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Valtrex - how long it takes for a dose to start working

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How long after taking one dose of Valtrex does it begin to do its work (ie helping prevent outbreak or shedding)?

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for what it's worth - I found this list of timeframe and dosage.


Genital Herpes

Initial Episodes: The recommended dosage of VALTREX for treatment of initial genital herpes is 1 gram twice daily for 10 days.

There are no data on the effectiveness of treatment with VALTREX when initiated more than 72 hours after the onset of signs and symptoms. Therapy was most effective when administered within 48 hours of the onset of signs and symptoms.

Recurrent Episodes: The recommended dosage of VALTREX for the treatment of recurrent genital herpes is 500 mg twice daily for 3 days. If medical management of a genital herpes recurrence is indicated, patients should be advised to initiate therapy at the first sign or symptom of an episode. There are no data on the effectiveness of treatment with VALTREX when initiated more than 24 hours after the onset of signs or symptoms.

Suppressive Therapy: The recommended dosage of VALTREX for chronic suppressive therapy of recurrent genital herpes is 1 gram once daily in patients with normal immune function. In patients with a history of 9 or fewer recurrences per year, an alternative dose is 500 mg once daily. The safety and efficacy of therapy with VALTREX beyond 1 year have not been established. In HIV-infected patients with CD4 cell count 100 cells/mm3, the recommended dosage of VALTREX for chronic suppressive therapy of recurrent genital herpes is 500 mg twice daily. The safety and efficacy of therapy with VALTREX beyond 6 months in patients with HIV infection have not been established.

Reduction of Transmission: The recommended dosage of VALTREX for reduction of transmission of genital herpes in patients with a history of 9 or fewer recurrences per year is 500 mg once daily for the source partner. Patients should be counseled to use safer sex practices in combination with suppressive therapy with VALTREX. The efficacy of reducing transmission beyond 8 months in discordant couples has not been established.

Cold Sores (Herpes Labialis)

The recommended dosage of VALTREX for the treatment of cold sores is 2 grams twice daily for 1 day taken about 12 hours apart. Therapy should be initiated at the earliest symptom of a cold sore (e.g., tingling, itching, or burning). There are no data on the effectiveness of treatment initiated after the development of clinical signs of a cold sore (e.g., papule, vesicle, or ulcer).

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My experience with Valtrex is limited to when I was in the uprising stages of an extremely bad outbreak. ***WARNING, ABOUT TO GET GRAPHIC***

I am female, and I had a genital outbreak that literally covered the entirety of my vaginal opening and spread outward to all the way up and inside my inner labia. I cannot begin to describe the pain- I had tears in my eyes every time I walked or moved. Because the female parts are self-lubricating and always introducing additional moisture, every small addition of new natural moisture to my female parts would STING like hand sanitizer in a paper cut. My doctor helped me look with a mirror and I saw that my normal opening which usually looks like this () was so covered on both sides with huge bumps with sores at the end that it was almost completely closed, bumpy, and looked like the back of a toad. I wanted to cry.

She gave me Valtrex and I left her office basically waddling with coarse, hand-drying paper towel from the dispenser shoved up in between my labia so that the two would not touch. I cried all the way to the pharmacy. Ashamed, I filled my Valtrex prescription. At this time Valtrex was relatively new, was Brand-Only, and was not widely prescribed for oral lesions as well and working in a pharmacy as a pharm tech I knew that everybody behind the counter would be snickering at the girl filling the script for HERPES.

I picked up my prescription, declined counseling from the pharmacist, and left, still ashamed. I took the first pill with some bottled water in my car. It was by this time, nighttime.

I woke up in the morning about 9 hours later and took the 2nd dose early. By midmorning-early afternoon I noticed improvement. By late that evening I felt completely normal and looked almost normal. By the next morning the pain was completely gone and the swelling was greatly diminished. By the third morning, everything looked and felt totally normal.

Hang in there. It's going to get a lot better soon.

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