Valtrex is a branded antiviral medicine developed by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline in the late 1980s. Ever since, it has remained at the forefront of antiviral medicines, being effective in successfully tackling both strains of the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 known for its characteristic cold sores and the STI genital herpes HSV-2). It seems to equally effective in treating both initial infections and recurrent outbreaks. In addition to this, Valtrex has also been successfully used in those cases where patient suspects that an outbreak is likely – this early application had a dramatic impact in limiting the severity and scope of the symptoms.

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What is herpes? A general introduction

Herpes is a term that is commonly used to refer to both herpes simplex virus type 1 and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2). The former, HSV-1 is also known as ‘cold sores’ – typical blisters and sores that appear on the lips and around the mouth in the periods when the immune system is compromised, while the latter is sexually transmitted viral infection which affects genitals, rectum and in some cases mouth.

Herpes is a very contagious and persistent sexually transmitted viral infection. When one gets infected, it is impossible to completely cure the condition and eliminate the virus from the body. However, the symptoms of herpes can be effectively managed and limited with the use of proper and timely applied medication. Those affected will usually go through cycles of viral activity and periods of dormancy when the common symptoms would seem to disappear on their own.

In majority of cases, the symptoms will tend to decrease in both intensity and scope, but reactivations are not likely to disappear on their own – instead, they will have to be managed by antiviral medications in the early phases of the flare-up. Thus, similarly to many other viral infections, herpes too is a lifelong condition

Herpes simplex virus type 2 is transmitted through sexual contact, vaginal, oral or anal. Sharing of sex toys is also a significant risk factor. The characteristic tell-tale signs of herpes simplex virus type 2 include appearance of sores and blisters at the site of the infection (genitals or anus). When active, that is, when symptoms flare up and are clearly visible, herpes is most contagious, although it can still be transmitted even during the periods of remission. However, if this is the case, the chances of spreading the infection are somewhat diminished.

How can Valtrex help with herpes infections?

The secret of Valtrex’ success is its active ingredient, valaciclovir, a pharmaceutical compound classified as a prodrug. What this means is that valaciclovir, on its own, doesn’t manifest antiviral properties. Instead, once this substance gets processed by the body’s metabolic processes, it will be transformed into an antiviral compound called acyclovir. This substance, in turn, acts like a typical active ingredient, limiting the scope and intensity of the viral infection.

Valtrex achieves this by disrupting vital bio-chemical processes related to replication and reproduction of the viral genetic code. More specifically, it inhibits the synthesis of a specific protein, enzyme called DNA polymerase which is crucial for the viral infection as it plays a central role in multiplication of the infected cells and subsequently, of the viral genetic code. Use of Valtrex effectively stops the virus from spreading and growing, so that the antibodies can easily force it into dormant state.

Can I buy Valtrex online?

If you have just been diagnosed with herpes and it is your first time buying Valtrex, it might be better to go along the conventional route. This means making an appointment with your doctor, or at a local GUM or STI clinic where you will be examined and tested for STIs. If herpes is confirmed, then the doctor will talk to you about your medical history in order to ensure that the use of Valtrex isn’t contraindicated for one reason or another. If everything is ok, you will be issued a prescription which you can then use at your local pharmacy in order to buy the drug.

However, if you would still prefer to avoid those awkward face-to-face conversations about this uncomfortable topic, then an online clinic might be a better option. If you are simply seeking to renew you prescription, using an online clinic is exceptionally easy! Most of the time, you will be asked to provide the results of your STI test and to fill out a customized questionnaire which the doctor can use to determine whether you are suitable for the desired treatment. If everything checks out, the issued prescription will immediately be used to post the medicine to the address you provided.

On the other hand, if you are looking to buy Valtrex for the first time, you will still have to provide the results of your STI test. If you don’t have them, you can still buy an at-home STI test from an online clinic of your choice, which you can use by yourself to collect the required samples. Once collected, the samples should be posted to a certified laboratory which will shortly inform you about the results. If you tested positive, the remaining steps will be the same as if described above.

How to use Valtrex?

  • Take as prescribed by your doctor
  • Take the tablets whole with a glass of water
  • The common dose for genital herpes is one 500mg tablet, two times per day over the course of 5 days
  • You can take the tablets with food, but don’t have to
  • Always take Valtrex tablets at around the same time each day
  • Never double your doses to make up for missed ones
  • Never exceed the amount prescribed by your doctor

What are Valtrex side effects?

Frequency of occurrence Side effects
Common (1 in 10 users)


Uncommon (1 in 100 users)


Breathing difficulties, skin rash, increased sensitivity to sunlight, dizziness
Rare (1 in 1000 users)


Diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, confusion, impaired consciousness
Very rare (1 in 10.000 users)


Coordination problems, convulsions, delirium

Should I use Valtrex?

If Valtrex is suitable for you, your doctor will, no doubt, recommend it. However, there are some situations when it might not be advisable to use this medicine. This can be the case if you are currently using any of the following medicines:

  • Probenecid
  • Cimetidine
  • Tacrolimus
  • Ciclosporin
  • Mycophenolate mofetil

In addition to this, Valtrex isn’t recommended to people who have a history of kidney or lung conditions or to women who are pregnant, are trying to conceive or who are currently breastfeeding.