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Acyclovir (Zovirax) Vs. Valacyclovir (Valtrex)

acyclovir vs valacyclovir

Both Valacyclovir (Valtrex) and Acyclovir (Zovirax) are used for treating herpes. However, both the medications are different. Let us find out how.

Definition

Valacyclovir (Valtrex)

Use Valacyclovir to provide immediate medical therapy to individuals with herpes. You can purchase this medicine under the trade name Valtrex. Valacyclovir alleviates medical conditions involving the genitals and other parts of the body affected by herpes.

Acyclovir (Zovirax)

Administer Acyclovir to provide urgent medical care to individuals with herpes. You can purchase this medicine under the trade names Zovirax and Sitavig. Acyclovir functions by providing medical alleviation to infections like genital herpes and shingles.

Usage

Acyclovir (Zovirax) is an older medication compared to Valacyclovir. It was introduced in the 1970s and was the go-to medicine for herpes infection. Valacyclovir is the most popular herpes treatment today. It has been utilized in many herpes outbreaks since its production.

Besides alleviating herpes and its symptoms, both Acyclovir and Valacyclovir strengthen the body’s immune system. As a result, the body’s immunity defends its host against infections, such as herpes. These drugs have the same functions. However, they can differ based on their adverse reactions, dosage, and pricing.

Side Effects/Adverse Reactions

Here are the adverse reactions that you will experience once you start your Acyclovir treatment:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Skin rashes
  • Muscle pain
  • Convulsion
  • Allergic reactions
  • Anemia
  • Skin redness

Here are the adverse reactions that you will experience once you start your Valacyclovir treatment:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Rashes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Joint pain
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Hypertension
  • Agitation

Dosage

The doctor checks for the following factors first before providing the prescription for Acyclovir and Valacyclovir. Consider the following:

  • Age and weight
  • Medical history of the patient
  • Other types of treatment that a patient is currently following

Acyclovir Dosage:

  • In treating genital herpes, one must consume 200 mg of this medicine five times a day. The consumption is every after four hours.
  • One must consume 800 mg of this medicine five times per day for shingles.

Valacyclovir Dosage:

  • Genital herpes – 1000 mg of Valacyclovir (twice per day) with dosage frequency for ten days.
  • Chickenpox – 20 mg of Valacyclovir per kilogram (thrice per day) with a five-day dosage frequency.

Precautions/Warnings

The following are the precautions and warnings of both Acyclovir and Valacyclovir.

  • You cannot use both medicines if you are allergic to them. Note that any form of hypersensitivity can be fatal. So, it is best to avoid them for safety purposes.
  • To ensure these medicines are safe to consume, discuss with your healthcare professional if you have any of these underlying health conditions – kidney damage, impaired immune system, and liver disease.

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