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gotitsowhat

Valtrex, please give me some feedback about dosage, experiences with it..

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gotitsowhat

It took me months to get my insurance to cover Valtrex and I got put through the Kaiser wringer before I did get it and now...

The two bottles I got at the pharmacy say to "take according to doctor's prescription," but there are no other directions on the bottles. No dosage. The pills are 500 mg. I assume that the usual dosage is one pill a day until the outbreaks are gone and/or one per day indefinitely to prevent outbreaks...right?

Of course, I do intend to call the pharmacy but I know that they will just refer me to the doctor and she took over two months to respond last time and then another month before I could actually get the pills on my insurance. I have a feeling that this will be yet another delaying tactic of Kaiser and I don't want to have to wait another month or two before I actually start taking it; I am in the midst of a super outbreak (stress on my job) right now.

Anyone else take Valtrex? Is it the one 500 mg. pill a day? I want to start taking it NOW, not after weeks of further suffering, more embarrassing questions from the pharmacy, switchboard, nurses etc.

I will start the process at the pharmacy today but I am also going to start taking it today, one pill per day, but thought I might get some feedback.

I know that most responders on this board are not doctors or medical professionals so I am not asking for advice about how to take it--I am ALREADY planning to take one pill a day until I hear otherwise.

Just wanted some feedback about the dosage others are taking. Also, does it help to take it with food? Are there side effects I need to watch out for?

As I said, I will be contacting the pharmacy, just want some feedback from here about people's experiences.

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Belladonna

Valtrex dosage

I take one 500mg pill a day.

when I first started taking it, I noticed that it made me dizzy, so I take at night before I go to bed. I suspect there might be an interaction with alcohol, but I've found no research to support that and I received no responses on this board when I asked if others on Valtrex had had the same problem w/alcohol--- so my theory is only that, a theory.

I get my Valtrex at Costco b/c I don't have health insurance and it's cheapest to refill the prescription there. On the bottle they've placed the warning stickers "May cause dizziness", "Medication may impair your ability to drive or operate machinery. USE CARE until you become familiar with effects." ("USE CARE" is in bold letters). As I mentioned before, I just get a little dizzy from the Valtrex. I really hope the doctor or pharmacist is able to get back to you in a timely fashion, I know how incredibly frustrating for you that must be.

I also wanted to ask how Kaiser made getting the Valtrex on Health Ins so difficult. I just got a new job and my health insurance should kick in after about three months and I'm pretty sure it's going to be Kaiser as well. If you don't mind sharing, I would appreciate it. Thank you and I hope you have a speedy recovery from your ob.

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helied2me

Hi Brainy,

During outbreaks they usually prescribe 1000 mg, or 1 gm a day in 2 doses for either 5 or ten days, depends on what the doc prescribes. I was told 5. Then 500mg, one daily dose for suppression.

Hope that helps.

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gotitsowhat
I take one 500mg pill a day.

when I first started taking it, I noticed that it made me dizzy, so I take at night before I go to bed. I suspect there might be an interaction with alcohol, but I've found no research to support that and I received no responses on this board when I asked if others on Valtrex had had the same problem w/alcohol--- so my theory is only that, a theory.

I get my Valtrex at Costco b/c I don't have health insurance and it's cheapest to refill the prescription there. On the bottle they've placed the warning stickers "May cause dizziness", "Medication may impair your ability to drive or operate machinery. USE CARE until you become familiar with effects." ("USE CARE" is in bold letters). As I mentioned before, I just get a little dizzy from the Valtrex. I really hope the doctor or pharmacist is able to get back to you in a timely fashion, I know how incredibly frustrating for you that must be.

I also wanted to ask how Kaiser made getting the Valtrex on Health Ins so difficult. I just got a new job and my health insurance should kick in after about three months and I'm pretty sure it's going to be Kaiser as well. If you don't mind sharing, I would appreciate it. Thank you and I hope you have a speedy recovery from your ob.

I am taking it at 2 (500 mg.) pills a day. So far, no effect or side effects! It has not gotten rid of my outbreak (a bad one that I have had for some time) but I have not noticed any side effects either.

As for my Kaiser "war," it went like this: My gynecologist prescriped Accyclovir and I took it and it did not help much. I talked to a cousin of mine who was taking Valtrex which she said worked much faster and better than Accyclovir. I asked the gynecologist about it and she said that, yes, it does sometimes work better and she prescribed it.

