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What does it do?

Valaciclovir is used to treat and prevent viral infections such as herpes and shingles.

How should you take it?

Take valaciclovir regularly as directed with a glass of water. Keep taking it until the course is finished, even if you start to feel better.

What if you forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as possible and continue as directed.

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Seizures

Easy/unusual bruising or bleeding

Tell your doctor immediately

Confusion

Tell your doctor

Headache, tiredness or weakness

Increased sensitivity to sunlight

Abdominal pain

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, or have ever had a seizure.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Drink plenty of fluids while taking valaciclovir.
  • Protect yourself from too much sunlight while being treated with valaciclovir. Always cover up and apply a thick layer of broad spectrum sunscreen (at least SPF 30) when outside. Do not use sunbeds.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. December 2017

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed