The name of your medicine is APO-Valaciclovir. It contains the active ingredient valaciclovir hydrochloride monohydrate. It is used to treat:
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed this medicine for another reason.
This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription.
Valaciclovir belongs to a group of medicines called antivirals.
Valaciclovir works by stopping the multiplication of the virus which causes herpes. It can reduce the length and severity of an outbreak of herpes, the duration of pain and shorten the time to healing of crusts associated with herpes. They do not eliminate the herpes virus from the body. The herpes virus is also known as the Herpes Simplex Virus, or HSV.
Valaciclovir helps the blisters to heal more quickly. If you start taking them as soon as you feel an outbreak starting, you may actually prevent the blisters from developing.
In immunocompromised patients, valaciclovir can also be taken long term to help prevent the HSV infection coming back.
Valaciclovir (or any other antiviral) is not a cure for genital herpes. Because genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease, you should minimise having intercourse and always use condoms when you have an outbreak of herpes or show any symptoms. This will avoid the risk of spreading herpes to your partner.
Valaciclovir is more effective in patients 50 years of age and older.
There is no evidence that this medicine is addictive.
There is not enough information to recommend the use of this medicine in children.
Before you start taking this medicine, tell your doctor if:
1. You have allergies to:
2. You have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
3. You are currently pregnant or you plan to become pregnant. Do not take this medicine whilst pregnant until you and your doctor have discussed the risks and benefits involved.
4. You are currently breastfeeding or you plan to breastfeed. Do not take this medicine whilst breastfeeding until you and your doctor have discussed the risks and benefits involved.
5. You are taking or are planning to take any other medicines; this includes vitamins and supplements that are available from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines may interact with valaciclovir:
Follow carefully all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist.
Their instructions may be different to the information in this leaflet.
If you do not understand any written instructions, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you how many tablets you will need to take. This depends on your condition and whether or not you are taking any other medicines.
Swallow the tablets with a glass of water. You should drink plenty of fluids whilst taking valaciclovir, especially if you are elderly.
For genital herpes infection, the usual times to take the tablets are in the morning and evening.
For the treatment of genital herpes infections, the usual course of treatment is five days. However, in some instances your doctor may want you to take your tablets for ten days.
For the prevention of genital herpes infections in immunocompromised patients, you should continue to take this medicine every day as prescribed by your doctor.
Continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you.
Do not stop taking it unless your doctor tells you to - even if you feel better.
Make sure you have enough to last over weekends and holidays.
If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to. Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, then go back to taking it as you would normally.
If you miss more than one dose, or you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not take a double dose to make up for missed doses. This may increase the chance of side effects.
If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints to help you remember.
If you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much of this medicine, immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (Tel: 13 11 26 in Australia) for advice. Alternatively go to the Accident and Emergency Department at your nearest hospital.
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
Signs of an overdose with valaciclovir may include:
Be careful when driving or operating machinery until you know how valaciclovir affects you.
All medicines may have some side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but most of the time, they are not. Your doctor has weighed the risks of using this medicine against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
Following is a list of possible side effects. Do not be alarmed by this list. You may not experience any of them.
The most commonly reported side effects are listed below, please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of them:
Please also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following:
Some rare side effects of valaciclovir are listed below, please tell your doctor if you notice any of them:
You should contact your doctor if you experience any of the following side effects, which are more common in patients with kidney disease or in those taking high doses of valaciclovir:
This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. Others may occur in some people and there may be some side effects not yet known.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell, even if it is not on this list.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand anything in this list.
Some people are allergic to medicines. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may be mild or severe. They usually include some or all of the following: shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat or other parts of the body; muscle pain or tenderness or joint pain or rash, itching or hives on the skin.
If you think you are having an allergic reaction to valaciclovir, stop taking the tablets and tell your doctor immediately or go to the Accident and Emergency department at your nearest hospital.
Keep your medicine in its original packaging until it is time to take it.
If you take your medicine out of its original packaging it may not keep well.
Keep your medicine in a cool dry place where the temperature will stay below 25°C.
Do not store your medicine, or any other medicine, in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it on a window sill or in the car. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep this medicine where children cannot reach it.
A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor or pharmacist tells you to stop taking this medicine or they have passed their expiry date, your pharmacist can dispose of the remaining medicine safely.
500 mg tablets
The 500 mg tablets are dark blue, capsule-shaped, biconvex film-coated tablets, engraved "APO" on one side, "VAL 500" on the other side.
Blisters of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 20, 30, 42, 60, 80, 90, 100, 240, 480 tablets and bottles of 100, 240, 480, 500 tablets.
Not all strengths, pack types and/or pack sizes may be available.
Each tablet contains valaciclovir as the active ingredient.
It also contains the following inactive ingredients:
This medicine is gluten-free, lactose-free, sucrose-free, tartrazine-free and free of other azo dyes.
APO-Valaciclovir 500 mg tablets (blister pack): AUST R 158911
APO-Valaciclovir 500 mg tablets (bottle): AUST R 158910