How quickly does Valtrex take full effect?
My doctor prescribed me Valtrex for my genital herpes. I just began taking it yesterday, and I'm impatient. How long should I expect to wait for the medicine to take full effect? And how likely is it, once it does take effect, that it'll stave off future outbreaks?
Questions about genital herpes or other sexually transmitted diseases are best addressed by a primary care physician or by a gynecologist. Valtrex is an antiviral medication used to treat herpes infections. The length of time Valtrex takes to act can depend upon whether the herpes infection for which it was prescribed is a new infection or a recurrence in someone who has already contracted the virus. In general, antiviral medications are usually prescribed for 7-10 days which is how long ulcers typically take to heal. It is possible that your doctor may decide to prescribe valtrex for longer than 10 days, in which case you should take all of your medication exactly as prescribed. In many people, treating herpes infections with valtrex can both shorten the duration of symptoms and decrease the incidence of reactivation infections. In people who have multiple herpes outbreaks a year, starting a course of valtrex with the first onset of symptoms may be helpful in shortening the duration of the outbreak. In this case, treatment is usually only for 5 days. A very small number of people may need to take valtrex daily to prevent herpes reactivation. This is usually only done for people who have more than 6 infectious episodes a year. Dealing with herpes infections can be very frustrating. However, it is important to remember that taking all medication as prescribed and practicing safe sex is the best way to decrease herpes outbreaks and prevent transmission to one's partner.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.