral sex. Cold sores are contagious even if you don't see the sores. There's no cure for cold sores, but treatment can help manage outbreaks. Prescription antiviral pills can help sores heal more quickly and they may reduce the frequency, length and severity of future outbreaks.

How Does Valacyclovir Work For Cold Sores?

Valacyclovir works by preventing the herpes simplex virus from spreading to other parts of the body. If it does spread, the virus can cause cold sores around the lips, mouth, gums and inner. After you take your medication, the valacyclovir is broken down by the body into acyclovir, which then acts as an inhibitor to the DNA of the herpes simplex virus cells.

How To Use Valacyclovir For Cold Sores

The most effective way to use valacyclovir is to begin taking it before a cold sore outbreak occurs. This can be quite difficult however, so most doctors recommend beginning treatment as soon as possible after cold sores begin to appear. Usually, a cold sore will be noticeable a few days before it erupts out of the skin. In these early days, the cold sore may initially appear as a small, red bump on the skin.

Once you notice cold sores on your skin, it is recommended that you visit a healthcare professional to receive and official diagnosis. Your doctor will then prescribe the appropriate medication (usually valacyclovir or acyclovir). Take valacyclovir as directed by your healthcare professional and your prescription bottle.

Tips For Taking Valacyclovir For Cold Sores

The following tips may help you take valcyclovir for cold sores. Before you begin taking your medication, it is always advisable to consult a healthcare professional to ensure you are taking the right dosage at the correct time.

  • Take valacyclovir at the first sign of cold sores
  • Take valacyclovir with or without food
  • Do not take more than the number of tablets you have been prescribed each day
  • Be sure to drink plenty of water before and after taking valacyclovir. This helps lower the risk of potential serious side effects.

How Does Valacyclovir Work For Cold Sores?: Summary

Cold sores can be an annoying, recurring symptom that can be difficult to treat and completely remove. Although they are completely harmless, they can cause minor pain around the lips, mouth, and gum regions. Cold sores can be treated using the prescription medication valacyclovir. When treating cold sores with valacyclovir, it is important to follow the recommended dosage and treatment schedule provided by your doctor.

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