Famcylovir — What is it, and Does it Cure Herpes

Famcyclovir — For Herpes Treatment

Famciclovir is an antiviral medication used to treat herpes zoster shingles and herpes simplex virus such as genital herpes. It is also sometimes used for AIDS/HIV. It does not cure herpes but instead helps treat the symptoms such as itching and pain. It also helps the sores to heal quicker and may prevent new ones from forming. This medication is taken as a tablet by mouth.

Famvir — The Brand Name

Famvir is the brand name of the drug, famciclovir. Famvir is typically used to treat shingles or genital herpes. Famvir works well to treat herpes zoster shingles and genital herpes. If your doctor prescribes Famvir or famciclovir, you will be given instructions on how to take the medication. If you miss a dose, you should take it immediately as you remember unless it is almost time for your next dose. You should never double up to make up for a missed dose.

You should not stop taking Famvir just because you are feeling better. You should continue to take it for the duration your doctor prescribed. You should always consult your doctor first if you are considering coming off your medication.

Herpes Zoster Shingles

Herpes zoster shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. When the chicken pox virus reenacts itself in the body, the person has an outbreak of shingles. This typically happens when the person is older or during time or sickness or weakened immune system. Shingles can be very painful and there is currently no cure.

When used for herpes zoster shingles, famciclovir is usually taken every 8 hours (or 3 times a day) for 7 days. If your shingles have not healed by 7 days, your doctor may prolong the medication use. Famciclovir helps reduce the pain fro herpes zoster shingles and also helps sores heal up faster and prevents new sores from forming. When used repeatedly in a person, it may even prevent or reduce future outbreaks of shingles from occurring. This does not mean it is a cure, it just means that the medication is helping the body’s immune system fight the virus that is inside certain cells and keeping it from spreading to other cells in the body.

Herpes Simplex Virus

When used to treat herpes simplex virus, or genital herpes, famciclovir is usually taken 2 times a day for about 5 days. If your symptoms do not clear up, your doctor may suggest you take famciclovir for another 5 days.

Precautions of Famciclovir

If prescribed famciclovir, you should tell your doctor of any allergies to Zovirax or acyclovir. You should also tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking, including vitamins. You should tell your doctor if you have:

  • Kidney disease
  • Transplant
  • Immune disease or deficiency

It is also important to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you plan to become pregnant.

Some side effects of famciclovir include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Taking this medication with food or milk should help reduce nausea and vomiting. If you experience severe vomiting and diarrhea and you fear dehydration, you should see a doctor immediately.

You should also see your doctor if you experience:

  • Rash
  • Itching

You should never let anyone else take your medication or take famciclovir without a prescription. Only a professional doctor can tell you for sure if famciclovir is right for you and your symptoms.

Until a cure for the herpes virus is found, medications such as these are very important in helping people with herpes live a more comfortable life with fewer outbreaks.

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