FDA Approves GlaxoSmithKline's Valtrex

Valtrex is an antiviral drug.

It slows the growth and spread of the herpes virus so that the body can fight off the infection. Valtrex will not cure herpes, but it can lessen the symptoms of the infection.

Valtrex is used to treat infections caused by herpes viruses in adults and children. Illnesses caused by herpes viruses include genital herpes, cold sores, shingles, and chickenpox.

Valtrex is used to treat cold sores in children who are at least 12 years old, and to treat chickenpox in children who are at least 2 years old.

Valacyclovir is used in children to treat cold sores (herpes labialis) and chickenpox (varicella zoster). It is used in adults to treat cold sores and shingles (herpes zoster). Valacyclovir does not cure these diseases, but it may decrease pain and help sores heal faster. Valacyclovir belongs to a class of medications known as antivirals.

Valacyclovir is also used to treat people with genital herpes who are currently having an outbreak. It can also be used to prevent an outbreak (suppressive therapy). This medication helps control symptoms, but does not cure the disease or prevent infection of sexual partners.

If you are taking valacyclovir for treatment of genital herpes, it is important to follow safe sex practices to lower the chance of giving herpes to your partner, even if there are no symptoms present. Always use a condom made of latex or polyurethane. When you have symptoms or are experiencing an outbreak, do not have sexual contact with your partner.

Valtrex has been approved as a treatment for recurrent genital herpes (herpes simplex) in otherwise healthy (immunocompetent) adults. The efficacy of Valtrex has not been established in immunocompromised subjects.