I went to the Kaiser pharmacy and was told, "That will be $367 please!" I almost fainted. They told me that Valtrex is not covered by my insurance (I work for the State of CA). The pharmacist asked me why the doctor had prescribed it, talking in a loud voice, saying "Valtrex" several times as people turned and stared. When I said this was a very personal subject and I did not want to discuss it in public, I was ignored and asked a bunch of very personal questions. Then I was told to keep calling the pharmacy to see if the doctor would sign an "Exemption" so my insurance would cover it. I called back over and over and over and ......it just went on for months! I kept leaving messages with my doctor and had no call back, the pharmacy told me to keep trying....every time I called the pharmacy I was asked why I wanted Valtrex, whether or not I was in the midst of an outbreak, whether or not I was in a relationship. When I objected to this very detailed and personal line of questioning they insisted they had to know this to "take a report" to pass on the the doctor. OK, maybe they did, but how many times??!!! And months went by and the doctor did not call back.

On guy in the pharmacy said, "Don't quote me because I will deny I said this but they rarely give any exemptions for Valtrex and they NEVER give them to an older woman (I'm 63) because they assume you are probably not in a relationship and will not be likely to have sex with anyone so it doesn't matter." I was furious.

At one point, the pharmacy suggested I ask my primary care physician to sign the exemption. I left a message and his nurse called me back. She started asking all of the personal questions, was I having an outbreak, why did I want Valtrex, was I in a relationship etc. I objected and she said, "You have to answer these questions of I can't pass on the message to the doctor." By then I was a wreck and feeling like they had put me through the wringer. It had been over three months. So, angry, I told her, "I am not having an outbreak but I want the Valtrex in case I do because I have them every so often. As for a relationship, no I am not in one but I am still dating and frankly, when I go on my next date, I hope to get lucky." She was deeply offended and angry. The doctor called me back and he was angry. He said that he would not give me the exemption. Our relationship is now a poor one. I partly blame myself (a close friend said I was to blame because I was not tactful with the nurse).

This also felt like age discrimination to me. I called the insurance office at Kaiser and talked to a lady who acted completely utterly bored with me and my problem. I asked her how I could make a complaint about my situation of not being covered by the insurance. She yawned and said she did not know. I asked if she could let me talk to someone who did know. She said no, no one knew anything about it. I then asked her if she could at least take a message so that they could note that I made a complaint about it and she said, with a bored sign, "Well...I suppose so..." I gave her my name and she said, "Thank you," and I insisted she also take my medical record number which she did (reluctantly). Then I commented to her that I believed that age discrimination could be a factor in this and that I was thinking of contacting AARP. She yawned again and said, "What's ARP?" I explained that it was a large national organization that deals with the rights of older people. She said, "Oh." Her indifference was spectacularly memorable.

A few days later, I broke my toe. Then next morning I broke two teeth (grinding them in my sleep, probably out of stress and frustration). I need some pain meds before I saw the dentist so the dentist phoned in a prescripton for the pain meds to Kaiser. When I went to pick up the pain meds a really cool chick pharmacy lady leaned over and said to me in a low, quiet voice, "You have another prescription waiting." Since my doctor had insisted I give Accyclovir one more try, I assumed that was what it was so I said, "Oh, yeah, Accyclovir." Now I was the one sounding bored. But she said, with a twinkle in her eye, again very quietly, "No...it's Valtrex!" I was thrilled when I found that the doctor (not my primary care physician who's still ticked off but the original gynecologist) has signed the exemption. It seemed that someone in the insurance office had called her and told her to sign the exemption. I think SOMEONE, though obviously not the bored lady I talked to, DID know what AARP is and how powerful they can be.

Anyway, the lady at the pharmacy said, "Hey, you go, girl! You've got to be some cool lady if they gave you an exemption! They NEVER give exemptions on Valtrex, especially to anyone over 30. You go, cool lady!"

So now I got it but it was quite a hassle. Dignity is an unknown concept at Kaiser. Probably true for all HMOs these days, though. I told a friend of mine (the one who thought I was out of line with the doctor's nurse) that they don't like older ladies at Kaiser. My friend answered, "Kaiser is like all HMOs. It's not about being a lady or being older. What HMOs don't like is...SICK PEOPLE." She's right.

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here to help

Another thing when I was first diagnosed with herpes I had a major outbreak that seemed like it lasted for over 2 months. It would start to clear up then reappear again. I never had any luck with Valtrex it seemed to make my outbreaks worse.

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