We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Valacyclovir Hydrochloride?

By B. Chisholm
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Valacyclovir hydrochloride is an antiviral drug used to treat cold sores, genital herpes, chicken pox and shingles. It is used orally and the dose and duration used depends on which indication it is being used for. In most countries it is available by prescription only and may be known by different trade names, according to manufacturer.

The way in which valacyclovir hydrochloride works is by blocking a viral enzyme called DNA polymerase, which is essential for viral DNA replication. Valacyclovir hydrochloride is actually a prodrug of aciclovir. This means that, when it enters the body it is broken down into the active substance, aciclovir. Its advantage is that it can be taken two to three times a day, whereas aciclovir must be taken up to five times a day, making adherence more difficult.

Herpes Simplex infections, which include cold sores and genital herpes, are incurable, but may go through periods of remission. Valacyclovir hydrochloride is used in both the treatment of acute cases and for chronic suppression in people who have recurrent episodes. It is usually only given long-term to people who have more than six episodes of herpes or more in a period of a year and chronic treatment should be reassessed every six to twelve months. The dose for treatment of an acute episode is usually higher and is for a short period, usually up to 10 days.

Chickenpox is a common childhood disease and is usually caused by Varicella zoster. Shingles is more common in adults, can be extremely painful, and is caused by the virus Herpes zoster. Valacyclovir hydrochloride is active against both of these viruses but treatment needs to be started early to see results. It should be started within 24 hours of the appearance of the rash and is usually given three times daily for five days with chickenpox and seven days with shingles. The pediatric dose is determined by weight and the prescribed dose and duration of treatment should be followed precisely.

As with any medication, valacyclovir hydrochloride may interact with other drugs so these, including over-the-counter, homeopathic and natural medicines, should be discussed with the prescribing doctor. Pregnancy, desired pregnancy and lactation should also be disclosed. Adverse effects may also occur during treatment with valacyclovir hydrochloride. The most commonly seen adverse effects include headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dizziness. Should any of these be severe, medical attention should be sought immediately.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.